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School of Technology


Export Control

Researchers, particularly those in the scientific and engineering disciplines, need to be aware of and comply with export control regulations.

Export Control legislation controls the proliferation of military, dual-use (technology designed for civil uses that has the potential to be used for military purposes) and WMD technology. These include:

  • the development of military and security-related goods, software or technology; 
  • nuclear science or engineering; 
  • missiles, aerospace and space technology; 
  • autonomous vehicles and stealth technology; 
  • some high strength materials and material production techniques; 
  • some chemicals with toxic properties; 
  • some viruses, pathogens and vaccines; 
  • some sensors and lasers; 
  • some high specification electronics, software and cryptography. 

Any researcher who suspects that their work might be impacted by export control regulation should follow the guidance set out in the University’s Export Control policy and website, and consult the export control lists and work with the Research Office to seek the relevant licence where required. 

Under the legislation items or intangible technology (i.e. the information required for the development, production or use of controlled items) that appear on the UK’s export control lists, or any items or technology intended for use in a WMD programme, require a licence from the UK Export Control Joint Unit before they can be exported outside the UK.

Technology (i.e. information) may be exempt from this requirement if that technology is already in the public domain or if the information to be exported meets the relevant definition of basic scientific research (see the University Export Control Exemption webpage as to exemptions for more detail).

Failure to obtain a licence when one is required is an offence, and legal action can be taken against the University and individual researchers (with imprisonment a possibility for serious cases).  

Changes to Export Control Regulations since 1 January 2021

From the 1 January 2021, as a result of the UK leaving the Brexit transition period, exports of dual-use items or technology to the EU must be made under an Open General Export Licence (OGEL). This is a single licence under which the University can make unlimited exports of dual-use items or technology provided we comply with the OGEL requirements and keep appropriate records of each export of controlled goods to the EU for 3 years. The University has been granted an OGEL by the government for this purpose. 

  • For Goods/technology with a direct military use, or that are exported for WMD use, seek an individual licence as set out on the main University export control pages. 
  • For dual-use goods/technology complete the University’s OGEL record form before the goods/technologies are exported.