What We Do

Controlled Products

What are controlled products?

Controlled products are those that fall within the scope of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2018/1922 (PDF, 3MB) for dual-use products* and the Control of Exports (Goods and Technology) Order 2012 for military products.

Goods controlled under torture legislation include export licensing controls on drugs used in executions by lethal injection. The legal basis for controls on ‘torture’ goods is the EU Regulation on products used for trade in certain goods which could be used for capital punishment, torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. This is also known as Council Regulation (EC) No. 1236/2005 or the ‘Torture’ Regulation.

*‘dual-use items’ shall mean items, including software and technology, which can be used for both civil and military purposes.

Do I need to apply for an export licence?

Should your products fall within the one of the various categories of this Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2018/1922 (PDF, 3MB), then a dual-use export licence will be required for exports outside of the EU customs territory.

A limited number of dual-use products listed in Council Regulation 428/2009 require an export licence when exporting them within the EU customs territory, please see Annex IV of Council Regulation (EC) No. 428/2009.

Similarly, should your products fall within the various categories of the Control of Exports (Goods and Technology) Order 2012 or Directive 2009/43/EC, then a military export licence is required.

It should be noted that Regulation (EC) No 1236/2005 imposes a prohibition on exports of goods which have no practical use other than for the purpose of capital punishment, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and controls on exports of certain goods that could be used for such purpose.

While the onus is on the exporter to familiarise themselves with the relevant regulation and establish if their products fall within any of the categories listed in the Regulation, the Licensing Unit will endeavour to assist exporters in any way possible

Do I have to send new support papers or technical specifications every time I apply for a licence for the same product?

No. Details regarding documentation requirements for applying for export licences are available at the following link: Procedures for applying for an Export Licence.

Licensing Unit may request technical specifications in the following circumstances:

  • Licensing Unit deems it important to receive this supporting documentation when assessing the merits of an export licence application.
  • Ambiguity regarding the classification of a company’s product(s)
  • Uncertainty regarding the potential end use of a product

How do I apply for an export licence?

In order to apply for an export licence or authorisation, you must first register via our on-line export licence system (OELAS).

Details on how to register on OELAS is available at the following link:

Types of Export Licences

The following categories of licence are issued by the Export Licensing Unit:

• Individual Dual-Use Licences

• Global (Dual-Use) Licences

• Military Licences

• Brokering Activities Licences

• Licensing under the Torture Regulations

• Global Transfer Licences - Directive 2009/43/EC

Further information on these licences and application process is available at the following link: Procedures for applying for an Export Licence

End-Use Certificates (EUCs)

In most cases, an end-use certificate is required as part of the export licence application process. Circumstances where EUC’s are required include:

  • Potential exports to EU sanctioned countries (View full list of countries)
  • Potential exports of military and dual-use products to military/security related end-users.
  • Exports of military goods that fall within the scope of the most recent version of the EU Common Military List.

Decision Making Process

All export licence applications are considered in accordance with criteria set out with the relevant dual-use and military EU and National Regulations and with our international obligations and responsibilities as members of non-proliferation regimes and export control arrangements.

Licensing Unit is obliged to consult with other EU Member States if the products being exported are located in another EU Member State or if the products are transiting through another EU Member State before reaching the ultimate end user of the products.

Consideration must also be given to end-users located in sanctioned countries or countries when OSCE decisions are currently in place.

Licensing Unit consults with other Government Departments depending on the nature of the products and the political situation surrounding the stated country of final destination at the time of the application.

All of these factors (including consultations with technical experts in certain circumstances) must be considered prior to making a decision on a licence application.

How long does it take to process a licence application?

Licensing Unit aims to issue export licences within 20 working days (from the date on which all required information has been provided to the Licensing Unit). However, every effort is made to expedite export licence applications.

Where the end use destination and/or the equipment to be exported are sensitive, complex or contentious, processing can take considerably longer.

Where consultation with the other Government Departments or indeed another EU Member State is necessary this will extend the processing time.

Cryptography Note Exemption

Note 3: Cryptography Note: 5A002, 5A003, 5A004 and 5D002 do not control items as follows:

a. Items that meet all of the following:

1. Generally available to the public by being sold, without restriction, from stock at retail selling points by means of any of the following: 

 a. Over-the-counter transactions;

 b.  Mail order transactions;

 c. Electronic transactions; or

 d. Telephone call transactions;

2. The cryptographic functionality cannot easily be changed by the user; 

3. Designed for installation by the user without further substantial support by the supplier; and

4. When necessary, details of the goods are accessible and will be provided, upon request, to the competent authorities of the Member State in which the exporter is established in order to ascertain compliance with conditions described in paragraphs 1. to 3. above.

bHardware components or ‘executable software, of existing items described in paragraph a. of this Note, that have been designed for these existing items, meeting all of the following:

1. “Information securityis not the primary function or set of functions of the component or executable software’;

2. The component or ‘executable softwaredoes not change any cryptographic functionality of the existing items, or add new cryptographic functionality to the existing items;

3. The feature set of the component or ‘executable softwareis fixed and is not designed or modified to customer specification; and

4. When necessary as determined by the competent authorities of the Member State in which the exporter is established, details of the component or ‘executable softwareand details of relevant end-items are accessible and will be provided to the competent authority upon request, in order to ascertain compliance with conditions described above.

