Export controls are measures adopted by governments around the world to restrict the export of certain categories of goods, sensitive technology, software and services in order to prevent misuse of conventional weapons, illegitimate development and proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), and to counter international threats such as terrorism. Other reasons for controls include security, foreign policy and international treaty commitments (e.g. United Nations trade sanctions or arms embargoes). Export controls have been enacted in the UK for decades.
This requirement applies to all entities (commercial or non-commercial), including universities and researchers that might ‘export’.
The collective implications of these commitments and obligations is that in some cases, individual academics in a university may need an export licence from the Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU), part of the Department for International Trade, to carry out an activity - failure to obtain one being a criminal offence.
The University is committed to complying with the UK’s Export Controls requirements. Accordingly, the University has established processes to facilitate evaluation of research activities by academics (together with collaborators, clients and other vested parties) to ensure compliance with the legislation.