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Export Licence Applications

Volume 709: debated on Thursday 3 March 2022

The Export Control Joint Unit has statutory responsibility for the licensing of controlled exports. In 2020, it administered more than 16,000 licences. The ECJU provides guidance and training on the application process. Work is presently under way to modernise the application process and the technology that supports it, to make it more efficient and more transparent.

Trying to export goods is currently a slow and inefficient process. One toy business in Chesham and Amersham told me that it now spends significantly more time on the paperwork than it ever did before. A recent survey of businesses in Buckinghamshire showed that 58% have experienced a rise in cost due to an increase in the same red tape. What proactive, practical steps are the Government taking to help businesses of all sizes to export their goods to the rest of the world?

In 2020, the ECJU administered nearly 16,000 standard individual export licences. It completed 62% within 20 working days, against a target of 70%, and 85% within 60 working days, against a target of 99%. That is why we have brought in work to modernise and streamline the application process so that it will be more efficient and—further to the hon. Lady’s point—will allow businesses to know that they can use the system as effectively and with as little red tape as possible.