Notice to exporters 2017/07: changes to export control legislation

Published 15 March 2017

On 23 November 2016 the European Union adopted new rules concerning goods which could be used for capital punishment, torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The Department for International Trade (Export Control Organisation) has amended the Export Control Order 2008 to reflect these changes.

The list of these goods was most recently amended in July 2014. Read the current versions of Annex II and Annex III.

The newly revised EU rules are contained in regulation (EU) 2016/2134 of the European Parliament and of the council, amending council regulation (EU) No. 1236/2005 concerning trade in certain goods which could be used for capital punishment, torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Changes to UK legislation are contained in the Export Control (Amendment)(No.2) Order 2017 (S.I. 2017/193) which will come into force on 17 March 2017.

As a result of these changes there are new prohibitions on:

  • transit within the customs territory of the EU of Annex II goods and, in certain circumstances, Annex III and Annex IIIa goods
  • the provision of brokering services related to Annex II goods
  • the provision of training related to Annex II goods
  • the display or offering for sale of any Annex II goods at an exhibition or fair taking place within the EU (unless such display/sale does not promote the sale or supply of the goods to a person or entity in a third country)
  • the sale or purchase of advertising time or space for Annex II goods

The new legislation also allows for:

  • more flexible licensing of Annex III goods as they may have legitimate uses
  • more flexible licensing of drugs primarily used in medicines but which are controlled because they may potentially be used for execution by lethal injection; such goods were previously listed under Annex III and are now listed in a separate Annex IIIa
  • a new general export authorisation (or ‘EU GEA’), which is a pre-published form of licence, to all destinations that have prohibited capital punishment. This licence is contained in the new Annex IIIb of the regulation
  • the option to grant a ‘global authorisation’ for repeat exports of Annex III and Annex IIIa goods (which are referred to as open individual export licences (OIELs) under the UK’s export control procedures)

0.1 Contact details


Export Control Organisation
3rd Floor
1 Victoria Street


Contact for general queries about strategic export licensing.

More information on export controls is available on the ECO pages of the GOV.UK website, also the SPIRE export licensing database.

This notice is for information only and has no force in law. If the information here applies to your business, we recommend you take appropriate action; including seeking legal advice if necessary.