Although considered a major subject, the exportability concept has not been developed by export control players. EC Compliance introduced this concept to assist the exporters who need guidance when they intend to export a good to another country. The combination of the item classification and the destination needs a specific assessment and may require a license.

How does Exportability work ?

Exporting a sensitive product to a sensitive country usually requires obtaining an export license (or authorization). Exportability depends on 3 parameters : the departure country, which determines the rules that apply, the item classification and the destination country.

The classification within a regulation is a key element: a less sensitive item will have a different classification code compared to a similar item that provides superior performance and functionality. For example, a standard drone and a drone equipped with a night vision camera will not have the same classification code and therefore not the same level of exportability.

The country of destination is another parameter that will make a difference. Within the EU, for example, there are several levels of countries: EU member countries, “friendly” countries (including the United States, Canada, Austria, Switzerland, Japan and the UK), countries outside the EU and outside the friendly circle, and finally countries under embargo (terrorist or assimilated countries).

The rules taken into account by the exportability module depend on 3 parameter : country of departure, classification of the good to be exported, country of destination. These rules are often complex and only software modeling can provide quick and reliable answers to exportability questions.

User experience

In addition to including an advanced exportability model, we have invested a great deal in the EC Compliance user experience in order to convey clear decision support to users. The tool displays simple messages and intuitive traffic lights that summarise complex regulations. This means that even non-expert users can figure out if they can authorise the export of their flows, with or without submitting a licence request first. The tool also displays various hyperlinks to the official regulation text so users can read the exact details on official state portals.

International sanctions

Being aware of national and international sanctions is important because exporters need to know that there are sanctions against a given destination country, even when shipping items that are not controlled, or items classified EAR99 according to the US regulation.

In addition to displaying messages specific to items to be exported, the EC Compliance tool displays sanction warning messages based on the geopolitical context between the departure country and the destination country. Sanctions messages refer to United Sanctions (UN) sanctions, European Union (EU) sanctions or country-specific sanctions (e.g., UK or US sanctions). For example, the tool displays warnings about sanctions enforced by United Nations against Iraq, but also more specific messages about sanctions maintained by the UK against Argentina, by Germany against Saudi Arabia or by the USA against Myanmar.

Handling export controls after the Brexit

Now that the UK has left the EU, export control rules have changed and the new rules have been available in the EC Compliance tool since January 1st, 2021. The changes are twofold : when exporting goods from the UK to EU countries and when exporting goods from EU countries to the UK.

Exporting from the UK to EU countries post Brexit

Licensing requirements for the export of goods from Great Britain (GB) to the EU have changed. Dual-use items now require licences to move between GB and the EU.
There is however an Open General Export Licence (OGEL) under article 26(4) of the Export Control Order 2008, that authorizes dual-use items for export from the UK to EU member states. The items concerned are all the entries specified by Annex I of the 2021/821 regulation, other than those specified by Annex II section I of that regulation.
Note about Northern Ireland : EU Regulations and Directives relating to strategic export controls continue to apply in Northern Ireland. You do not need a licence to export controlled dual-use items from Northern Ireland to the EU.

Exporting from EU countries to the UK post Brexit

According to Annex II section A of regulation 2021/821, general authorisation EU001 can be used to export dual-use items from EU countries to the UK. However, some conditions and requirements apply for use of this authorisation. The exporter who uses this authorisation shall notify the competent authority of the Member State where the exporter is resident or established of the first use of this authorisation within 30 days from the date when the first export took place or, alternatively, and in accordance with a requirement by the competent authority of the Member State where the exporter is resident or established, prior to the first use of this authorisation. There are also cases when this authorisation cannot be used.