how do i know if i really need an export license



i am just sending one or two boxes of clothes or shoes to an non EU country per month, value of about £1000 or £1500 for that box.
So, how do i know if i really need an export license? Do i need to have have special documents/ status at all? I am sending to Ukraine- some 2nd hand goods, e.g. books or clothes, but i will send some new clothes and shoes too.


Dear Tom
The Export Control Organisation is the only organisation that can provide definitive "yes" or "no" answer as to whether a company needs an export licence. However export licences in the main are required for military and dual-use goods. There are also some conttrols of goods to countries which are subject to sanctions. For full information look at:
As you are looking to export books and clothes to Ukraine, it is unlikely that you will need an export licence. However, some countries require second hand clothes to be fumigated before entry – check with your freight forwarder or your buyer in the Ukraine.
If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.



The following checklist outlines the broad categories of goods which are likely to be controlled:

· most items that have been specially designed or modified for military use
· dual-use items – those that can be used for civil or military purposes
· associated technology and software
· goods that might be used for torture
· radioactive sources

The main reason why these types of goods are controlled is because, they are listed on one of the UK Strategic Export Control Lists. The Control Lists are a listing of items for which a licence is required from the ECO. The Consolidated List is compiled from seven lists in various pieces of international legislation. The main elements of the Consolidated List are the UK Military List and theEU Dual-Use List.

Depending on your goods, you will need to consult the relevant list and determine the relevant ‘rating’ or classification of your products, before applying for a licence.

The ECO (Export Control Office) is concerned with goods of a ‘strategic’ nature such as military or civilian (dual-use) goods that can be used for military purposes. Export controls on other categories of goods are the responsibility of other departments.

Margaret Chadwick : Director
Tel: 01954 261561


The only additional pointer I’d like to add to Tracy’s comprehensive advice is that you can also have a look at the additional guidance page:

This sets out all the different types of controls that exist and exactly what you will need to check out for when exporting. Depending on the nature of your export – the goods may not be on a control list, if you are trading with a sanctioned destination, you will need to check out end use controls. This link will give you access to sanctioned destinations
for which export control will apply.



Export Action Plan