Defence and security exports: regulations and restrictions

Find out about what the regulations and restrictions are when you export your goods and services overseas.

There are a number of restrictions and regulations you need to know about if you want to export your defence and security goods and services.

Export control

First you need to find out if your goods and services need a strategic export control licence. If they do, you can apply for an export licence online.

The government controls UK exports of strategic goods, technology and software to safeguard the collective security of the UK and its allies. Strategic goods include military equipment and dual-use goods (goods that can be used for both civil and military purposes).

The Export Control Organisation (ECO) is responsible for assessing applications for export of specific categories of controlled goods.

Any item exported from the UK that is subject to UK export controls needs a strategic export control licence. This includes products exported temporarily for overseas exhibitions.

Notices of additions or amendments to the list of affected goods and services are issued throughout the year. Check the Export Control Organisation blog regularly for updates.

Promoting classified goods overseas (MOD Form 680)

Companies planning to release classified (‘Official-Sensitive’ or above) defence related equipment or information overseas for use in export promotion or campaigns must have MOD Form 680) clearance prior to release.

MOD Form 680 approval is not required for equipment or information classified below ‘Official-Sensitive’.

MOD Form 680 approval doesn’t remove the need for an export licence

Trade sanctions

You should consult the current list of arms embargos and other restrictions before starting any exporting activity. The UK has certain trade sanctions in place with overseas countries, some of which apply to defence and security products and services.

Further help with restrictions and regulations

UKTI Defence and Security Organisation (UKTI DSO) has expert advisers who can help companies with regulatory issues. They also provide advice and practical help for UK defence and security companies.