Technical Note:

For the purpose of the Cryptography Note, ‘executable softwaremeans softwarein executable form, from an existing hardware component excluded from 5A002, 5A003 or 5A004 by the Cryptography Note.

Note:Executable softwaredoes not include complete binary images of the softwarerunning on an end-item.

Note to the Cryptography Note:

1. To meet paragraph a. of Note 3, all of the following must apply:

 a. The item is of potential interest to a wide range of individuals and businesses; and

 b. The price and information about the main functionality of the item are available before purchase without the need to consult the vendor or supplier. A simple price enquiry is not considered to be a consultation.

2. In determining eligibility of paragraph a. of Note 3, competent authorities may take into account relevant factors such as quantity, price, required technical skill, existing sales channels, typical customers, typical use or any exclusionary practices of the supplier.

Note 4: Category 5 — Part 2 does not control items incorporating or using “cryptography” and meeting all of the following:

a. The primary function or set of functions is not any of the following: 

 1. “Information security”; 
 2. A computer, including operating systems, parts and components therefor;
 3. Sending, receiving or storing information (except in support of entertainment, mass commercial broadcasts, digital rights management or medical records management); or 
 4. Networking (includes operation, administration, management and provisioning); 

b. The cryptographic functionality is limited to supporting their primary function or set of functions; and 

c. When necessary, details of the items are accessible and will be provided, upon request, to the competent authorities of the Member State in which the exporter is established in order to ascertain compliance with conditions described in paragraphs a. and b. above.

Customs Procedures

If you are exporting goods to a country outside the European Union (EU), you should reference your licence number on the SAD declaration made (either by you or on your behalf).

For information relating to the completion of the SAD declaration and Customs procedures, please contact the Customs Procedures Branch, Tel. +353 (0)67-44378.

Are there circumstances where an export licence is required for non-controlled products?

Yes. An export licence requirement can be imposed on an Exporter under Article 4 of Council Regulation (EC) No. 428/2009, setting up a Community regime for the control of exports, transfer, brokering and transit of dual-use items.

Licences issued under Article 4 are more commonly known as “Catch-All” licences.

Article 4

  1. An authorisation shall be required for the export of dual-use items not listed in Annex I if the exporter has been informed by the competent authorities of the Member State in which he is established that the items in question are or may be intended, in their entirety or in part, for use in connection with the development, production, handling, operation, maintenance, storage, detection, identification or dissemination of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or the development, production, maintenance or storage of missiles capable of delivering such weapons.

  2. An authorisation shall also be required for the export of dual-use items not listed in Annex I if the purchasing country or country of destination is subject to an arms embargo decided by a common position or joint action adopted by the Council or a decision of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) or an arms embargo imposed by a binding resolution of the Security Council of the United Nations and if the exporter has been informed by the authorities referred to in paragraph 1 that the items in question are or may be intended, in their entirety or in part, for a military end-use. For the purposes of this paragraph, ‘military end-use’ shall mean:

(a) incorporation into military items listed in the military list of Member States;

(b) use of production, test or analytical equipment and components therefor, for the development, production or maintenance of military items listed in the abovementioned list;

(c) use of any unfinished products in a plant for the production of military items listed in the abovementioned list.

  1. An authorisation shall also be required for the export of dual-use items not listed in Annex I if the exporter has been informed by the authorities referred to in paragraph 1 that the items in question are or may be intended, in their entirety or in part, for use as parts or components of military items listed in the national military list that have been exported from the territory of that Member State without authorisation or in violation of an authorisation prescribed by national legislation of that Member State.

  2. If an exporter is aware that dual-use items which he proposes to export, not listed in Annex I, are intended, in their entirety or in part, for any of the uses referred to in paragraphs 1, 2 and 3, he must notify the authorities referred to in paragraph 1, which will decide whether or not it is expedient to make the export concerned subject to authorisation.

Query not answered here? Where to find more information

If you are looking for further practical guidance about licensing issues, types of licences, details of sanctions and embargoes or information about legislation you should access our Export Licensing homepage

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