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Detailed guide: Export controls: dual-use items, software and technology, goods for torture and radioactive sources

Export Control Organisation

September 24
16:39 2019

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Overview

You will need an export licence to export any controlled dual-use items from the UK to another country outside the EU. Most dual use items do not require a licence if they are exported to the EU or the Channel Islands.

Dual-use items (including software and technology), are those items which can be used for both civil and military purposes. The term also includes all goods which have non-explosive uses or assist in any way with the manufacture of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.

You can assess your goods, software and technology against the UK Strategic Export Control Lists to determine whether or not they are controlled. The online checker tool can also be used to help determine if the items are controlled and identify the appropriate control entry.

If your items are not listed on the UK Strategic Export Control Lists, you may still need a licence under End-Use Controls or trade sanctions and embargoes.

You can use our online licensing system to apply for all types of export licences.

If you export controlled items without the correct export licence you could be breaching export controls is a criminal offence. Penalties vary depending on the nature of the offence but they range from:

  • your licence being revoked
  • goods being seized
  • a fine
  • imprisonment for up to 10 years

Dual-use items, software and technology

You will need a licence to export controlled dual-use items from the UK to another country outside the EU. Most dual-use items do not require a licence if they are exported to the EU. The exception to this ruling covers items which are listed in Annex IV of EU Regulation 428/2009. These items always require an export licence, regardless of destination.

Dual-use items include physical goods, software and technology. They are set out in these broad categories:

Control categories items
0 nuclear materials
1 materials, chemicals, micro-organisms and toxins
2 materials processing
3 electronics
4 computers
5 telecommunications and information security
6 sensors and lasers
7 navigation and avionics
8 marine
9 aerospace and propulsion

Each category is then divided again from A to E:

Asystems equipment and componentsBtest, inspection and production equipmentCmaterialsDsoftwareEtechnology

Check if your goods are controlled

Use the consolidated list of strategic military and dual use items including UK national controls to find out whether your goods are controlled.

We also have an online checker tool which you can use to find out if your items are controlled and identify the appropriate control entry.

There is also the Control List Classification Service on the?online export licensing system.

Other items requiring additional permissions

In a small number of cases, dual use items or information may have a classification of official-sensitive or above.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has set a mandatory requirement for the control of the release by industry of equipment or information with a classification of official-sensitive or above, including in their marketing campaigns to foreign end-users. This includes UK material classified restricted or above, graded prior to April 2014, and internationally security classified material. Control of release is therefore conducted through the MOD Form 680 application process.

Find out more about the MOD Form 680.

You can apply for MOD Form 680 approval on the ?online licensing system.

Nuclear exports

International nuclear exports depend upon recipient countries meeting certain security standards and safeguards, as well as what is called pre-notification or assurance of a proposed export. This is the case in particular for nuclear items, equipment, material or technology which are listed on the NSG Trigger List.

Find out what you need to do if you are exporting NSG Trigger List items for civil nuclear purposes.

Chemicals

A supporting document is required to export chemicals listed in Schedule 3 of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) to countries that have not ratified the convention.

Find out what additional documents you need to export Chemicals listed in Schedule 3 to these countries.

Weapons of mass destruction end-use controls and military end-use controls

If your items are not listed on the UK Strategic Export Control Lists, you may still need a licence under the weapons of mass destruction (WMD) end-use controls.

You must not export any items if you suspect, or have been informed, that the items might be used to make chemical, biological or nuclear weapons of mass destruction.

There are also controls on the

  • brokering of controlled dual use items intended for WMD purposes
  • transfer of software or technology for a WMD purpose, within the UK, out of the UK or from outside of the UK to another country
  • the provision of technical assistance for a WMD purpose, out of the UK or from outside of the UK to another country

Transfer of technology concerns both the electronic and non-electronic transfer of controlled goods. This can be done in a number of ways. For instance, electronic transfers can involve the use of email, fax, computer file transfer, telephone or video conferencing. Non-electronic transfers include face-to-face communications.

The provision of technical assistance broadly means providing any type of technical support such as assembly, maintenance or repair to controlled goods.

Find out more about the supplementary controls on WMD.

Even if the items which you intend to export are not listed on the strategic export control lists you might still require an export licence under this control if the items are going into military goods in a country subject to an arms embargo.

Find out more about sanctions and arms embargoes.

If your items arent controlled on a list, but y

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