What is a Formal Undertaking?

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A Formal Undertaking is a document used by Chambers of Commerce during the issuing of international trading certificates (i.e. certificate of origin; movement certificate; international import certificates etc.) for Traders. The Formal Undertaking allows Chambers of Commerce to ascertain from Traders a formal commitment that the information provided by the Trader, on the certificate application and corresponding export/commercial invoice, is true and correct. Therefore, a Formal Undertaking MUST be submitted, by the Trader, to the Chamber of Commerce BEFORE any application for certification can be accepted or processed.

Formal Undertakings elapse after ONE year and therefore, need to be renewed annually by the Trader with their chosen Chamber of Commerce.

Example Formal Undertaking form (Page 1 + 2 only)

The first two pages of the Formal Undertaking need to completed by the Trader and returned to the chosen Chamber of Commerce.

Page 1 – courtesy of Inverness Chamber of Commerce

Page 2 – courtesy of Inverness Chamber of Commerce

Where can I get a Formal Undertaking form?

You can get a Formal Undertaking form from your chosen Chamber of Commerce, where you wish to have your trading certificates processed. That is, first choose a Chamber of Commerce who will certify/issue you with certificates and second, contact them and get their Formal Undertaking form (usually downloadable from their web site or they’ll email you a PDF).

Download: Inverness Chamber of Commerce Formal Undertaking

Download: Sheffield International Trade Centre Formal Undertaking

How do I complete a Formal Undertaking form?

Having obtained a Formal Undertaking form (usually as a PDF), you’ll need to print out the form; read all the rules you’ll need to abide with by agreeing to the Formal Undertaking, and complete pages 1 and 2 by hand, adding:

  • Date of entering into the formal undertaking
  • Authorised signature from your business’ proprietor, partner, director or company secretary
  • Full Name of Authorised signatory (who signed above)
  • Type of Company you are as either an Exporter or Forwarder/Shipping Agent
  • Client Name is the name of your firm
  • Address of your organisation. TIP: Make sure this is the same as the address you use for your invoicing (i.e. the export of commercial invoice that you’ll send to the Chamber of Commerce along with the application for a trading certificate)
  • Company Telephone No. that ideally should be a landline as the main company contact number
  • Company Website address (if applicable)
  • Primary Contact Authorised Official is the main person, from your firm, who will engage with the Chamber of Commerce, as well as for activating + deactivating additional signatories for certificate authorisation. Provide their:
    • Title (Mr, Mrs, Ms, Miss … etc)
    • First & Last Name
    • Job title
    • Direct Telephone No.
    • Email address
    • Specimen signature (in black ink and within the specified box)
  • Other Authorised Officials are where other people from your firm, in addition to the Primary Contact Authorised Official (above), who could authorise + send applications for certificates to the Chamber of Commerce on behalf of your firm:
    • First & Last Name
    • Job title
    • Specimen signature (in black ink and within the specified box)

Once you have completed the Formal Undertaking form, you scan pages 1 + 2 (the ones you filled in with the content above) as a single PDF document and email it the Chamber of Commerce. If you still have a fax machine (who does?) then you can fax pages 1 + 2 to the Chamber of Commerce instead. In both cases, you’ll need to physically post the ‘originally’ signed Formal Undertaking form to the Chamber of Commerce for their records.

How long does it take to process a Formal Undertaking?

From receiving your completed Formal Undertaking form, a Chamber of Commerce usually process it and return a decision to you within the day (or hours in some cases).

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Related Topics

How to create and send a Formal Undertaking in EdgeCTP

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