A Look at Transmittal Letters

Transmittal letters are basically documents that contain information about the shipment or transport of security certificates. Typically, they are sent whenever there is a change in the ownership of the securities. Below are some of the most important features of a transmittal copy and why it is an important attachment whenever securities are being transferred.

Significance of Transmittal Letters

A transmittal letter provides vital information regarding the securities being shipped. In some cases, the letter will even contain very sensitive data, such as a password to accompanying electronic storage devices. By providing details about the securities being transported, a transmittal copy will also prevent the recipient from failing to notice important facts that may affect the accounting treatment, filing or, at the very least, proper identification of the security documents.

Function of a Transmittal Copy


Typically, this type of letter is used to allow the concerned parties to easily identify and verify the securities being shipped. This type of written communication specifically describes the nature or type of the documents being transported. A letter of transmittal should be written in such a way that it provides a quick overview of the accompanying documents. It is important that the writer indicate how many certificates are contained in the shipment.

If the security certificates are going to be shipped to other countries, it would be practical if the letter provided more clear-cut particulars about the documents. This will help the government agencies assigned in the departure and entry points in verifying the contents of the shipment.

Accepted Format


Transmittal letters should be brief and concise. Always remember that the primary purpose of this type of letter is to introduce to the recipient the securities being transmitted. The body of the letter usually describes the underlying transactions that gave rise to the transfer of ownership and the shipment of the security certificates.

As the writer or sender, you may also stress that the transport and receipt of the securities would mean the fulfillment of set goals or prior agreements. If there are special instructions addressed to the recipient, such details can also be included in the letter. This is especially true if there are accompanying contracts that need to be signed by the receiving party.  

Proper Timing of Sending a Transmittal


It is very important that the letter of transmittal is sent along with the security certificates or documents that it is supposed to present. Sending the letter ahead of or after shipping the securities defeats the very purpose of a transmittal copy.  

Other Important Characteristics of Transmittal Letters

Never include technical details in the body of the letter. Stick to simple and concise information. In addition, do not forget to add contact details that will allow the recipient to get in touch with you or any company representative. If your letter contains further instructions for the recipient, do not forget to specify a due date for acting upon such instructions. Lastly, the transmittal letter must not be physically or literally attached to the security certificates. Always remember that the letter is a separate document.

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