Export controls

Aug 11, 2022

Export Controls are the laws and rules applied to certain types of goods, for example military products or technologies. Exporting these goods could have an impact to national or international security.

Products may be controlled based on the destination, end-use and the nature of the goods. 

Examples of controlled goods may include equipment but also technology or software (e.g. diagrams, specifications, instruction manuals) and know how (e.g., consultancy).

You can check if your goods are subject to further controls by looking your commodity code here.

What are dual-use items?

Dual use is where items are designed for civilian use but may also be used for military purposes, they aren’t necessarily designed for military use. For examples chemicals or security equipment. You can check if your items appear on the list here.

If your item appears on the list, then you will need a licence before supplying to another country.

How can I apply for a licence?

You can apply for a licence via the online SPIRE system, this is managed by the Export Control Joint Unit.

What type of licence do I need?

  • Open General Export Licence (OGEL)- Subject to certain conditions, allows the export or transfer of goods, software, or technology from the UK to any of the countries listed in the licence. This version of the licence is available for registration and you can check what OGELs are available here.
  • Standard Individual Export Licence (SIEL)- Specific to an exporter and allows shipments of a stated quantity of specified items to a named consignee or end-user.
  • Open Individual Export Licence (OIEL)- Allows exporters to export multiple shipments of specific goods to specific destinations, subject to terms and conditions.
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