Expert Advice for Export Compliance

If you export from the UK you need to understand export controls. Your goods may be subject to export controls – requiring licences and permissions – depending on the destination, product, services and technical know-how involved.

Even if you are based in the UK, if your technology includes US components you could be subject to US export controls as well as UK regulations.

clearBorder provides expert advice on export compliance to ensure your operations run smoothly and protect your international reputation. Download our free introductory guide.

Export Controls

What are Export Controls?

Export controls regulate the destination and end-use of sensitive technologies.

They are designed to prevent technology falling into hostile hands, to preserve national artefacts or protect endangered species.

In the UK, the Department for Business and Trade manages export controls.

You must ensure your own compliance with export controls. Breaches of these regulations can result in serious penalties, suspension of operations and even imprisonment.

How Does Export Control Work?

Goods, technologies and services deemed subject to export controls are put on a list (UK Strategic Export Controls Lists).

Exporters must apply for a licence to export a product on these lists from the Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU).

Exporters must comply with the conditions attached to the license, for example in relation to sanctioned entities or the ‘end-use’ of technology.

Export control applications can be complex. clearBorder can support you with expert advice to prepare exports, during the process or to maintain your compliance afterwards.


Best Practice for Export Control Compliance

  • Do follow export compliance updates

  • Do nominate a department or person to oversee processes

  • Do use support from experienced export specialists

  • Don’t forget to review protocol and educate staff

  • Don’t keep scattered, disorganised records

  • Don’t turn a blind eye to irregularities or potential risks


Ensure Your Compliance

Expert Training

clearBorder are experts in helping businesses trade across borders. We’re proud of our clear, focussed training modules, and the results your team will be able to achieve with one of our courses.

Bespoke Consultancy

We offer independent, tailored consultancy services to ensure your export controls compliance and improve your operations.


Importing and Exporting Goods with clearBorder

clearBorder’s specialist team provides independent, accessible, bespoke support to ensure your business complies with export controls.

  • Avoid Penalties
    Avoid Penalties

    Breaching export controls is a criminal offence. The government takes non-compliance extremely seriously; you may have licences revoked or goods seized. You could also be issued a compound penalty fine, or even face imprisonment. But with clearBorder’s expert support, you can ensure your compliance and steer clear of penalties.

  • Export with Confidence
    Export with Confidence

    Perhaps you export items to countries deemed a potential security risk, such as China, Russia or Iran. You may trade emerging technologies with overseas entities, and need to guarantee end-user compliance. Whatever the nature of your cross-border operations, clearBorder has the expertise to help.

  • Quick & Accurate Licence Applications
    Quick & Accurate Licence Applications

    While the ECJU endeavours to issue most licences within 20 working days, it’s not unusual for applications to become bogged-down in complex processes. This causes inefficiency, expense and delay – but with our help, you can get ahead of the application process and make sure you obtain the necessary licenses in time.

  • Keep Up with Regulations & Changing Laws
    Keep Up with Regulations & Changing Laws

    Export controls and controlled goods lists are constantly changing. To remain compliant you need to stay abreast of changes to sanction lists, controlled items and updated regulations. clearBorder will do this for you, so you can concentrate on growing your business.

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Export Control Regulations & Agencies

UK businesses also can be subject to US export controls.

In addition to the UK’s Export Controls Joint Unit (ECJU) and UK Strategic Export Controls Lists, you may need to understand regulations in the United States.

The US operate EAR (Export Administration Regulations) and ITAR (International Traffic in Arms) regulations.

ITAR regulates the movement of defence-related items.

EAR oversees ‘dual-use’ products not included in ITAR legislation – civilian products which may have defence uses.

Crucially, US legislation applies to US technology outside of US territory. So, if you use US made components or know-how in your manufacturing, you could be subject to US regulation.

clearBorder training enables you to skill your personnel with the knowledge to ensure export compliance and avoid unforeseen mistakes. We provide on-hand advice to assist you before, during and after your export operations.

