Export control licensing process and how to appeal
Step 1 - are the goods you are exporting controlled by the Export Control Organisation?
The Export Control Organisation (ECO) is responsible for issuing export licences for 'strategic' items. For more background about the reason for export controls see our beginners guide to export controls.
The main types of goods, software and technologies that require a licence are:
- dual-use goods - goods used for commercial purposes and not originally designed for military purposes but with such a high technical specification that they could be used for military purposes
- military equipment - such as arms, ammunition, bombs, tanks, imaging devices, military aircraft and warships
- nuclear-related goods - including nuclear materials, nuclear reactors and nuclear processing plants
- chemical weapons precursors and related equipment and technology - including certain micro-organisms, biological equipment and technology
- goods used for torture and capital punishment
- radioactive sources
- goods used in programmes involving weapons of mass destruction and missiles used for their delivery
The controls also extend to the licensing of electronic transfers of controlled 'technology'. For more information on this and other detailed aspects of export licensing see our key licensing guidance.
There are main reason why your goods might be controlled for export purposes is because the items are listed on a UK Strategic Export Control List. See our guide about the UK Strategic Export Control Lists - the consolidated list of strategic military and dual-use items.
If your goods are not listed on a Control List, you might still need to apply for a licence because of concerns about the destination or end-use. See the page in this guide - Step 2 - are there any Export Control Organisation controls on the destination of your goods?
If you are unsure whether your items need a licence, then you might find it helpful to read our guide on how to determine if your goods need an export licence. This guide explains how to 'self-rate' your goods and identify the Control List reference entry number or 'rating' and about advisory services and database tools offered by the ECO to help you further.
Subjects covered in this guide