The export control licensing regime in the UK is based on both UK national and European Union (EU) laws (applicable across all EU member countries).
Export Control Order 2008
Export regulations in the UK are implemented under Export Control Order 2008. This secondary legislation is based on the Export Control Act 2002 - the UK's main legislation on export controls.
Areas covered by the order include:
- strategic goods export controls
- transfer of technology and technical assistance provision
- controls on trade in military equipment between overseas countries where part of the process takes place in the UK
- controls on trade with embargoed destinations, eg embargoes imposed by the UK following EU or Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe embargoes
The main European legislation is Council Regulation (EC) No.428/2009 (the re-cast dual-use regulation), which set up a EU system to control exports of dual-use items and technology.
Under the regulations, Open Individual Export Licences (OIELs) and similar permits issued in one member state can normally be used to export from other member states.
You do not need a licence to export most dual-use items, to other member states, unless the goods are intended to be forwarded to a third country.
Dual-use items include:
- software and technology with civil and military applications
- goods that can be used for non-explosive uses or in the manufacture of nuclear explosive devices
To determine which military and dual-use items are subject to export control legislation, you need to check the UK Strategic Export Control Lists. You can find more information and also download a copy of the lists from this GOV.UK guide on the UK Strategic Export Control Lists - the consolidated list of strategic military and dual-use items.
If your goods are listed on the Control Lists then you will need to apply for an appropriate licence. If you are unsure if your items are listed, then you can download the guidance about how to determine if your goods need an export licence. This guide includes information on database tools and advice to help you self-rate your goods as well information on training courses provided by the ECO.