Types of Goods Subject to Export Controls

Goods, software, technical information or services may be subject to controls and require export licences:

  • Items designed for military or defence purposes
  • Data, designs and technical know-how related to sensitive technology
  • Dual-use items, with civil and defence-related usage
  • Related equipment, technology, or software
  • Radioactive materials
  • Goods or equipment that might be used for torture
  • Items that pose a national security risk in any other way

Contact us now to find out if your operations deal with controlled goods, or if you require specific licensing.

Licence Requirements & Exceptions

Export control licenses contain conditions requiring the exporter to regulate what, where and to whom they export. These requirements might cover:

  • Particular countries where the goods can – or cannot – be exported
  • What tolerances, power or accuracy impact handling of the goods
  • Who the ‘end-user’ is, what controls apply at destination and where the goods may be destined

Some exceptions do apply, for example:

  • For basic or fundamental research
  • For information already in the public domain
  • For controlled content below de minimis levels

For more tailored information and bespoke guidance, get in touch with the clearBorder team today.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

The penalties for non-compliance can be severe. At the very least, you’ll face reprimands and possible suspensions; at worst, you may see your operations crippled and face criminal prosecution.
Licences revoked
Goods seized
Penalties issued

Importantly, non-compliance doesn’t necessarily entail intentional wrongdoing. You can easily fall foul of export controls without proper expertise and support on your side.

That’s where clearBorder can help.


Meet the clearBorder Team

Christopher Salmon
Chief Executive
Christopher Salmon
Christopher Salmon founded clearBorder to help businesses optimise trade. He has wide experience across trade and borders, working with businesses of all sizes and sectors as well as being closely involved in government border modernisation programmes. Christopher oversaw the border during the UK’s exit from the EU as Senior Adviser to Michael Gove MP. He has experience across all aspects of border processes, from IT systems to business requirements and port infrastructure. Christopher was raised on a farm in mid-Wales and has over 20 years’ experience across government, business and in politics at local and national level.
Khyati Amin
Senior Consultant
Khyati Amin
Khyati Amin leads clearBorder’s strategic consulting work. She brings extensive experience as a strategy consultant with KPMG and deep knowledge of borders, supply chains and UK Government programmes from her work with clearBorder. She has worked on projects across sectors and led teams covering growth strategy, due diligence. Khyati brings extensive experience of market analysis and business development from work with her faKhyati brings extensive experience of market analysis and business development from work with her family business, one of the largest industrial piping suppliers in India. Khyati speaks native Hindi.
Mary Calam
Mary Calam
Mary is clearBorder’s chairwoman, responsible for providing a sounding board for the CEO and internal team and assuring corporate governance. Mary has extensive expertise in risk, governance and strategy, having worked at senior levels across the public and private sectors. Her government career spanned law enforcement, counter terrorism and national security, latterly as Director General for Crime, Policing and Fire in the Home Office. On leaving government, Mary joined McKinsey & Company, serving government and private sector clients around the world. She now holds a number of non executive director and trustee roles in public and private sector organisations and works as an independent consultant.
Rizwan Khan
Customer Accounts
Rizwan Khan
Rizwan Khan manages clearBorder’s training services and provides on-hand advice to businesses moving goods. Rizwan supports clients with customs requirements, paperwork, SPS processes, audit preparations and recordkeeping. He assists customers with training courses and detailed import and export queries. Rizwan brings extensive experience at the front end of customs and border processes from his work DHL Global Forwarding, Alpi and his time at clearBorder. Riz is an avid Liverpool supporter.
Sarah Rice
Senior Consultant
Sarah Rice
Sarah Rice leads clearBorder’s operational consultancy work. Sarah has 20 years of experience in customs and borders, including 15 covering export controls and advanced manufacturing. She has worked with advanced manufacturing, defence goods, dual-use items, research institutes and experimental technologies. Her expertise covers UK and US export control regimes (ITAR/EAR). Sarah has a degree in law and professional qualifications covering UK, US, and EU border controls.
Ugne Dapkeviciene
Business Support
Ugne Dapkeviciene
Ugne brings extensive business operations and office management experience. She is expert at navigating complex business processes and ensuring the smooth operation of business processes with UK and international clients. Ugne is a native Lithuanian speaker.


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