UK Arms Export Licences

UK Arms Export Licences

Search exports of arms and other controlled goods approved by the UK government.


What is this data?

Here we present records of all controlled goods approved or rejected for export by the UK Government since 2008. You can see individual licences on the licence list page, or more general summaries on the rankings page. The results shown on both of these pages may be refined by using the many filters available.

Where does the data come from?

Data is collected by the Export Control Organisation of the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and made available through the Strategic Export Controls database. The database is updated quarterly, with data from the last quarter but one; eg. data for January to March is published in June. The quarterly data is also published as PDF reports on the ECO website.

Why is CAAT republishing the data?

The data published by ECO is not accessible enough. The figures are buried in PDF documents, which must be downloaded individually from a slow and complex website. Each report takes several minutes to generate before it can be downloaded, and it is necessary to download many reports in order to get a good sense of the goods exported to a given country.

Our aim was to provide a simple, searchable web application, open to everyone, with which it would be possible to link directly to any fragment or collection of data. We also provide the raw data in CSV format for re-use by other researchers or applications.

How can I receive updates when there is new data?

You can subscribe to our RSS feed, which will notify you of updates as soon as we publish them.

What's the difference between Military and Dual-Use?

Military items are items are designed exclusively for military use. Dual-Use items are designed to be used for military or civilian purposes. You can filter search results by Military or Dual-Use from the "use" tab on the ratings page.

What do the rating names like ML10, 5A002 and so on mean?

These are codes that the UK government uses to classify types of items for export. ML stands for "military", PL originally meant "police", and numbers indicate more general classifications. All ML ratings are in the military list; all numbered ratings are in the Dual-Use list; PL includes some items on the Military list and some on the Dual Use list. More information about the types of items classified under each rating code can be found on the ratings page.

Why do numbers of licences sometimes differ from those in the official reports?

Licence data published in the official reports is aggregated by date and destiniation country. We have made all possible efforts to separate individual licences by cross-checking data from different reports, but inevitably some ambiguity remains. Thus, some licences listed in our data are actually multiple licences that we have been unable to separate so the number of licences that we show for a given destination is likely to be slightly lower than the official figure.

Why do values of licences sometimes differ from those in the official reports?

The official reports aggregate numeric values in several different ways. Sometimes figures are rounded before they are summed, and sometimes the totals are rounded instead. When we attempt to separate individual licences from the aggregated data there is occasionally a discrepancy of a few pounds.

Why do some licences have unknown values?

Only two of the five types of licence provided by the UK government, SIELs and SITLs, specify the value of the goods that the holder may export. For the other types, OIELs, OITCLs and SITCLs, the value of goods that may be exported by the holder is not specified, nor monitored by other means that we know of. See the key on the types page for more information about different types of licence.

Page created 8 March 2013
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