Academics and researchers can apply for a licence via the Export Control Organisation online export licensing system SPIRE. The licensing regime provides three types of licence:
The Open General Export Licence (OGEL)
Where an OGEL has been published, no application for a licence is necessary. Instead users can register to use the OGEL via SPIRE subject to the conditions set out in the licence. This allows a registered user to send the specified goods to the specified countries or to carry out trade activities in relation to certain countries.
The Standard Individual Export Licence (SIEL)
The exporter can apply for an export licence in which they specify both the goods and the destination. The licence can only be used for the destination specified and up to a maximum quantity. This would enable use for longer term contracts, projects and repeat business within the duration of the SIEL.
Open Individual Export Licence (OIEL)
The exporter can apply for an export licence in which they specify both the goods and the destination or destinations. The licence can cover multiple shipments and destinations and is often used to cover research collaboration and the provision of technical assistance.
There are eight consolidated criteria against which all applications for a strategic export control licence are assessed on a case by case basis, specifically whether the proposed activities:
- Contravene the UK’s international commitments (e.g. breach of applicable arms embargoes or other sanctions)
- Could be used for internal repression or the abuse of human rights
- Could provoke or prolong armed conflicts or aggravate existing tensions in the destination country
- Could be used aggressively against another country
- Could adversely affect the national security of the UK or allies
- Could be to a destination where the behaviour of the buyer country raises concerns with regard to its attitude to terrorism or respect of international law
- Could be diverted or re-exported under undesirable conditions
- In the case of developing countries, could seriously hamper the sustainable development of the recipient country.