Useful Links

UK Export Consultants

List of Freight Forwarders whom EGADD Members can recommend for their knowledge and proficiency on export and trade control issues:

Established in 1935, the Institute of Export & International Trade is the professional membership body representing and supporting the interests of everyone involved in importing, exporting and international trade.

Offering a unique range of individual and business membership benefits and a world renowned suite of qualifications and training, the Institute is the leading authority in best practice and competence for businesses trading globally.

What is ESS?

The Export Support Service is a new helpline and online service where all UK businesses can get answers to practical questions about exporting to Europe. The service is a ‘one-stop shop’ and brings together UK government information, making it easier for exporters to access advice and support.


The helpline and digital enquiry service launched on 1 October.

  • The Export Support Service is a new government helpline and online service where all UK businesses can get answers to practical questions about exporting to Europe
  • It gives access to cross government information and support all in one place
  • If you are a UK business you can use this free service, no matter the size of your business or which part of the UK you are based
  • DBT will continue to work with businesses and business representative groups from all sectors, in all parts of the UK, to help make the service as useful as possible for businesses
  • You can access the Export Support Service at UK/ask-export-support-team where you will be put in touch with a member of our dedicated export support team

Annual overview of the UK’s strategic export controls policy and licensing regime.

From: Export Control Joint Unit, Department for Business and Trade, Ministry of Defence, and Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

Annual reports include information on:

  • export licensing processes, procedures and responsible departments
  • export licensing data and performance statistics
  • policy developments
  • outreach activity
  • UK support to allies and partners
  • international policy and regimes
  • compliance and enforcement

British Export Control [BEC] is a cadre of ex UK Govt. and EU export control experts, now supporting Governments and businesses throughout the world.

​We provide a range of bespoke training , support and guidance to all levels of business from one man concerns, large scale manufacturers, Financial institutions and Governments .

BEC evolved from its training wing, Arms Trade Training [ATT] which has been providing, primarily via EU and UN funding training, outreach and support to Governments throughout the world seeking to implement both the UN arms trade treaty and the Dual use [WMD] requirements of UNSCR 1540. Feedback from UK entities indicated that whilst the Department of International Trade provides export control seminars, they are intermittent and of course cover a wide spectrum, if you are a company exporting night vison equipment, a day spent on WMD materials and chemicals may not be the optimum use of your time and budgetary resources, so ATT can provide a similar course to DIT or one tailor made for your company. Our staff have trained UK Customs, HMRC investigators, Border Force, UK intelligence agencies amongst others, in export control and lectured internationally. For those in Academia, Media and literary works, we have also operated at the highest levels of international counter proliferation.

​In addition to routine UK export controls, BEC specializes in those companies involved in moving Military goods from third country to third country, referred to in UK legislation [Export control order 2008] as the Trade controls or more euphemistically as Brokering. The brokering laws can cover any UK person, anywhere in the world that may be involved in a transaction arranging the international transfer of military or paramilitary goods. This can include Banks, insurers, shippers, Military training providers, airlines. In addition of course, there are the range of Trade/Financial sanctions and the Bribery Act (which it seems is being rigorously enforced now)

At BEC, we concentrate on UK based companies and persons, to whom we aim to provide a targeted, affordable service that seeks to ensure export controls do not impede the ‘day to day’ core activity of sales. We can carry out licence applications on your behalf if required.

Using SPIRE, you can apply for an export or trade licence for your activities and items if you require a licence for the wide range of “strategic” goods (such as security items, military goods, civilian products designed with a military use or purpose, firearms, police and paramilitary goods, radioactive sources and much more). You can also use SPIRE to make a Ministry of Defence Form 680 application, Private Venture security grading or Exhibition Clearance applications.

How to register on and use SPIRE, the online system for applying for an export licence for military or dual-use products

How to check if you need a licence to import or export goods, and the most commonly licensed goods for international trade.

Open general licences

Registering for an Open General Licence, information, guidance and advice on licences, which type you need for your goods.

Standard Individual Export Licence – BIS

You will need to apply for a SIEL if you need an export licence and you cannot meet all the stated terms and conditions of an Open General Export Licence (OGEL).

Open Individual Export Licence – BIS / ECO

Open Individual Export Licences allow exporters to export multiple shipments of specific goods to specific destinations.

Global Project Licence – BIS / ECO

A Global Project Licence (GPL) can be used when licensing exports of military goods and technologies to framework agreement (FA) partner states.

