Guidance

Crown exemption for controlled military list equipment and technology owned by the UK MOD

Exemptions from export and trade control licences for controlled military goods owned by the Crown.

Overview

This guidance provides a brief overview about Crown exemption in respect of the transfers of export-controlled military list goods, technology or software owned by the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD). It applies to exporters engaged by the MOD, including UK armed forces, to export on their behalf military list goods, technology or software.

Other government departments have their own arrangements for Crown exemption.

Crown exemption does not apply to the transfer from the United Kingdom of any goods, technology or software controlled under the EU dual use regulation.

Crown exemption does not apply to the transfer from the United Kingdom of any goods, technology or software owned privately by commercial entities.

Crown exemption

The UK Crown is not bound by the provisions of the Export Control Act 2002 for goods specified by schedule 2 of the Export Control Order 2008 (ie the UK military list which forms part of the UK Strategic Export Control Lists).

Official letter granting crown exemption

Where the Crown owns the controlled military goods, technology or software being exported, and has similar rights over disposal, then an exporter acting on the Crown’s behalf may carry out the export without a licence. This Crown Exemption for MOD UK/UK Armed Forces-owned goods, technology or software is subject to the issuing of an approval letter by the MOD team in the Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU).

Contact details:

Export Control Joint Unit - Ministry of Defence team
2nd floor
Department for International Trade
3 Whitehall Place
London, SW1A 2AW

Telephone: 020 7218 9821 Email: ECJU-MODTeam@mod.uk

Only approval letters issued by the MOD team in the ECJU constitute formal approval to export military goods, technology or software on behalf of the MOD under Crown exemption. Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) formally recognise these letters as authorisation of Crown exemption.

Letters of approval issued by any other MOD entity than the MOD team in ECJU are not valid and will constitute non-compliance.

When crown exemption does not apply

Crown exemption does not apply if the goods are owned privately. In this case an export or trade control licence will be required if the goods, technology or software are subject to control by the Department for International Trade (DIT) Export Control Organisation.

Goods are generally controlled either because they are listed on the UK Strategic Export Control Lists or as a result of end use controls.

Goods vested in the Crown under a contract with the Ministry of Defence do not automatically have Crown exemption status unless ownership of the goods formally passes to the Ministry of Defence. If in doubt, please contact the MOD team in ECJU.

Further information

Published 10 September 2012
Last updated 3 August 2017 + show all updates
  1. Updated contact details for the team that issues Crown exemption letters.
  2. Updated contact details for ACP to include an email address.
  3. Changed content from Crown Immunity to Crown exemptions
  4. Removed information on Open General Export Licences
  5. Amended broken links and added related guides
  6. First published.