The UK Export Licensing system has three basic forms of Export Licence. A Standard Individual Export Licence (SIEL) is used for a single export to a single End User and needs application to the UK Government. An Open Individual Export Licence (OIEL) also has to be applied for and this can over licensing for a range of products to a range of destinations. Finally, an Open General Export Licence (OGEL) allows the least sensitive goods to the least sensitive destinations and can be used by any exporter just by registering. It is therefore much quicker to use an OGEL but with over 30 different types available, how do you know if you can use an OGEL for your export?
You could go to the Export Control website and download all current OGELs and read what is allowed on each one. A simpler method is to use the OGEL Checker, a tool available from the Export Control Organisation.
The OGEL Checker is simple to use and after registering you can use the tool. By entering the ‘rating’ (classification entry that your goods are controlled under on the EU List to the lowest possible level) and the destination your goods are going to, the OGEL Checker shows what OGELs you could possibly use for your export. Each OGEL is named to give an indication of what it can be used for. Select the OGEL that looks closest to your export and you will then be asked a series of questions that relate to the use of that particular OGEL. If at any point you give an answer that means that you couldn’t use the licence, the search can be reset so that you can try another. If you find an OGEL that you can use, you are advised to obtain a print out from the OGEL Checker and print out the actual OGEL for your records to make sure that you do comply.
As well as the UK, Germany, Netherlands and France also offer Open Licences although not with exactly the same coverage. Under the EU Regulation, 428/2009, one Open Licence, the Community General Export Authorisation (CGEA), is available to all EU exporters. The European Commission is also considering extending the range of General Authorisations under the EU Regulation so that they can be used by all EU countries. This has been part of proposals for some years but there is still no tangible results of this.
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