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Research Operations Office



‘Export’ applies to the transfer of controlled goods, technology or software from the UK to a destination outside the UK. This includes:

  • The physical export of items;
  • Electronic transfers (e.g. fax, email or uploading information to an overseas server);
  • Travelling overseas with controlled information on paper, in a laptop, USB stick or similar;
  • Oral transmission (e.g. conversation, telephone or video conferencing) where the detail of a technology contained in a document is read out or communicated in a manner that is substantially the same as providing the recipient with the document;
  • Trafficking or brokering goods between two overseas countries.

Under exceptional circumstances, transfers within the UK will also be within scope, but only where it is known that the ultimate end use of the item or information is related to WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction) outside the UK.  This may include teaching where the tutor is informed, aware or has reason to suspect that a student intends to use the knowledge provided for WMD purposes.


‘Technology’ is defined as information necessary for the development, production or use of goods. This might take the form of blueprints, plans, diagrams, models, formulae, tables, engineering designs and specifications, or manuals and instructions, either written or recorded on other media or devices such as disks, tapes or read-only memories. Technology that is not ‘require’ and ‘necessary’ for the development, production or use of controlled goods is not controlled.

The UK Strategic Export Control Lists

UK export control legislation is primarily governed by two lists. The UK Military and Paramilitary List, items on which require a licence for any export outside the UK, and the EU Dual-Use List, items on which largely only require a licence for export outside the EU. Items listed on Annex IV of the EU Dual-Use List also require a licence for export within the EU.

The ‘Strategic Export Control Lists’ combine the two lists above.

WMD End Use

For the purposes of export control ‘WMD end use’ means “use in connection with the development, production, handling, operation, maintenance, storage, detection, identification or dissemination of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, or the development, production, maintenance or storage of missiles capable of delivery of such weapons” (Export Control Order 2008 No3231 Regulation 2).