Do I need a licence?

Dual-use goods are sensitive items that, in most cases, are intended for civilian applications, but which can be used for military.

Dual-use items include goods, equipment – including technology, software, and intangible or immaterial knowledge – which can be used for both civil and military uses or which may – in whole or in part – contribute to the development, production, handling, operation, maintenance, storage, detection, identification or dissemination of weapons of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons of mass destruction.

They are therefore sensitive items that, in most cases, are intended for civilian applications, but which can be used for military purposes (conventional or WMD). As such, their export must be authorised.

To find out if your export project needs to be licenced, you must answer the following questions.

1 - Is your good, equipment, technology, etc. listed in Annex I of Regulation 428/2009?

This annex, commonly referred to as the "Dual-Use List", is updated annually and must therefore be reviewed annually by exporters.

It begins with general remarks and definitions.

The list of dual-use items is divided into 10 categories (from 0 to 9):

  • Category 0: Nuclear materials, facilities and equipment
  • Category 1: Special materials and related equipment
  • Category 2: Materials processing
  • Category 3: Electronics
  • Category 4: Computers
  • Category 5: Telecommunications and "Information Security"
  • Category 6: Sensors and lasers
  • Category 7: Navigation and avionics
  • Category 8: Marine
  • Category 9: Aerospace and propulsion

Each category is then subdivided as follows:

  • A : Systems, Equipment and Components
  • B : Test, Inspection and Production Equipment
  • C : Materials
  • D : Software
  • E : Technology

Each good, technology, etc. considered to be dual-use is thus identified in a heading with an alphanumeric reference starting with the category number and the letter corresponding to the subcategory to which it belongs. This reference is accompanied by a definition, criteria and explanatory notes where appropriate.

To search for what applies in your case:

  • Begin searching by entering the category and subcategory to which your good, technology, etc. belongs
  • Use a keyword search (Ctrl+F) within the PDF or web page corresponding to the latest version of Annex I of Regulation 428/2009 in force
    • Please note that it can be useful to search the English version, since there are certain "dedicated" English terms
    • Your search must be accompanied by a complete reading of the section, including notes, technical notes and definitions that may exclude or include your good or technology
  • Use the TARIC database that links customs codes to Community measures that may apply to the import or export of goods to which these codes pertain. Those concerning dual-use items are preceded by the indication "DU". These indications do not imply a systematic classification but indicate the headings to be examined in detail in Annex I of the Dual-Use Regulation.
  • Use the correlation table Customs Classification Codes / Export Control Classification Codes established by the European Commission and regularly updated (last updated on 9 January 2020). It is a tool offering two tables (on two sheets of the file), in Excel format, which establish links between the customs classification codes (HS/CN) and export control classification codes (ECN). It allows you to search using a HS code or a DU code to find a match for a given good. This table is indicative, as some customs codes correspond to several dual-use codes, and vice versa. It does not by itself determine the classification of a good. The corresponding customs or dual-use code should therefore be checked systematically by reading the full description in both nomenclatures.

2 - Does your good meet the definitions of the goods covered by the Orders of 31 July 2014 relating to exports of helicopters and their spare parts and to exports of tear gas and riot control agents?

France has made the export to specific countries of these type of goods, which are not listed in Annex I of Regulation 428/2009, subject to licencing. The legislation in force is available on the Regulations page.

3 – To which destination are you exporting?

The goods, technologies, etc. listed in Annex I of Regulation 428/2009 are subject to licencing for any export from the EU. Those listed in Annex IV are subject to licensing for all exports outside the EU and for intra-Community transfers.

Regarding the export of helicopters and their spare parts as well as tear gas and riot control agents, you should refer to the latest legislation in force to consider whether the country of destination requires an export licence.

Finally, some countries are subject to restrictive measures, in particular Iran, Syria and Russia, for which supplementary regulations prohibit or require authorisation for the export of certain goods.

If, at the end of your assessment, you still have doubts about the controlled nature of an item on the export control list or on the item on the control list or in the event of suspicion of diversion of goods not listed in Annex I of Regulation 428/2009 for proliferation purposes, you may refer the matter to the SBDU by submitting a non-licence request (French only).

Edited on 06/04/2020