Is there a way to avoid having to apply for individual licenses for each sale into key and developing markets?


At my Company we sell Cisco systems that have embedded encryption software. We can use an OGEL (Open General Export License) when exporting to the USA and within the EEC however, we are required to use SIELs (Standard Individual Export Licences) in certain markets such as Nigeria and South Africa and in the Middle East. These take days to complete and 5 to 20 days for approval. This puts us at a competitive disadvantage to other exporters, such as India, as it increases our cost of sale and time to market. Is there a way we accelerate the global sales process for key growth areas such as the Middle East and Africa and streamline the costs to avoid having to apply for individual licenses for each sale into developing markets please?

(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


It may be possible for you to apply for an OIEL (Open Individual Export Licence) which is similar to the OGEL in that you will receive an ECO audit at some point in the future, but allows for destinations that aren’t covered by the OGELs.

They are not consignee or value specific like a SIEL, you could list a number of parts or items of equipment and countries that you are looking to sell to. There is potentially a requirement for you to have a history of regular SIEL applications or a good business case for the granting of an OIEL.

Be aware that they do take a while to process – my last OIEL took 8 months from submission to approval and that was just for ML6 goods (military vehicle parts) going to Singapore and South Korea.


Good morning Andrew,

Cotecna Inspection Ltd would be happy to assist you with certification for shipments to Nigeria & Kurdistan, amongst others.

Please contact me on 020 8277 7725 or e-mail to [email protected] for further information and guidance.

Thank you,

Andrea Sweeting


Suggest you consider applying for an OIEL When listing your items be specific about where they fall in Cat 5 ie Part 1 or Part 2. Please complete the business justification – you can apply for these even if you don’t have a track record of SIEL applications. We are interested in the clear business need. Download PDF here.

Export Action Plan