What are Export Controls?

Export Controls is legislation that limits the export of certain Items (goods, components, software, technology or technical assistance) from the UK to another destination outside of the UK. The legislation is in place to promote global security, prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism and human rights abuses. 

What is an 'export'?

An export can be a tangible or intangible Item sent by any method from within the UK to an entity based outside the UK. This includes sharing knowledge, information, know-how via electronic methods such as video calls, email, or accessing controlled Items via the cloud from outside the UK. 

How do I know if I need an export control licence? 

If you are working in a high risk area with an entity based overseas you should consider the Items and Technology you are or will be working with and assess them against the UK Strategic Export Control List using the Goods Checker. Only the PI or key academic staff member can decide whether a licence is required, however support is given through the International Risk and Export Control Officer as well as the key contact within the University for your area. 

The key thing to remember is that knowledge/information etc which relates to a physical good and is sent electronically could be controlled. Even if you are not working with a controlled Item, if you are working with an entity in a key country and you have been 'informed' or are 'aware' an Item could be used for military purposes an End-User check may be required, see here for specific details about when a licence is required but you are not working with controlled Items.  

What do I need to know before starting a collaboration?

Develop your project proposal with as much technical detail as possible, including key samples, materials, components, equipment, facilities and software. Assess whether any Items (tangible or intangible) involved in your project will be subject to export controls and/or the entity you are working with or exporting to is in a key country or you have concerns/red flags regarding working with them. If so, complete the Export Control Query form for the IRECO to offer further advice.

What should I be aware of when working with controlled Items? 

If you have not got an export control licence to export Items overseas then ensure no exports are made of controlled Items until a licence is obtained. If you are only sending controlled Items to receipients within the UK (and you have confirmation the receipient is based in the UK if it's sent electronically) then a licence isn't required. However you should include the following statement when sending the Items: 

"This Item/information is a UK Export controlled Item/information, categorised by code XXX on the UK Strategic Export Control List. A licence might be required by your organisation to export this Item/information outside the UK: it is your organisation’s responsibility to check whether such a licence is required."

How do I obtain an export control licence?

Complete the Export Control Query form if you are unsure, or if you definitely know you require a licence complete the Export Control Application Information form. The IRECO will recieve the form, assess the information you have provided and advise you of the next steps. If they have been able to submit an export control application based on the inforation you have provided the IRECO will advised you of this and the expected processing time. 

What should I be aware of when travelling overseas?

Please see the specific information online here regarding travelling overseas to attend a conference or on university business, working overseas as part of your University role or basing yourself overseas to work remotely. 

Who is responsible for ensuring compliance with Export Control legislation? 

The person exporting the controlled Items is ultimately responsible for compliance. Assessment of research/teaching which falls within the scope of export controls can only be made by the relevant staff member with the knowledge to fully understand the Items to be exported. Guidance can be sought from the International Risk and Export Control Officer on this area and how to use the UK Strategic Export Control List Goods Checker tool to make an assessment, as well as make an application if needed. Please read the consequences of non-compliance section for further details. 

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