Exporting License Guide
An exporting license is required to export certain kinds of goods from the United Kingdom. The Export Control Organisation is in charge of issuing exporting licenses and determining what kinds of goods must be controlled. Businesses can apply for several different kinds of licenses based on what kind of goods they are exporting, what country they are exporting to, and how often they are exporting.
Is It Required?
Exporting licenses are required for a variety of reasons, but most of the goods for which they are required have potential military uses. These include things like military weapons and vehicles, radioactive sources, torture goods, and so-called dual-use goods that may be used for military purposes even though they were not designed for use by the military. Things like hard drives, chemicals, and other products may fall into the dual-use category. Exporting licenses are also required for products going to certain kinds of destinations.
The Destination of the Products
The government requires an exporting license for goods going to controlled areas. These areas may be controlled due to concerns about regional instability, internal repression, or human rights violations. There may be concerns that the destination is developing weapons of mass destruction. Foreign policy and international trade commitments, including EU or UN trade sanctions or embargoes are other reasons for export of certain items to be controlled. Finally, some items are controlled for the security of the United Kingdom and its allies.
Open General Exporting License
There are several different kinds of exporting licenses. Open General Export Licences (OGELs) are used for less restricted exports. Forty-one different licenses are available. No application is required, but businesses do have to register once for each license they intend to use. It is important to know which one is the right one to use, as each of the licenses covers a different range of circumstances. Once the individual or business has registered for the license, they are subject to regular compliance visits.
Standard Individual Export License
If the goods, technologies, or software are not covered by an OGEL, or if it is headed to a destination that is not covered, the company should apply for a Standard Individual Export License (SIEL). This kind of exporting license is specific to the company for a set quantity and/or value of goods, so it is a much narrower kind of license. The individual or company has to apply for this type of exporting license and must provide supporting documentation that describes why they should be permitted to export the goods to the proposed destination.
Open Individual Exporting License
The final type of exporting license is a concessionary license. It is company-specific and is designed to cover long-term exporting contracts, projects, and other kinds of repeat business. There is no set quantity or value of goods, though the government may set these kinds of controls on the license. Businesses applying for this kind of exporting license will generally have to have a good track record in exporting before applying for an OIEL and it should replace at least 20 SIEL applications a year. The company will also be subject to regular compliance visits.
Exporting licenses are required by law for certain kinds of exports, so if you are planning to get into the export business, it is important to understand the laws. Make sure to consult the Export Control Organization if you have any questions about exporting licenses.
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