On 8 October 2015, the UK's Export Control Organisation (the "ECO") updated and amended 23 Open General Export Licences ("OGELs"). Full details of the updates are available here.

OGELs are pre-published licences which can be applied for through SPIRE, the ECO's licensing database. Users of OGELs must state where they will keep records of the exports or transfers, and where the ECO may inspect these records. OGELs are limited to certain low-risk destinations, and generally license less restrictive controlled military or dual-use goods.

The new OGELs will come into effect on 19 October 2015. The existing licences will remain in force until 23.59 on 18 October, but they have now been removed from the gov.uk website. As part of this update, the OGEL (international non-proliferation regime decontrols: military items) has been permanently revoked.

Amendments to the OGELs are not uniform, but common changes include:

  • The Ministry of Defence clarifying security requirements in areas such as sub-contracting and collaboration activity;
  • Changes to ratings codes ML8 and PL5001, following the update of Schedule 2 of the Export Control Order 2008, which entered into force on 24 March 2015 via the Export Control (Amendment) Order 2015;
  • South Sudan or South Korea being added as an authorised destination on certain OGELs; and
  • Pre-visit questionnaire ("PVQ") clauses being added, meaning that in certain circumstances the ECO can require an exporter to complete and return a PVQ prior to any audit of its records.