What we do

The Export Control Organisation (ECO) issues licences for controlling the export of strategic goods.

Strategic goods include:

  • military equipment
  • dual-use goods - goods that can be used for both civil and military purposes
  • products used for torture
  • radioactive sources

ECO aims to help the UK’s businesses export responsibly and within the law. Our licensing process asks what is being exported, to where and for whom.

Find out if you need a strategic export control licence

Apply for an export licence online (SPIRE)

Learn more about training for exporters


We are responsible for:

  • assessing and issuing export licences for strategic goods based on the EU consolidated criteria
  • auditing companies to ensure compliance with open licences
  • working with other government departments on counter-proliferation activities
  • helping to shape worldwide arms control policies
  • developing UK export licensing legislation
  • providing help, training and advice to exporters


In 2013 to 2014, our priorities will be to:

  • provide an efficient, improving and rigorous export licensing service
  • become a more customer focused organisation, responsive to the needs of a wide range of exporters
  • provide support to major export campaigns
  • maintain an effective export control regime based on the consolidated criteria, which takes into account UK national interests and obligations

Who we are

We are part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) under its International Affairs, Trade Policy, and Export Controls directorate.

We work closely with other government departments as part of the licence decision making process.

We work on these topics

  1. Trade and investment

    Overseas trade and inward investment are vital for the UK's prosperity. Through its trade and investment policies, the government aims to help UK businesses succeed internationally and encourage overseas companies to work with the UK. Read more

We produce detailed guidance in these categories

  1. Import and export controls

    Which goods are controlled and how to get licences for them; the UK Strategic Export Control Lists; dealing with the Export Control Organisation (ECO). Read more

  2. Embargoes and sanctions

    Trade restrictions on exports of arms, military goods and Dual-Use Items to individual countries. Read more


Our publications

Contact ECO


Export Control Organisation
3rd Floor
1 Victoria Street


Contact for general queries about strategic export licensing.


Awareness Co-ordinator
Export Control Organisation
3rd Floor
1 Victoria Street


Contact for queries about strategic export control training for exporters.


Head of Compliance
Export Control Organisation
3rd Floor
1 Victoria Street


If you are unhappy with the service we provide, we would like to know. The first step is to speak to your usual contact in the ECO, such as your case licensing officer. If you are still not satisfied, you should write to the Head of Compliance.

Make an FOI request

  1. Read about the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and how to make a request
  2. Check our previous releases to see if we’ve already answered your question
  3. Make a new request by contacting us at:

Freedom of Information requests

Information Rights Unit
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
1 Victoria Street


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