Open general export licences (OGELs)

Use an OGEL to export controlled dual-use or military goods, software and technology overseas.

This collection brings together a full listing of all the open general export licences (OGELs) issued by the Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU), part of the Department for International Trade.

OGELs are licences with set terms and conditions which you must comply with. They permit the export of controlled goods on the consolidated list of strategic and military items that require export authorisation to named destinations.

Each licence:

  • covers a different activity that is controlled
  • specifies the items you are allowed to export under that OGEL
  • the destinations where items can be sent

You must read the terms and conditions of the OGEL before registering.

Use ECJU’s OGEL and Goods Checker Tools database to identify and download the OGEL you require and to check the licence terms and conditions.

You can generally start using an OGEL as soon as you have registered.

If you cannot comply with the terms and conditions of an OGEL you must apply for a standard individual export licence or open individual export licence (OIEL).

It is a criminal offence to export controlled goods without the correct licence. Penalties vary depending on the nature of the offence.

Apply for an OGEL

Apply using SPIRE, the online export licensing system.

Read guidance on using SPIRE to apply for an export licence.

Terms and conditions

All OGEL holders must:

  • meet all the specified terms and conditions of the licence being used for a specific export
  • keep records as required by the licence
  • submit annual reports of your use of the OGEL through SPIRE

You must state the SPIRE reference on all shipping documentation.


By applying for an export licence you have met some of your legal obligations. ECJU have a statutory right to inspect export records to ensure correct use of licences.

See our compliance code of practice.

Our compliance officers visit companies with export licences. They ensure compliance with export control legislation and licence conditions have been met.

Find out more about compliance visits.

If you receive a compliance warning letter you must comply with any conditions within the timescale in the letter. Otherwise we may revoke your licence.

Serious cases of non-compliance may be prosecuted by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Penalties and fines

Breaching export controls is a criminal offence. Penalties can vary depending on the nature of the offence.

They include:

  • revocation of licences
  • seizure of goods
  • issuing of a compound penalty fine
  • imprisonment for up to 10 years

See how to voluntarily report any licensing irregularities to HMRC.

Notices to exporters

Sign up to our notices to exporters email alert service to keep up-to-date with changes to export licences and legislation.

Military and dual-use goods open general export licences

Dual-use open general export licences

Dual use items are goods and technology with both military and civilian applications.

Military goods open general export licences

Permit for the export of less-restricted controlled military goods.

Transhipment open general export licences

Transhipment licences allow controlled goods to pass through the UK on the way to other destinations.

Open general trade control licences

Licences which control the trafficking and brokering activity between one third country and another where the transaction or deal is brokered in the UK or by a UK person.

Other types of open general export licences

There are a number of open general export licences (OGELs) that do not fall neatly into other categories.

Retained general export authorisations

EU general export authorisations

European Union General Export Authorisations (EU GEAs) are the EU equivalent of an OGEL and are designed to provide licensing coverage for certain specified dual use items to specified non-EU destinations.

Published 29 September 2013
Last updated 28 June 2022 + show all updates
  1. Addition of 2 new open general export licences (OGELs) that permit the export of certain items to India: military goods and technology: India and dual-use items: India.

  2. Added General Trade Licence: Russia Sanctions - Vessels

  3. General Trade Licence: Russia Sanctions, Aviation Insurance added to 'Other types of open general export licences' section.

  4. Addition of General Trade Licence: Russia sanctions, Open general export licence (export of dual-use items to EU member states) and Retained General Export Authorisations to collection listing.

  5. Addition of Open general export licence (military goods: A400M collaborative programme - from February 2020).

  6. Added 'Open general export licence (export for repair/replacement under warranty: dual-use items)' to page.

  7. We updated the collection because DIT has reviewed and updated a number of open general export licences (OGELs) and open general trade control licences (OGTCLs) permitting exports to Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners carrying out military operations in Yemen.

  8. Addition of 6 military goods OGELS.

  9. Added 'Export of dual-use items to EU member states' OGEL. Also added 'Open general export licence (information security items)', which was published in April 2018.

  10. Added new military OGEL (TF-X).

  11. Updated text to reflect the fact that Export Control Organisation is now part of the Department for International Trade.

  12. Added 2 new OGELs (PCBs and components for military goods; PCBs and components for dual-use goods).

  13. Removed OGEL (international non-proliferation regime decontrols: military items) from this collection as it has been permanently revoked.

  14. Added new Military OGEL - A400M.

  15. Added link to new OGEL - Joint Strike Fighter

  16. First published.