International trade regulations in the Electronics sector

Export regulations in the electronics industry

Regulations, charges or other restrictions may apply to electronics exports as they leave the UK and when they arrive at their destination country. It is important that you research both sides of the transaction.

Read more about exporting your goods from the EU to a third country and dispatching your goods within the EU.

First, you need to classify your goods. Use of standardised classification codes makes it easier to check if any restrictions or charges apply. You can use the Integrated Tariff of the United Kingdom (the Tariff) to classify your goods. Read more about the classification of goods.

Access the UK Trade Tariff.

Remember that in general it is much simpler to trade with other European Union (EU) countries than with countries outside the EU. This is because the goods are in free circulation. The EU is a single market and the UK is in a customs union, so you can trade with other EU countries without restriction although some local charges may still apply.

Some goods will be restricted for export, eg certain radio equipment, computers, transmitters and mobile phones. Office of Communications (Ofcom) licences cover certain radio equipment and mobile phones. Find more information about radiocommunications licences.

Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status

In response to increased security requirements, HMRC introduced a new status for businesses - AEO. While the scheme is not compulsory, companies that meet the requirements of the scheme will be registered as AEOs and can take advantage of the simplified customs procedures that relate to the security and safety of their goods in transit.

Export licensing and certification

An export licence is required in order to export specified goods with military or dual uses. You may require an export licence for goods with a potential military use, eg telecommunications equipment and some transmitters.

Find out if you need an export or import licence.

Exporting goods for processing

You may be able to obtain relief from customs duties when you re-import European Community goods that have previously been exported from the EC for processing. Outward Processing Relief (OPR) enables you to claim relief from customs duty if you can show that the exported goods were used in - or incorporated into - the products being imported.

Before you can claim duty relief under OPR, however, you must have the appropriate authorisation. For more information, read notice 235 on OPR and read outward processing relief (OPR).