Defence export controls apply to goods and technology which are listed on the Defence Strategic Goods List (the DSGL). The term ‘technology’ means specific information necessary for the development, production or use of a product, which can take the form of technical data or technical assistance.
The DSGL lists goods, technology and software according to their capabilities and specifications, rather than by product names, and goods are usually only controlled if they pass a certain ‘control threshold’ — some sort of capability or specification that gives them potential military value, or the capacity to be used in developing weapons of mass destruction. This means that identifying which controls apply to a particular product or piece of technology calls for a sound understanding of the thing being exported or supplied.
In many cases, the controls on goods, software and technology can be complex. If you are unsure, we recommend you use the Online DSGL Tool. More generally, the following guidance is a basic outline of how to identify if something is subject to control on the DSGL.
To establish whether items are controlled, you need to check whether the goods themselves are listed, and then whether related equipment, software or technology are also listed. If goods, software, or technology are listed in the DSGL, you must check the technical specifications/performance of your item against the control thresholds in the DSGL.
Example of 'required' technology - Computers
Section 4A001.a.1 of the DSGL lists electronic computers and related equipment, electronic assemblies and specifically designed components that are specially designed to operate at an ambient temperature below 228 K (-45°C) or above 358 K (85°C). Software and technology for the 'development', 'production' and 'use' of these computers is controlled. This control does not apply to computers specifically designed for civil automobile or railway train applications.
The technology controls only apply to the technology which is 'required' for the computer to operate at those temperatures; for example, connector and circuit designs and configurations which are specifically designed to withstand high and low temperatures. Other more general technology that does not influence the computer's ability to function at high and low temperatures, or technology that does not contribute to the computer achieving that controlled level of performance (operating above 85°C and below -45°C), is not controlled.
The software and technology in the DSGL mostly relates to goods that are controlled in the DSGL. However, some software and technology is controlled in its own right (i.e. it may not be related to a controlled good). These controls can be found in sections 'D' (software), and 'E' (technology) of each category.
If after using the Online DSGL Tool you are unable to determine whether your item is controlled in the DSGL, you can either submit an:
We have target times for assessing applications of 15 working days for simple cases, and 35 days for complex cases. We meet those targets in over 90% of cases, but some highly complex or sensitive cases, that need extensive inter-agency consultation, can exceed 35 working days.