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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/notice-to-exporters-202010-processing-licence-applications-during-coronavirus-covid-19/notice-to-exporters-202010-processing-licence-applications-during-coronavirus-covid-19
As the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has led to more remote working for both Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU) staff and exporters alike, this is affecting the ability to manage export licence applications and supporting documentation.
We are aware that it is important for you to maintain business operations across the supply chain, including the requirement to ensure export licence approvals are in place. With many employees working from home, there may be constraints on your ability to process export licence documentation consistently.
You, your overseas customers and UK suppliers may all be experiencing difficulties in sending and receiving original documents by the post, making it difficult for you to comply with:
- supplying ‘wet signatures’ on end user undertakings and similar documents
- obtaining supporting documentation to respond to requests for further information (RFIs)
The following arrangements will stay in place until further notice:
- the response time for RFIs has been increased from 20 to 40 working days
- we do not require exporters to obtain original copies of end user and stockist undertakings - we will accept digital/electronic signatures on supporting documentation (including pdf versions of end user undertakings and stockist undertakings)
- for exporting firearms and ammunition to EU member states, we are amending the EC3 and EC4 forms on GOV.UK to an ‘unlocked’ Word document to enable us to add the details in box 9 and 10 electronically - we will email the completed signed/stamped EC3, but you will not receive a hard copy by post
- you should upload Word versions of EC3 and EC4 forms into SPIRE, not PDFs
- for dual use goods located in another EU member state, and for which we are required to consult those licensing authorities, we will no longer be issuing a hard copy of the licence for presentation to EU member state’s customs - print a copy of the licence from SPIRE (with the green tick) for presentation
We will accept the following types of electronic signatures:
- simple electronic signatures – these include scanned signatures and tick box, plus declarations
- advanced electronic signatures – these are uniquely linked to the signatory, are capable of identifying the signatory, and are linked to data within the signature that can detect any changes made
- qualified electronic signatures – an advanced electronic signature created by a qualified electronic signature creation device, based on a qualified certificate for electronic signatures
Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for UK business
To find out more, visit Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for UK businesses trading internationally.
Further guidance on export controls
Export Control Joint Unit
3 Whitehall Place
Telephone 020 7215 4594
Contact for general queries about strategic export licensing.
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.
Notices to exporters
All notices published since July 2016 can be found on the notices to exporters collection page.
You can find:
- notices to exporters from September 2012 to July 2016 at the National Archives
- notices to exporters prior to September 2012 at the National Archives
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