How can Government ensure companies are using the right licences?

BIS advertising for export licensing

What was the feedback?

Thanks to the considerable amount of volunteers across industry and government we have been able to come up with a clear picture as to where the pain points lie in the current licence application process. The main pain point is ensuring companies are applying for the right licence type; at the moment 50% of Standard Individual Export Licenses within BIS are sent back with requests for more information or incorrect or missing end-user undertakings, but only 2% of overall applications are rejected. Furthermore, exporters have highlighted in user research interviews that they do not know what licenses to apply for...

How can we solve it?

Talking to experts in import and export we have begun to paint a picture of when licences should be used. Some of the key areas are destination, sanctions and type of goods. Once we have established if the good is controlled or not, it then moves onto whether or not an open licence can be used. This comes in the form of an Open General Export License (OGEL) which are pre-published lighter touch licences that need to be registered for, with exporters needing to meet all specified terms and conditions. Finally, if an OGEL is not applicable, we can then filter down further into licence types to identify which should be used based on if it is temporary, going to multiple destinations or having a fixed value or quantity. These decision points are going to help create a licence finder to ensure that exporters are applying for the right licence type and also help with the processing to ensure exporters are competitive within world markets.

How can you get involved?

This concept will then be rolled out to other licences and permissions through One Government at the Border (1G@B). We will aim to prove the concept and demonstrate that we can add real business value to exporters through testing this on export control. We would welcome your views on how this would impact yourselves when exporting? Do the experienced exporters prefer a shortcut to applications? Or are you still struggling with defining the right licence type? Please leave your comments below and we will use the feedback in our designs.

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