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Guidelines to Industry Relating to the Process of the Authentication of Foreign End User Certificates (EUC's) for Goods Exported from South Africa to Foreign Countries

Introduction / Legalisation of official (public) documents / Process to follow / Legal Instrument / Processing Time / Cost / Forms to be completed / Location and contacts


Introduction

An End-User Certificate (EUC) is a public document required by law which is a written undertaking by an importer or buyer of controlled items e.g. arms, ammunition or military equipment in a foreign country that any item purchased from South Africa and exported by South Africa to that foreign country, is for its sole use.  The importer also has to certify that the item is not destined for transfer or re-export to any other party or State in its original form, without the prior written consent of the South African Government (in this instance by the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC)).

Legalisation of official (public) documents

'Legalisation' is the process followed by which the signature and seal on an official (public) document is verified.

There are two (2) methods of legalisation, i.e. authentication by means of:

  • an Apostille Certificate (used in cases where both countries are party to the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (or referred to as the Apostille Convention);  or
  • authentication by means of a Certificate of Authentication.  

EUC's are subject to the legalisation process within the prescribed manner.
What are the requirements for legalising a EUC?

  • It is at all times the responsibility of the seller in South Africa to obtain the EUC from the buyer in the foreign country.
  • The EUC must be an original document.  (No copies of EUC's will be accepted neither used for processing of export applications.)
  • The EUC must correlate with the subsequent order for the item covering the specific transaction including any annexures to the order for the item.  It must at all times bear witness of i.e. the issuing authority;  the place and date of issue;  a reference number;  and the signature and name, as well as the title and position of such signatory, and must include an official Government stamp or seal.
  • In the EUC, the foreign buyer or importer has to declare that any item purchased will not be transferred or resold without the prior consent of the relevant South African authority and will not be used for the development or use of any item of mass destruction.


Process to follow in states that are members of the Apostille Convention:

  • If issued by a state authority the EUC needs to be verified by the relevant Competent Authority designated in the foreign country.  (The Competent Authority is either the state department responsible for foreign relations or any other organ of state formally mandated by the foreign country.)  (Details of competent authorities are listed on the website of the Hague Conference on Private International Law at – http://www.hcch.net.)
  • If issued by a private buyer or importer the EUC must follow the appropriate notarial process in the state of issue, before it can legalised by means of an Apostille Certificate by the same Competent Authority.
  • Note:  If both South Africa and the foreign country are party to the Apostille Convention and as such Apostille Certificates would normally be issued for public documents issued in that foreign country for use in South Africa.  If an Apostille is issued, no further authentication is required or permitted by the South African diplomatic or consular representative abroad.

"If the Convention applies, an Apostille is the only formality that is required to establish the origin of the public document – no additional requirement may be imposed to authenticate the origin of the public document."

  • Once the EUC has therefore been joined to an Apostille Certificate it shall be submitted directly to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) (in Pretoria) to the Directorate:  Disarmament and Non-Proliferation.


Process to follow in states that are NOT members of the Apostille Convention:

  • If issued by a state authority the EUC needs to be verified by the relevant Competent Authority designated in the foreign country.  (The Competent Authority is either the state department responsible for foreign relations or any other organ of state formally mandated by the foreign country.)  (Details of competent authorities are listed on the website of the Hague Conference on Private International Law at – http://www.hcch.net.)
  • If issued by a private buyer or importer the EUC must follow the appropriate notarial process in the state of issue, before it can be legalised by means of a Certificate of Authentication by the same Competent Authority.
  • Once the EUC has been authenticated by the foreign countries Competent Authority, submit it to the South African diplomatic or consular representative abroad (accredited to that foreign country) to authenticate the said document and annexures (where applicable).
  • Submit the EUC to the Directorate: Disarmament and Non-Proliferation at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), Pretoria, for an approval letter to be issued to the Chief Directorate: Consular Services (Legalisation Section) verifying the existence of a permit.  This is done by making an appointment with one of the following officials within the Directorate:

Mr Gugulethu M. Gingqi

Deputy Director

Tel:  (012) 351-8600 (direct)

E-mail:  gingqig@dirco.gov.za


Mr Riyadh Bhayat
Assistant Director
Tel:  (012) 351-0064 (direct)
E-mail: 
bhayatr@dirco.gov.za

Ms Tarryn Warries
Foreign Service Officer
Tel: (012) 351-0248
E-mail: 
warriest@dirco.gov.za

The final authentication of the EUC is performed by the Legalisation Section in the Chief Directorate: Consular Services of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), Pretoria, South Africa.


Legal Instrument

Regulation of Foreign Military Assistance Act, 1998 (Act No. 15 of 1998);

Rule 63 of the Rules of the High Court (South Africa);

The Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 (Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents);

Armaments Development and Production Act, 1968 (Act No. 57 of 1968);

Arms and Ammunition Act, 1969 (Act No. 75 of 1969);

Teargas Act, 1964 (Act No. 16 of 1964);

Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction Act, 1993 (Act No. 87 of 1993);  and

Nuclear Energy Act, 1999 (Act No. 46 of 1999).

Note:  Copies of Acts are available on
www.gov.za/ or can be obtained from the Government Printer.


Processing time

The customer will be contacted via e-mail notification, as soon as the process from the Directorate:  Disarmament and Non-Proliferation and the Legalisation Section of the DIRCO has duly been completed.


Cost

None.


Forms to be completed

None.


Location and Contacts

Directorate: Disarmament and Non-Proliferation
NE2B-Second Floor
OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road
Rietondale
Pretoria, 0084

Attention:

Mr Gugulethu M. Gingqi

Deputy Director

Tel:  (012) 351-8600 (direct)

E-mail:  gingqig@dirco.gov.za


Mr Riyadh Bhayat
Assistant Director
Tel:  (012) 351-0064 (direct)
E-mail: 
bhayatr@dirco.gov.za

Ms Tarryn Warries
Foreign Service Officer
Tel: (012) 351-0248
E-mail: 
warriest@dirco.gov.za


Chief Directorate: Consular Services (Legalisation Section)

Legalisation Section, NE2A-Ground Floor
OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road
Rietondale
Pretoria, 0084

Telephone: (012) 351-1232 (Supervisor)
Fax: (012) 329-1018

E-mail: legalisation@dirco.gov.za

Public hours (Legalisation Section):  08:30 to 12:30 (weekdays, except public holidays)

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Last updated: 28 August 2017
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