Individual academics and researchers in the University have an obligation at law to consider whether they may need a licence from the UK Export Control Organisation (ECO), part of the UK Department of International Trade to 'export' goods, technology, software, designs or other related 'know-how'. Failure to obtain a licence or to comply with its provisions may constitute a criminal offence involving potential fines, legal costs and/or prison sentences of up to ten years.
Under UK law, the key concerns are
- Technologies, material, equipment or know-how that could be used in nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons or ballistic missiles other explosive devices or their means of delivery (Weapons of mass destruction, for short)
- Items that have been specially designed or modified for military use and their components
- Dual-use items - those that can be used for civil or military purposes - which meet certain specified technical standards and some of their components
There is no automatic exemption or dispensation for research or researchers.