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Export Control Licences

Types of licence

The ECJU issues three main types of export licence potentially relevant to the University:

  1. Open General Export Licences (“OGELs” – these include ‘retained General Export Authorisations’ copied and retained from EU law after Brexit): these are published licences requiring only registration, not an application, and they are valid indefinitely unless they are revised or withdrawn by ECJU. They cover unlimited quantities of certain items to certain countries (as listed in each OGEL), subject to certain conditions. ECJU publishes an online checker tool to help identify if an OGEL is available. They are available through immediate registration on the SPIRE online system. There is an OGEL that covers nearly all dual-use items exported to the EU and another for such items exported to the US (as well as Canada, Norway, etc.); these are intended to make export licensing of dual-use items to these low risk destinations as simple as possible;
  2. Open Individual Export Licences (“OIELs”): these require a detailed application and are valid for five years. They cover unlimited quantities of specified goods to specified customers (and industrial sectors), subject to certain conditions. Applications require a business case demonstrating significant volumes of previous or expected exports; and
  3. Standard Individual Export Licences (“SIELs”): where an OGEL is not available for a proposed export, these cover specified quantities and values of specified goods to a single specified customer, subject to certain conditions. These require a detailed application and are valid for two years or until they are ‘exhausted’.


Licence applications

The NSG shall determine whether:

  1. the export would be covered by an OGEL or OIEL already held by the University. In this case, no licence application is required and NSG may approve the export, subject to fulfilling the conditions of the applicable licence;
  2. If the export would be covered by an OGEL not currently held by the University. In this case, NSG shall ensure registration for the relevant OGEL and they may then approve the export, subject to fulfilling the conditions of the applicable licence; or
  3. If the export is not covered by an OGEL, the NSG shall facilitate an application for a SIEL (or, if there is a sufficient business case, an OIEL) in collaboration with the PI or proposer. If this is granted, they may then approve the export, subject to fulfilling the conditions of the licence; and
  4. In the case of items subject to US controls, the NSG shall obtain legal advice before authorising the transfer of such items within the UK or their export out of the UK.



If any staff propose to carry out of the UK any documents containing technology subject to export controls (whether on paper or stored electronically e.g. on a laptop) or to access such documents remotely when outside the UK, they must consult the relevant professional services team (Research Services or Legal Services). 


Using a Licence

When a licence is obtained, the PI or proposer will be provided with a copy and how the conditions of the licence will be discussed, in particular:

  1. In all cases: ensure that the items to be transferred and their destination country and recipients (consignees, end-users) are covered by the licence;
  2. For physical exports: staff concerned (the PI or PD) shall ensure that the licence title or number are referenced on the shipping documents, including the customs export declaration (C88 Form, Box 44). The freight forwarder/customs agent completing the declaration shall be instructed in writing that the item is subject to export controls, to include these details and to provide the University with a copy of the declaration. The PI or PD shall check the copy of the declaration to verify that the details of the licence have been correctly referenced;
  3. For electronic exports of documents containing controlled technology: staff concerned shall reference the licence title or number on the documents, together with the ECCN(s) of the controlled technology therein, and state these details in the email subject heading;
  4. For all exports: staff concerned shall inform xxxx of all exports. Xxxx shall maintain records of each export, as required by the licence.



For each export conducted under a licence, the PI or PD shall record

  1. name, address and country of consignee, end-user, and ultimate end-user (if different);
  2. particulars of the goods or technology exported/transferred including quantities;
  3. dates of exportation/transfer;
  4. the method of export/transfer;
  5. licence used;
  6. for hardware items, copies of the commercial invoice and the completed export declaration (‘C88’ Single Administrative Document);
  7. ECCN of the material or technology; and
  8. any further information required by the licence (e.g. in the case of UK SIELs, a copy of the original, signed End User Undertaking).