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Export Control Organisation

Any item exported from the UK that is subject to export control needs a licence. The Export Control Organisation is responsible for assessing and issuing (or refusing) export licences for a wide range of controlled so called “strategic” goods. This includes military and dual-use items.

Export Control Organisation The ECO is responsible for legislating, assessing and issuing export, trade transhipment and trade control licences for specific categories of "controlled" goods. This encompasses a wide range of items including so-called dual-use goods, torture goods, radioactive sources, as well as military items. Whether a licence is required depends on various factors such as whether the items are listed on the UK Strategic Export Control Lists, subject to End-Use Controls or to sanctions.

If items exported from the United Kingdom are controlled, then a licence is needed to legally export. Exporters are responsible for complying with the law, understanding the regulations and keeping informed.

All licences applications are risk assessed on a case by case basis, with regard to the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. Licences are issued by the the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Where to find out more about Export Controls

Businesslink Export Control pages on the Businesslink website

Businesslink is the official site for business advice and support. This site now includes all practical guidance and advice aimed at businesses, intermediaries, individuals and academics who need to be aware of export licences issued by the Export Control Organisation. The guidance includes the Control Lists, information on arms embargoes, all current OGEL licences, compliance requirements, how to apply for a licence and the required documentation, details of advisory services and much more.

On this site (the Department of Business website), we publish the following:

UK Export Control: "Promoting global security through strategic export controls, facilitating responsible exports"

National Business Awards UK - 2010 Winner Logo



Winner of the Better Regulation Award
at the The National Business Awards 2010

Export Control Organisation


Updated: January 2012

Do your goods need an export licence?

Export Control Organisation

Find out how to establish if your items require a licence for export control purposes in our guidance on the Businesslink site.

Request advice via the ECO's newly launched Control List Classification or End-User Advice Services available on SPIRE.

Contact the Export Control Organisation

See the Contact the Export Control Organisation page for further contact details.

Minister responsible

Mark Prisk is the minister responsible for this policy area.

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