How to determine if your goods need an export licence

Self-rating - identify your goods on the Control Lists


What is 'rating'?

A 'rating' in terms of controlled goods, means that the items are listed on the UK Strategic Export Control Lists and are referenced by a control list entry number or classification code.

Self-rating is when you independently check the Control Lists and determine the correct entry for your goods yourself. If you can self-rate you are recommended to do so. As a responsible exporter of dual-use or military goods, you are expected to have an understanding of the Control List status of your goods. Making your own informed checks is good practice, will potentially save you time and will help you when applying or registering for the appropriate licences.

You should be aware that the Control Lists are subject to change, as items are either controlled or de-controlled. For more information see updates to the UK Strategic Export Control Lists.

How to self-rate

To self-rate successfully you need to have an understanding of the UK Strategic Export Control Lists. The lists are comprised of several separate listings, including the UK Military List and the UK and European Union (EU) Dual-Use Lists. Items on the lists are indexed under a 'rating' or classification code entry. Find out more about the lists in the UK Strategic Export Control Lists - the consolidated list of strategic military and dual-use items.

To help there are two online tools available to assist you in identifying possible Control List classification entries for your goods and interrogating the listing.

A brief overview of the two main sections of the Control Lists is provided below:

Goods on the UK Military List

Ratings of military goods have two main classification codes:

  • ML code - items subject to international regime agreement on controls
  • PL code - UK controls on specific items

You can see a table of military goods ratings for export.

You can download the complete UK Military List.

Goods on the EU Dual-Use List

Dual-use goods are not designed for military use, but could potentially have military applications or be used to produce military items. The scope of the dual-use list is wide ranging and includes items such as lathes or valves.

The EU Dual-Use List is split into ten categories, each of which is divided into five sub-categories. There are five further classifications, which indicate the relevant International Control Regime (such as Nuclear Suppliers Group or Missile Technology Control Regime) that determined the need to control a particular item.

You can download the UK Strategic Export Control List.