Beginners' guide to export controls

How can I apply for an export licence?


Applying for a licence

All licence applications and Open General Export Licence registrations should be made electronically via the Export Control Joint Unit's central online licensing system - SPIRE. If you are new to using SPIRE, you can read guidance about the system such as how to create a company account and log-in details in the GOV.UK guide SPIRE - an overview.

When making your application, you must attach all necessary documentation, including technical specifications and End User Undertakings.

Almost half of all export licence applications have to be returned due to incomplete or inaccurate applications which can cause delays in processing. Therefore it is vital that you before applying you read about the common pitfalls to avoid in export licence applications. In some cases, you will also need to read our further guidance on specific aspects of the controls.

Read our step by step explanation of the stages involved in making your application, including information on licensing targets.

Advisory Services

On SPIRE you can also make a Control List Classification Service or End-User Advice Service request. You should note that these are both advisory services only and not licensing.

For more information about both these services see our guide on how to determine if your goods need an export licence.