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How to self-rate your goods

To determine whether your goods are controlled you need to check the Control Lists. To do this you need to check whether your goods have a relevant entry reference which is known as a "rating".

Find out how to self-rate your goods:


How to identify the rating of Military Goods

Military Goods are classified by:

  •  either an 'ML' code (which are items that international regimes have collectively agreed should be controlled).
  • or a 'PL' code (which are UK national controls on specific items)
ML1 and ML2Smooth bore weapons
ML3Ammunition and components for ML1, ML2 and ML12
ML4Bombs, grenades, rockets, missiles and other devices, components and accessories
ML5Devices for fire control, components and accessories and their counter measure equipment
ML6Ground vehicles, containers and components
ML7 and ML8Explosives and chemicals
ML9Vessels, special naval equipment, accessories and components
ML10Aircraft, unmanned airborne vehicles, aeroengines
ML11Electronic equipment and components
ML12High velocity kinetic energy weapon systems
ML13Armour plate and body armour
ML14Simulators and training equipment
ML15Imaging equipment
ML16Forging, castings and unfinished products
ML17Miscellaneous goods including diving equipment, ferries, containers
ML18Production equipment
ML21Software for listed goods
ML22 and PL5017Technology for listed goods
PL5017Equipment and test models
ML19Directed weapon systems
PL5001Paramilitary goods


Key Points

  • All goods listed on the Military List require a license to all destinations (including EU countries)

View the UK Military List


How to identify the rating of Dual-Use Goods

Dual-Use items are divided into 10 broad categories and then further subdivided into 5 subcategories of controls. The items are further identified by the regime from which the controls are derived:

Control Categories


Regime Origin

0 - Nuclear MaterialsA - Systems, Equipment and Components
0 - Wassenaar Arrangement
1 - Materials, Chemicals, "Microorganisms" & "Toxins"
B - Test, Inspection and Production Equipment
1 - Missile Technology Control Regime
2 - Materials Processing
C - Materials2 - Nuclear Supply Group
3 - Electronics
D - Software3 - Australia Group
4 - Computers
E - Technology4 - Chemical Weapons Convention
5 - Telecommunications and "Information Security"
6 - Sensors and Lasers
7 - Navigation and Avionics
8 - Marine
9 - Aerospace and Propulsion


For example:


  • Category 2 (Materials Processing)
  • Sub-Category B
  • Australia Group
  • Valves with nominal sizes greater than 10 milimetres in which all surfaces that come in direct contact with the chemical(s) being processed or contained are made from:
    • Alloys with more than 25% nickel and 20% chromium by weight
    • Fluoropolymers
    • Glass or vitrified enamel lining


Key Points

  • Controls are based on the technical specifications or performance of the items.
  • A licence is generally only required for exports outside the European Union (EU). However some items specified in Annex IV (such as those in Category 0) are judged to be highly sensitive and require a licence even for export even within the EU.
  • For inter community transfers between EU countries, commercial documentation must state the licence that would be required if the item were exported outside the EU.


View the UK Strategic Export Control List: The Consolidated List of Strategic Military and Dual-Use Items


Other considerations in rating your goods

You should also consider:

  • Destination of your items and particularly any relevant sanctions and embargoes. See the list of current arms embargoes and other restrictions
  • Software and technology relevant to the development, production and use of the goods that may be controlled. See the export of technology guidance note.


Help and Advice

  • Goods Checker
    • By using this database you can search on the Control List
  • Rating Enquiry Service
    • A service which exporters can use if they are still unsure about whether their specific goods are controlled.
    • Exporters need to submit a "rating request" via the SPIRE online licensing application system.
  • Helpline


Export Control Organisation

Updated: May 2008


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