What are controlled products?
Controlled products are those that fall within the scope of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2018/1922 (PDF, 3MB) for dual-use products* and the Control of Exports (Goods and Technology) Order 2012 for military products.
Goods controlled under torture legislation include export licensing controls on drugs used in executions by lethal injection. The legal basis for controls on ‘torture’ goods is the EU Regulation on products used for trade in certain goods which could be used for capital punishment, torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. This is also known as Council Regulation (EC) No. 1236/2005 or the ‘Torture’ Regulation.
*‘dual-use items’ shall mean items, including software and technology, which can be used for both civil and military purposes.
Do I need to apply for an export licence?
Should your products fall within the one of the various categories of the Dual-Use Regulation (Council Regulation No 428/2009, as amended), then a dual-use export licence will be required for exports outside of the EU customs territory. A limited number of dual-use products controlled under Council Regulation 428/2009 require an export licence when exporting them within the EU customs territory, please see Annex IV of Council Regulation (EC) No 428/2009.
A military export licence is required if your products fall within the various categories of the Control of Exports (Brokering, Goods and Technology) Regulations 2021.
Regulation (EU) No 2019/125 imposes a prohibition on exports of goods which have no practical use other than for the purpose of capital punishment, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and controls on exports of certain goods that could be used for such purpose.
Regulation (EU) No 258/2012 imposes a licencing requirement for the export of civilian firearms for hunting, sporting etc to third countries.
The legal obligation to comply with export controls rests with the exporter.
Do I need to apply for a cryptography note exemption?
The Dual Use Regulation includes a number of decontrol notes that provide for exemptions from licensing requirements. These decontrol notes generally apply to more widely available products with a commercial use. The most commonly used decontrol note is the Cryptography Note found under Category 5 Part 2 of the control list.
For the last number of years, it has been the practice of this Department to require exporters to make a submission to us confirming their eligibility to avail of an exemption from licensing requirements pursuant to decontrol notes. However, the Department has recently undertaken a major review of our administration of decontrol notes, including surveying the practices of Licensing Authorities in other Member States and reviewing technical advice. Recognising that the exporter is best placed to determine compliance with decontrol notes, and reflecting the practices of other Member States, it is no longer necessary for exporters to apply to this Department for an exemption from licensing requirements pursuant to decontrol notes.
Where you are satisfied that you meet the conditions of a particular decontrol note you can claim an exemption from licensing requirements. It is not necessary to apply to this Department for verification of your eligibility to use the decontrol note or to notify us of your intention to use the decontrol note. This new policy will ensure that exporters can determine their own compliance with decontrol notes and avail of relevant exemptions without awaiting verification of their eligibility to do so.
The Department reserves the right to request details from exporters claiming exemptions from licensing requirements to ascertain their compliance with the relevant decontrol notes where necessary.
Do I have to send new support papers or technical specifications every time I apply for a licence for the same product?
No. Details regarding documentation requirements for applying for export licences are available at the following link: Procedures for applying for an Export Licence.
Licensing Unit may request technical specifications in the following circumstances:
- Licensing Unit deems it important to receive this supporting documentation when assessing the merits of an export licence application.
- Ambiguity regarding the classification of a company’s product(s)
- Uncertainty regarding the potential end use of a product
How to apply for an export licence
In order to apply for an export licence or authorisation, you must first register via our on-line export licence system (OELAS).
Details on how to register on OELAS is available at the following link: Registration on OELAS – New User
Types of export licences
The following categories of licence are issued by the Export Licensing Unit:
• Individual Dual-Use Licences
• Global (Dual-Use) Licences
• Military Licences
• Brokering Activities Licences
• Licensing under the Torture Regulations
• Global Transfer Licences - Directive 2009/43/EC
Further information on these licences and application process is available at the following link: Procedures for applying for an Export Licence
End-Use Certificates (EUCs)
In most cases, an end-use certificate is required as part of the export licence application process. Circumstances where EUC’s are required include:
- Potential exports to EU sanctioned countries (View full list of countries)
- Potential exports of military and dual-use products to military/security related end-users.
- Exports of military goods that fall within the scope of the most recent version of the EU Common Military List.
Decision making process
All export licence applications are considered in accordance with criteria set out with the relevant dual-use and military EU and National Regulations and with our international obligations and responsibilities as members of non-proliferation regimes and export control arrangements.
Licensing Unit is obliged to consult with other EU Member States if the products being exported are located in another EU Member State or if the products are transiting through another EU Member State before reaching the ultimate end user of the products.
Consideration must also be given to end-users located in sanctioned countries or countries when OSCE decisions are currently in place.
Licensing Unit consults with other Government Departments depending on the nature of the products and the political situation surrounding the stated country of final destination at the time of the application.
All of these factors (including consultations with technical experts in certain circumstances) must be considered prior to making a decision on a licence application.
How long does it take to process a licence application?
Licensing Unit aims to issue export licences within 20 working days (from the date on which all required information has been provided to the Licensing Unit). However, every effort is made to expedite export licence applications.
Where the end use destination and/or the equipment to be exported are sensitive, complex or contentious, processing can take considerably longer.
Where consultation with the other Government Departments or indeed another EU Member State is necessary this will extend the processing time.
