Dual-use goods - Export licence

This page was last modified on 19-02-2018

Various international treaties and agreements impose export control measures to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and to fight terrorism.

In order to export dual-use goods out of the European Union (EU), operators must:

  • either hold an export authorisation (called licence) which can be:
    • individual at first (i.e. for a specific holder);
    • and then global (i.e. for one or more recipients and/or destinations) if the country of destination of the goods is a member of a non-proliferation regime;
  • or hold a Community general export authorisation (for certain goods and certain countries of destination).

In Luxembourg, these licences are issued by the Licensing Office (Office des Licenses).

Forms / Online services

Carry out your procedure:

Who is concerned

Any exporter (natural or legal person) established in Luxembourg must apply for an export licence to the Licensing Office:

  • either in order to export dual-use goods or highly sensitive dual-use goods out of the EU;
  • or to ship highly sensitive dual-use goods to another EU Member State (intra-Community trade).

The European Union Member States may also require an export licence for certain goods which are not on the dual-use goods list ('catch all' clause).

At the time of the export declaration, the Customs and Excise Agency (Administration des Douanes et Accises) may require the exporter to apply for a licence.

Only the Licensing Office (alone or together with the Customs and Excise Agency regarding customs law) can decide whether or not a licence is required.

Dual-use goods

Dual-use goods are items, including software and technology, which are likely to have both civil and military applications (including the transmission of software and technology by electronic means, by fax or telephone to a destination located outside the European Union).

Although they are mostly intended for civil applications, they may be used for military applications and could significantly strengthen the military power of the countries who acquire them.

They are therefore subject to an export licence (no licence is required for the intra-Community trade of these items).

Dual-use goods are listed in annex I of Regulation (EC) No 428/2009 (cf. the last updated version of annex I: Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 1382/2014).

The list combines the consolidated lists of the 5 non-proliferation regimes and export control measures where Luxembourg is a member.

It contains 10 categories which detail the types of goods concerned:

0    nuclear materials, facilities and equipment (nuclear reactors, uranium, graphite);
1    special materials and related equipment (materials, chemicals, micro-organisms and toxins);
2    materials processing (ball bearings, machine tools, furnaces);
3    electronics (electronic components, integrated circuits, stored programme controlled equipment);
4    computers (digital or hybrid);
5    telecommunications and 'information security';
6    sensors and lasers (acoustic, optical sensors, lasers, radar assemblies);
7    navigation and avionics (navigation systems, receiving equipment, avionics);
8    marine (vehicles, electronic imaging systems, propellers);
9    aerospace and propulsion (propulsion systems, spacecraft and related equipment, motors, space launch vehicles, rocket stages).

Highly sensitive dual-use goods

Some dual-use goods are deemed to be highly sensitive (stealth technology, cryptography, missile technology, chemical weapons).

They are therefore subject to authorisation:

  • not only for the purpose of export;
  • but also as far as transfers between EU Member States (intra-Community trade) are concerned.
Highly sensitive dual-use goods are listed in annex IV of Regulation (EC) No 428/2009.

Other dual-use goods not listed (catch all clause)

Based on the catch all clause, the Licensing Office can require export licences for items which are not listed in annex I and IV of Regulation (EC) No 428/2009 provided the Licensing Office or the exporter are aware that the items concerned are or may be used, in part or in full:

  • for:
    • the development, production, handling, operation, maintenance, storage, detection, identification or dissemination of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons;
    • or for the development, production, maintenance or storage of missiles which may be used as a carrier for these weapons;
  • or for a military end-use where the purchasing or destination country is under a weapons embargo.

In this case, they are automatically subject to an individual export authorisation.

Military end-use means:
  • incorporation into military items listed in the Common military list of the European Union (EU CML list);
  • use of production, testing or analytical equipment and components for the purpose of development, production or maintenance of military items listed in the EU CML list;
  • use of unfinished products in a plant with the aim to produce military items listed in the EU CML list.

Preliminary steps

CN Code

Before submitting a licence application, the applicant must know the exact tariff classification (CN/TARIC code) of the goods in question. The operator can find this information:

Dual-use code (DU code)

Before applying for a licence, the export company must determine whether its products are concerned by the European legislation on export controls of "dual-use goods".

Each dual-use good is classified and identified by an alphanumeric reference called "dual-use code" (DU code). Operators can check the correlation table by the European Commission which creates the link between the common customs tariff code (combined nomenclature - CN code) and the corresponding dual-use code.

However, in order to determine which DU code applies for the licence to be established, the technical, engineering or research departments of the export company must mainly refer to the description of the technical specifications of the products detailed after each DU code in the list of annexes I and IV of Council Regulation (EC) N° 428/2009 as amended.

