Brexit: Export licences and special rules from 1 January 2021

News article

Licences, certificates and special rules

From 1 January 2021, there will be changes to the licences, certificates and special rules to take different types of goods out of the UK.

Animals, plants, food and agricultural products

Medical devices and agricultural machinery

Chemicals, drugs and waste

Diamonds and arts

Goods that could be used for torture or capital punishment

Firearms and ammunition

Military goods, services and technology

You must get a licence to:

  • export military goods, or sell military services or technology outside the UK
  • arrange the sale of military goods, services or technology outside the UK
  • arrange the transfer of military goods, services or technology between 2 countries outside the UK
  • provide classified military information to someone based outside the UK

Goods and services used for both civilian and military purposes (‘dual use’)

Check if you need a licence if you:

  • export high-tech products like specialist computers, radios and other communications equipment
  • develop software that could be used for information security systems (for example, cryptographic technology)
  • share information, knowledge or skills that could be used to make weapons


There are different types of sanctions for finance, trade and immigration. You may also not be allowed to export to someone on the financial sanctions list.

Check if your goods or services will be controlled by UK sanctions regimes under the Sanctions Act when exporting.