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UK Export Controls in a Nutshell
Export Controls aim to limit proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and counter international threats.
When planning a new research project, Export Controls checks must be made in parallel to starting applications for funding and not once funding has been awarded.
UK Export Controls contain the three primary elements of
Military, Dual-use and 'Catch all.'
Export Control applies to research produced by universities due to the potential for certain research to have a ‘dual use.’
This means that whilst research may have been developed with a certain purpose in mind, it has the potential to be utilised for other means including military, arms, WMD, terrorism and for other purposes detailed in these pages.
PI is responsible
for ensuring that the research complies with the UK Export Control Legislation, and will be personally liable if exporting controlled goods/data outside the UK borders without a licence.
Exemptions apply to the controls of software and technology (
but not goods
) when they consist of information already in the public domain, the dissemination of
basic scientific research
and relating to the minimum information necessary for a patent application. However, exemptions will never apply to WMD End Use Controls. Academics should not assume the ‘basic scientific research’ exemption applies to their research – questions included within Worktribe should still be addressed.
Failure to obtain an appropriate licence to export controlled goods may result in a criminal offense being committed.
These pages provide information about export control. Please contact the Research Strategy and Services Division via
for more advice.
About UK Export Controls
Activities Subject to Export Control
International Travel Guidance
Types of Export Licenses
Audit Record Keeping and Sanctions
Export Controls and Your Research
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