The DU code (e.g.: 1 C 351 a 1) is structured as follows:

  • Category
    The first character is a number indicating the category:
    0 nuclear materials, facilities and equipments
    1 special materials and related equipment
    2 materials processing
    3 electronics
    4 computers
    5 telecommunications and 'information security'
    6 sensors and lasers
    7 navigation and avionics
    8 marine
    9 aerospace and propulsion
  • Sub-category
    The second character is an uppercase letter indicating the class within the category:
    A equipment, assemblies and components
    B testing, verification and production equipment
    C materials
    D software
    E technology
  • Non-proliferation regime
    The third character is a number indicating the non-proliferation regime which applies to export controls:
    1 Wassenaar Arrangement - WA;
    2 Missile Technology Control Regime - MTCR;
    3 Nuclear Suppliers Group - NSG;
    4 Australia Group - AG;
    5 Chemical Weapons Convention" – CWC.
  • Classification of goods
    The fourth and fifth character determine the classification of the goods.
  • Products / properties
    Where applicable, the DU code contains a lowercase letter and another number (which stand for elements and/or lists of properties of the product concerned).

Because of its technical properties, a product can be classified in one or in more categories as no category predominates over another.

Duration and deadlines

The issuance of an export licence for sensitive/dual-use goods takes:

  • between 5 working days provided the application is complete with all necessary supporting documents and that the destination country is not classified as a sensitive country;
  • and 45 days if the application is not complete or in the event the opinion of another national or foreign administration has been requested.

How to proceed

Individual or global export authorisations

Application for an individual or global export authorisation

In order to export dual-use goods out of the EU, the exporter can apply for an individual or global export authorisation. These licences are valid everywhere in the EU.

The exporter must send an application for an export licence to the Licensing Office.

The application must be accompanied by the following documents:

  • an explanatory letter;
  • an end-use certificate;
  • a copy of the commercial contract;
  • a copy of the original sales invoice or the proforma invoice;
  • where applicable and upon request from the Licensing Office, a formal undertaking from the exporter (the form is available at the Licensing Office).

Validity of individual authorisations

Individual authorisations may be granted:

  • to individual exporters;
  • for end-users or consignees in third countries;
  • and may cover one or more dual-use goods;
  • within the limit of a determined quantity and value.

They are valid for a renewable period of 4 months in all of the EU.

If the exporter intends to make several deliveries of the same goods over a longer period, he can apply for a global authorisation.

Validity of global authorisations

Global authorisations may be granted:

  • to individual exporters;
  • to:
    • one or more end-users who are deemed to be non-sensitive end-users;
    • and/or to one or more specific third countries who are members of a non-proliferation regime;
  • for a type or category of dual-use goods;
  • with or without a limited value or quantity.

They are valid for 12 months at least, in all of the EU.  

The authorisation may be refused:

  • if all the elements concerning the end-user or the end-use are deemed insufficient, suspicious or not compatible with the legal provisions in these matters;
  • or where it has been established that one or more similar transactions (product / consignee) have been refused by other member countries of non-proliferation regimes.

Community general export authorisations

Application for a general export authorisation

In order to export specific goods to certain countries, the exporter can apply for a Community general export authorisation (CGEA).

Exporters established in Luxembourg must register with the Licensing Office to obtain a CGEA.

The registration/authorisation form to be used depends on the type of authorisation and the type of goods and destination country concerned (please see the details on each form):

In order to obtain the authorisations, the exporter must meet the requirements detailed in annexes IIa to IIf of Regulation (EC) No 428/2009 as amended.
The goods listed in part 2 of annex IV are not covered by a general authorisation.

Validity of Community general authorisations

Community general authorisations are granted:

  • for several shipments;
  • for the concerned products only;
  • without a limited value or quantity.

Export register

Exporters of dual-use goods must keep a register or detailed statements of their exports.

These registers or statements must contain commercial documents such as invoices, manifests, transport documents or any other dispatch papers with sufficient information allowing to identify:

  • the description of the dual-use goods concerned;
  • the quantity of the dual-use goods concerned;
  • the names and addresses of the exporter and the consignee;
  • the end-use and the end-user of the dual-use goods.

These records must be kept for a period of 10 years as from the end of the calendar year in which the export took place.

They must be presented upon request to any person authorised to carry out the controls.

Who to contact

Ministry of the Economy
19-21, boulevard Royal
L-2449 - Luxembourg
Postal box BP 113 / L-2011 Luxembourg
Phone: (+352) 22 61 62
Fax: (+352) 46 61 38
Email office.licences@eco.etat.lu