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Import and export licences

If your business is considering exporting or importing goods, you will need to check if you need a licence.

There are controls on exports of military or paramilitary goods, technology, artworks, plants and animals, medicines and chemicals.
Licence requirements may depend on the potential use of the item – eg if it has a military application (usually referred to as dual-use goods) and where you are exporting to.

There are also controls on imports including firearms, plants and animals, foods, medicines, textiles and chemicals. Whether you need a licence can also depend on where the goods are coming from.

Exporting or importing controlled goods without the right licence is a criminal offence, so it’s important to check first.

You may need a licence even if you are only exporting or importing goods temporarily – eg taking a sample to an exhibition.

Restrictions on the export of technology and defence goods do not just apply to weapons or military hardware. They also apply to goods that are designed for civil use but can be used for military purposes,usually referred to as dual-use goods – items such as machine tools,
computers and marine equipment. There are also some restrictions on moving military goods between third countries, ie not involving the UE.
If you’re planning to export anything with a potential military use you should always seek advice on whether a licence is required.
Form allows the export of specific goods by any exporter to a range of destinations. Open licences may be available for less restricted controlled items. ou must register for these licences and adhere to all terms and conditions. If you cannot fulfil all the terms and conditions you will need to apply for a Standard Individual Export Licence, as detailed below.
An Standard Individual Export Licence allows the export of a quantity of specified goods to a specified importer as set out in the licence.