Is it possible to challenge a reclassification of goods for an export licence?


If we are informed that goods require an Export License that have not previously required a License how do we obtain additional information as to why they have been reclassified? The goods do not breach any specific sanctions and are for shipment to the UAE. Is it possible to challenge this reclassification?

(This question was asked at one of our recent webinars on Export Controls. You can listen to this webinar on our recent webinars page at


Thank you for your question.

Without context it is difficult to ascertain why your goods would have been reclassified, but I’ll cover several scenarios, one of which will hopefully answer your question.

– If a Technical Officer reads through a SPIRE licence application and believes, based on the information provided, that the goods are described by the controls then they will apply the appropriate Classification. If you believe that this assessment is incorrect, then please contact the Licencing Unit Officer for your case and explain the situation (a small blue circle with a phone in it should appear next to your case in SPIRE). If our Technical Assessment Unit agrees that there has been an error, then your SPIRE application will be re-opened. If there has been no error, your Licencing Officer will confirm this.

– If your goods have been detained by HMRC/UKBF and they have advised that your goods need a licence due to being subject to a Control List Classification, then you need to contact them with any additional information that was not made available at the time of your goods being detained and considered, but only in relation to the Dual Use Control List Classification applied. HMRC/UKBF will then decide how to proceed.

– If you have received an ‘Informing Letter’ from the Export Control Organisation then you are informed, as per Part 6 of the Export Control Order, and need to follow the guidance in the informing letter. There is no challenge to this as the End-Use controls are applied to goods that wouldn’t otherwise have a classification for the export, so no ‘reclassification’ has actually taken place, but such letters are not produced lightly.

Export Action Plan