Status of SPIRE pre- application Service


WE received notice from SPIRE about 18 months ago that the pre-application advice service that had been in operation (whereby exporters could seek advice and guidance on particular items of equipment) was being withdrawn. , it sounds as if this service has been re-instated. Is this correct?

(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.

I’m not sure which service you are referring to, but it could either be the F680 process or the Control List Classification process, so I’ll comment on both.

The F680 process is one of the Ministry of Defence’s mechanisms for approving the release of information in accordance with the Official Secrets Act, and detailed in the Cabinet Office’s Security Policy Framework (SPF). It was also regularly used by those exporting non-security classified military material to ‘test’ the governments appetite to certain exports. However, this was not the primary reason for this process, and so such requests were subsequently rejected. For further details of the F680 process please read the guidance on

The Control List Classification service was suspended several years ago (much more than 18 months) and enabled those exporters who were struggling to ascertain where within the legislation their goods/software/technology were described to get a formal CLC. This was a discretionary service provided by BIS that had to be withdrawn when demands on the Licencing process increased. It is envisaged to re-instate the CLC service in some shape or form in the future as there has been significant investment in the area concerned, but is likely to be different to the old CLC service. Please sign up to Notice to Exporters (NTE) to receive regular updates to our services and other Export Control related news:

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