The UK Strategic Export Control Lists form the basis of determining whether any products, software or technology that you intend to export are ‘controlled’ and therefore require an export licence.

The scope of the Radioactive Sources (Control) Order 2006: which substances are controlled and how to apply for an export licence.

Information on goods controlled under the EU Torture Regulation (including licensing of drugs used in execution by lethal injection).

The UK uses sanctions to fulfil a range of purposes, including supporting foreign policy and national security objectives, as well as maintaining international peace and security, and preventing terrorism. Sanctions measures include arms embargoes, trade sanctions and other trade restrictions.

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) is responsible for overall UK policy on sanctions. The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) implements trade sanctions and other trade restrictions and has overall responsibility for trade sanctions licensing.

The UK implements a range of UK sanctions regimes through regulations established under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 (the Sanctions Act). The Sanctions Act provides the legal basis for the UK to impose, update and lift sanctions. These regimes apply to the whole of the UK, including Northern Ireland. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are compliant with the requirements of the new legislation.

For more information see the UK sanctions regimes under the Sanctions Act.

You can find out more about the UK sanctions policy after 31 December 2020.

DBT’s Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU) has overall responsibility for trade sanctions licensing. Licence applications can be made through the online export licensing system SPIRE. You can provide extra information on the activities you wish to carry out in a cover letter. You should attach this and any other documentation to the application. Contact us at if you have any questions on trade sanctions licensing. For example, buying petroleum products for humanitarian relief in Syria.

DBT’s import licensing branch is responsible for implementing trade sanctions relating to imports.

Arms embargo, trade sanctions and other trade restrictions

An arms embargo is a prohibition that applies to the trade or activities related to military items. An arms embargo may be imposed by the United Nations (UN), the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) or the UK.

Under the Sanctions Act, arms embargoes consist of prohibitions on export, supply or delivery, making available and transfer of military items and on the provision of technical assistance, financial services and funds, and brokering services related to military items.

Trade sanctions are controls on the:

  • import, export, transfer, movement, making available and acquisition of goods and technology
  • provision and procurement of services related to goods and technology
  • provision and procurement of certain other non-financial services
  • involvement of UK people in these activities

There may be specific exceptions under which it is possible to engage in an activity that would otherwise be prohibited. It may also be possible to get a licence that would permit you to engage in an activity that would otherwise be prohibited.

Trade controls

The UK also imposes trade controls on trafficking and brokering of military goods from one overseas country to another. Trade controls apply to specific activities, including brokering, that involve certain controlled goods.

Goods which are subject to trade controls are specified in category A, category B and category C, of Schedule 1 to the Export Control Order 2008, as amended.

Article 20 of the Export Control Order 2008, as amended, sets out what trade controls apply in respect of embargoed destinations. Article 20 does not apply to countries with arms embargoes made under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018.

Transit controls

Certain goods transiting the UK are regarded as being exported when they leave the country and are subject to control. Article 17 of the Export Control Order 2008 includes a transit and transhipment exception, meaning that in many situations a licence is not required.

This exception does not apply to certain goods destined for countries listed below, meaning that a licence is required to transit goods through the UK or tranship them in the UK with a view to re-exportation to these countries.

The Export Control Order 2008 includes a list of the countries which are subject to transit controls for military goods, and a list of countries which are subject to transit controls for Category B goods.

Military goods are those as listed in Schedule 2 to the Export Control Order. Category B of the controls comprises small arms and light weapons, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), long-range missiles and man-portable air-defence systems.

Transit controls also apply to Category A goods for all countries.

ECOWAS restrictions

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) adopted a convention on small arms and light weapons, their ammunition and other related materials, and a moratorium on the import, export and manufacture of light weapons in June 2006.

The UK will not issue an export licence for small arms and light weapons, components or ammunition unless the ECOWAS Commission has issued an exception to its moratorium.

You need a Trade Control Licence if you transfer controlled (military or dual-use) goods between one overseas country and another.

Transhipment licences allow controlled goods to pass through the UK on the way to other destinations: find out when you need one and how to use it.

Members of the UK academic community may need an export licence if they are sharing technical information with colleagues in other countries or dealing with other controlled items.

This guidance provides a brief overview about Crown exemption in respect of the transfers of export controlled military list goods or technology owned by the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD).

This website contains data on export licensing decisions which has historically been published as read only in the quarterly and annual reports.

Government Departments:

The Export Control Organisation (ECO) issues licences for controlling the export of strategic goods:

SIA interests cover the entire spectrum of licensing issues pertaining to the Department of Commerce, Defense, State and Treasury: