Electronic transfer abroad of controlled military technology and software
How to get an export licence to send military product information or related software applications overseas electronically.
UK export controls on technology make specific provision for electronic transfer of military technology. This could include any information that someone would need to make or use weapons or other military products. The information could take various forms, such as a diagram or a manual.
An electronic transfer abroad means sending the controlled technology or software by any electronic means from the UK to another country. This could be done using methods such as:
- email or other computer messaging
- computer file transfer
- telephone call
- video, including video conferencing
- text messaging
Electronic transfers are covered by the same export controls and licensing requirements as physical transfers. If you electronically transfer controlled military technology abroad, then you must obtain a licence. There are 4 types of export licence that can cover electronic transfers of military technology - 3 open licences and 1 individual licence. Which one you need depends on:
- the nature of the military technology you’re transferring
- the destination of your electronic transfers
Guidance on electronic transfers
UK export control legislation makes special provision for electronic transfers of controlled military technology and software. For export control purposes controlled ‘technology’ means specific information that someone would need for developing, producing or using goods whose export is legally controlled.
Controlled military technology refers to information that relates to items on the UK Military List for export control. You can get details of goods covered by export controls in the guide UK Strategic Export Control Lists.
Getting detailed information and guidance
The Export Control Organisation (ECO) has produced a detailed guide for exporters who transfer military technology electronically. The guide explains what is controlled, the types of licence available, how to apply for a licence and how to comply with licensing conditions.
You can access separate associated information on:
Open General Export Licences (OGELs)
The first step in licensing your electronic technology transfers is to check whether you could use an Open General Export Licence (OGEL). OGELs are general licences that allow any exporter to export specified controlled items to eligible destinations. They remove the need to apply for an individual licence.
If you can meet all the licensing conditions you may be able to register with the ECO to use one of several OGELs available. In particular, there are 3 OGELs available that apply specifically to electronic military technology transfers:
- Technology for Military Goods
- Military and Dual-Use Goods: UK forces deployed in embargoed destinations
- Military and Dual-Use Goods: UK forces deployed in non-embargoed destinations
You can get more information in the guide on Military Goods Open General Export Licences.
If you transfer controlled military technology using an OGEL you must adhere to the specified conditions and keep certain records. It is your responsibility to check the licence requirements and keep up to date with any changes. For more information on the record-keeping and compliance responsibilities of exporters, see compliance and enforcement of export controls.
Individual licences (SIELs and OIELs)
If you are not entitled to use an OGEL for electronic transfer of military technology you might be able to apply for one of the other types of licences issued by the ECO. These include:
BIS ECO Helpline 020 7215 4594 or email: email@example.com
Published: 13 August 2012
Updated: 12 December 2012
- Amended broken links and added related guides
- First published.
Related guides: UK Strategic Export Control Lists Standard Individual Export Licences Supplementary Weapons of Mass Destruction End-Use controls Assessment of export licence applications: criteria and policy Military Goods Open General Export Licences Overview of export control legislation Export control legislation for UK academics and researchers Weapons of mass destruction: End-Use Control Open Individual Export Licences Export of technology Compliance and enforcement of export controls