Export control licensing process and how to appeal
Step 4 - register and apply for an Export Control Organisation licence
You will need to register with the Export Control Organisation's SPIRE licensing system to use Open General Export Licences - and to apply for other licence types. You can apply for an export licence on SPIRE with the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS).
If you are new to using SPIRE, then you can download guidance documents about how to use the system by accessing our guide, SPIRE - Background information.
All licences are assessed against the Consolidated European Union and National Arms and Export Licensing Criteria. To find out more about how the government make decisions on export licence applications see our guide: assessment of export licence applications - criteria and policy.
When applying for a licence you should be aware that inaccurate or missing information on licence applications can cause delays. See the page in this guide - Step 5 - supply supporting documentation for Export Control Organisation licences.
You should remember that as of 30 June 2009, when completing your SPIRE application, you will need a valid EORI (European Operators Registration and Identification) number. This is an EU unique identification system for interaction with customers. This number connects ECO's SPIRE system to HM Revenue & Customs' CHIEF system, via the Automatic Licence Verification process. For more details see our guide on the Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) Scheme.
Subjects covered in this guide