In 2004 the UK introduced new controls on the trading, commonly referred to as ‘trafficking and brokering’, of certain goods. These controls were introduced by the Export Control Act 2002 and were reviewed three years after they came into effect. As a result of the Review of Export Control Legislation (2007), the government decided to implement a number of changes.
The changes implemented in the Export Control Order 2008, which came into effect on 6 April 2009, introduced a number of amendments, including extending trade controls to transport-related activities undertaken within the UK or by UK persons overseas.
This guide provides an introduction to how the UK’s trade controls have been amended to include transport-related activities, and where you can find guidance on how these controls affect you. It should also be read in conjunction with the associated guides specified.
The guide is aimed specifically at different elements of the transport sector including freight forwarders, transport providers and UK employees or the self-employed working overseas.
This guide is for guidance only. It is not a statement of law. Before exporting you should refer to the legal provisions in force at the time. Where legal advice is required exporters should make their own arrangements.
Controls on transport-related export activities
Anyone working within the UK transport sector, including transport providers and freight forwarders who deal with military or dual-use controlled goods covered by export control legislation, should be aware of the trade controls on transport-related activities. This also extends to UK individuals or ‘persons’ and the self-employed working overseas.
What the controls cover
The trade controls are structured into three categories (A, B, and C), and from 6 April 2009 onwards incorporate controls on transport-related activities undertaken within the UK or by UK persons overseas. This means that transport-related activities are subject to the level of control applicable to the category of goods being moved.
For example, in the case of Category A goods (highly sensitive goods), transport-related activities encompass a range of activities such as:
- transporting the goods
- any involvement in making arrangements for the movement of the goods
- any supporting services being provided to the transport provider
- ancillary services, including the sole provision of finance, insurance or re-insurance
- any act calculated to promote the supply or delivery of Category A goods, including general advertising and promotion - for example, displaying the products at trade fairs or advertising them in magazines
- agencies providing drivers, pilots or administrative staff to transport providers
Depending on the nature of the goods, the export destination and the type of transport related activity taking place, a trade control licence might be required. For more details about the different categories of trade control licences, see the guide on Trade Control Licences.
The Export Control Organisation (ECO) has produced downloadable guidance to assist individuals and companies who are or may become involved in arranging or providing transport for Category A, B or C goods to understand the controls and determine when a licence will be required.
This guidance covers the following areas:
- the legislation
- controls on activities related to the transport of Category A Goods to non-embargoed destinations
- controls on activities related to the transport of goods to embargoed destinations
- controls on activities related to the transport of Category B Goods to non-embargoed destinations
- controls on activities related to the transport of Category C Goods to non-embargoed destinations
- types of trade licences and how to apply for them
- frequently asked questions
- contacts for further advice
You can access related guidance on:
- trade controls - see the guides on trafficking and brokering (trade controls) and brokering (trade) of dual-use items
- goods which are being transited or transhipped through the UK - see the guide on transit and transhipment
BIS ECO Helpline
020 7215 4594