Defence exports make a huge contribution to the health of the UK defence sector, as well as the wider national economy. Between 2012 and 2016 the UK achieved an average export figure of £7.3bn per annum. The global export market is quite rightly heavily regulated and there exists a number of robust mechanisms for ensuring UK companies export only the equipment, parts and services that are legally allowed.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, dual-use items departing the UK for an EU customer will require a licence. The UK Government, working through the Export Joint Control Unit and Department for International Trade have created an Open General Export Licence (OGEL) for this purpose. It can be found here.

OGELs are pre-published licences that cover military and dual-use products and services. Using a pre-published licence such as an OGEL reduces the administrative and procedural burden on industry, whilst also maintaining rigorous exporting standards and uniformity. This OGEL will reduce the administrative burden for companies looking to export post-Brexit that could otherwise have increased in the case of the UK exiting the EU without a deal.

Before using the licence companies must register through SPIRE, the Export Control Joint Unit’s (ECJU) electronic licensing system, stating where you will keep records of the exports or transfers along with where the ECJU may inspect them.

This licence will come into force at 23.00 on 29 March 2019 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. In this eventuality UK Government is informing industry that they do not need to seek a licence to export to EU states before this date, but ADS advises registration through SPIRE prior to this date.

On 1 March, the Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU) will host a webinar to explain the issues around EU General Export Authorisations (EU GEAs) and the new OGEL.

The webinar will:

  • raise awareness of the terms of the OGEL
  • provide information on the policy landscape of EU-related legislation in a No Deal Brexit
  • include a Q&A session directly with policy makers

You can register for this webinar here.