Cryptography Note Exemption
Note 3: Cryptography Note: 5A002, 5A003, 5A004 and 5D002 do not control items as follows:
a. Items that meet all of the following:
1. Generally available to the public by being sold, without restriction, from stock at retail selling points by means of any of the following:
a. Over-the-counter transactions;
b. Mail order transactions;
c. Electronic transactions; or
d. Telephone call transactions;
2. The cryptographic functionality cannot easily be changed by the user;
3. Designed for installation by the user without further substantial support by the supplier; and
4. When necessary, details of the goods are accessible and will be provided, upon request, to the competent authorities of the Member State in which the exporter is established in order to ascertain compliance with conditions described in paragraphs 1. to 3. above.
b. Hardware components or ‘executable software’, of existing items described in paragraph a. of this Note, that have been designed for these existing items, meeting all of the following:
1. “Information security” is not the primary function or set of functions of the component or ‘executable software’;
2. The component or ‘executable software’ does not change any cryptographic functionality of the existing items, or add new cryptographic functionality to the existing items;
3. The feature set of the component or ‘executable software’ is fixed and is not designed or modified to customer specification; and
4. When necessary as determined by the competent authorities of the Member State in which the exporter is established, details of the component or ‘executable software’ and details of relevant end-items are accessible and will be provided to the competent authority upon request, in order to ascertain compliance with conditions described above.
For the purpose of the Cryptography Note, ‘executable software’ means “software” in executable form, from an existing hardware component excluded from 5A002, 5A003 or 5A004 by the Cryptography Note.
Note: ‘Executable software’ does not include complete binary images of the “software” running on an end-item.
Note to the Cryptography Note:
1. To meet paragraph a. of Note 3, all of the following must apply:
a. The item is of potential interest to a wide range of individuals and businesses; and
b. The price and information about the main functionality of the item are available before purchase without the need to consult the vendor or supplier. A simple price enquiry is not considered to be a consultation.
2. In determining eligibility of paragraph a. of Note 3, competent authorities may take into account relevant factors such as quantity, price, required technical skill, existing sales channels, typical customers, typical use or any exclusionary practices of the supplier.
Note 4: Category 5 — Part 2 does not control items incorporating or using “cryptography” and meeting all of the following:
a. The primary function or set of functions is not any of the following:
1. “Information security”;
2. A computer, including operating systems, parts and components therefor;
3. Sending, receiving or storing information (except in support of entertainment, mass commercial broadcasts, digital rights management or medical records management); or
4. Networking (includes operation, administration, management and provisioning);
b. The cryptographic functionality is limited to supporting their primary function or set of functions; and
c. When necessary, details of the items are accessible and will be provided, upon request, to the competent authorities of the Member State in which the exporter is established in order to ascertain compliance with conditions described in paragraphs a. and b. above.
If you are exporting goods to a country outside the European Union (EU), you should reference your licence number on the SAD declaration made (either by you or on your behalf).
For information relating to the completion of the SAD declaration and Customs procedures, please contact the Customs Procedures Branch, Tel. +353 (0)67-44378.
Circumstances where an export licence is required for non-controlled products
An export licence requirement can be imposed on an Exporter under Article 4 of Council Regulation (EC) No. 428/2009, setting up a Community regime for the control of exports, transfer, brokering and transit of dual-use items.
Licences issued under Article 4 are more commonly known as “Catch-All” licences.
- An authorisation shall be required for the export of dual-use items not listed in Annex I if the exporter has been informed by the competent authorities of the Member State in which he is established that the items in question are or may be intended, in their entirety or in part, for use in connection with the development, production, handling, operation, maintenance, storage, detection, identification or dissemination of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or the development, production, maintenance or storage of missiles capable of delivering such weapons.
- An authorisation shall also be required for the export of dual-use items not listed in Annex I if the purchasing country or country of destination is subject to an arms embargo decided by a common position or joint action adopted by the Council or a decision of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) or an arms embargo imposed by a binding resolution of the Security Council of the United Nations and if the exporter has been informed by the authorities referred to in paragraph 1 that the items in question are or may be intended, in their entirety or in part, for a military end-use. For the purposes of this paragraph, ‘military end-use’ shall mean:
(a) incorporation into military items listed in the military list of Member States;
(b) use of production, test or analytical equipment and components therefor, for the development, production or maintenance of military items listed in the abovementioned list;
(c) use of any unfinished products in a plant for the production of military items listed in the abovementioned list.
- An authorisation shall also be required for the export of dual-use items not listed in Annex I if the exporter has been informed by the authorities referred to in paragraph 1 that the items in question are or may be intended, in their entirety or in part, for use as parts or components of military items listed in the national military list that have been exported from the territory of that Member State without authorisation or in violation of an authorisation prescribed by national legislation of that Member State.
- If an exporter is aware that dual-use items which he proposes to export, not listed in Annex I, are intended, in their entirety or in part, for any of the uses referred to in paragraphs 1, 2 and 3, he must notify the authorities referred to in paragraph 1, which will decide whether or not it is expedient to make the export concerned subject to authorisation.
Who is responsible for issuing military/firearms licences?
This Department is responsible for issuing export licences for all products listed in the EU Common Military List being exported within or outside the EU Customs territory. The Department of Justice is responsible for all imports of ML1 products into Ireland. This Department is responsible for issuing military licences for ML1 products only where they are exported outside the EU Customs territory.
Useful link (Department of Justice)
Please Note: The Export/Removal Order from the Superintendent at your local Garda Station must be attached with an export licence application form for an ML1 product and the import licence from the importing country. The following information may be of assistance when completing the military export licence application.
Box 15 (Commodity Code) -
9303 20 10 00 for the shot gun licence application
9303 30 00 00 for the hunting rifles licence application
9303 20 95 00 for other
Box 16 (Control List Number) - ML1a on all licence application forms.
Box 21 (Customs exp. Proc) - Please insert 1000
In accordance with EU legislation, Firearms application files are to be retained for a period of no less than 20 years from the date of closure of the file.
Where to find more information
If you are looking for further practical guidance about licensing issues, types of licences, details of sanctions and embargoes or information about legislation go to Export Licensing.