how long does it take for the process of obtaining the licence? is it one off licence or per shipment?
That would depend…
To use an OGEL (Open General Export Licence) which allows the export of less sensitive equipment to less sensitive destinations you just need to register on SPIRE and the licence can be used immediately – BUT READ ALL THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS CAREFULLY !!! You will be subject to audit.
For a SIEL (Standard Individual Export Licence) the application will take approximately 6 weeks, and the licence will be valid for the export of a specific quantity/value of goods to a named consignee and valid until it is exhausted or two years whichever comes first.
An OIEL (Open Individual Export Licence) is a bit like a SIEL and a bit like an OIEL – you will be subject to audit, but the licence is only destination specific and can cover a wide range of parts/products so they are very useful – however the application process is a long one. The last OIEL that I applied for took 8 months to be approved.
Targets for licence processing of SIELs is to complete 70% of them in 20 working days and 99% in 60 working days. See the Export Control Organisation dashboard for performance against these targets at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/export-control-licensing-performance-dashboard/export-control-licensing-performance-dashboard.
The target for OIELs is 60% within 60 working days and again the performance against these targets can be seen on the ECO dashboard.
A SIEL can be used for one or multiple shipments to the same end user over a 2 year period.