How to determine if your goods need an export licence

How the End-User Advice Service works

There are practical considerations when using the End-User Advice Service provided by the Export Control Organisation (ECO).

Information needed when making an End-User Advice request

Before ECO accept your enquiry, you will need to submit the:

  • name of your company - including UK address and postcode
  • name and address of the end-user (including website where possible)
  • name and address of any other entity/third parties involved in the contract or deal

Submitting a request for End-User Advice

If you are exporting to a destination and have taken all necessary steps to ensure by other means that the goods you are planning to export do not require an export licence, you can subsequently request End-User Advice from the ECO.

To submit an End-User Advice enquiry to the ECO, you must use the SPIRE online application system. You will need to be a registered SPIRE user before using this service.

Use the SPIRE service.

In making your enquiry, it would be helpful if you could add the SPIRE Rating Enquiry or Control List Classification Advice Service reference number (if you have previously submitted a request for the same goods). You will only have limited space to provide supplementary information.

Further information about the End-User Advice Service

The End-User Advice Service aims to provide an email response to your request within a fast turnaround.

The advice provided by the ECO will be based on the information that you supply. ECO advice does not relieve you of your legal responsibilities for complying with export regulations. If you give the ECO incomplete, misleading or false information, it could mean that you receive incorrect advice.

Similarly, you must inform ECO immediately, if you either:

  • already possess information which leads you to know or suspect that what you intend to export is (either in its entirity or in part) intended for use in or contributes to Iran's military or Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) programmes.
  • or if you receive such information following receipt of our advice.

When you inform ECO you should give details of the information and seek separate or further advice. If you do not do so you may commit a criminal offence.

ECO reserves the right to reject enquiries for this service if they judge that your application represents a misuse of the system by presenting voluminous or persistent applications.

You are advised to read the service's Terms of Use beforehand, which are available on the SPIRE website. These terms cover recording and use of information in case of enforcement action.

You should also note that End-User Advice is valid at the time it is given but can change in the future because information about companies changes from day to day. The nearer the advice is given to the date of export, the greater the likelihood that it remains valid.

You are advised to remain updated about the introduction of sanctions or other legislative updates by signing up to receive the ECO's Notices to Exporters email notification service. SeeĀ current arms embargoes and other restrictions.

If you have been 'informed' that you need a licence

Don't forget that if you have already been informed by letter by the ECO that a licence is required on WMD or military end-use control grounds, then you must apply for a licence. In this case you will not be able to the End-User Advice Service or Control List Classification Service to meet your legal obligations.