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The Department for International Trade issued Notice to Exporters 2019/16 on 5th December 2019, advising of the release of updated OGELs (Open General Export Licences) and OGTCLs (Open General Trade Control Licences), with an explanation as to why the licences have required update.
Some OGELs have been closed for new registrations for some months, where in contrast those companies already pre-registered for the given licences before June 2019 were still able to use the older version of the licence.
DIT have explained in their introduction on the notice that the action to review the licences has been instigated as a reaction to two inadvertent breaches of an undertaking given to the Court of Appeal by the Secretary of State, Liz Truss assuring the Court that new licences would not be granted to support exports to Saudi Arabia for arms and military equipment that could be used in the conflict in Yemen.
This Notice to Exporters advises that until further notice it will no longer be possible to register for a number of licences that incorporate exports to Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Sudan and UAE, due to these countries’ continued military operations in Yemen.
What is worthy of note is on previous occassions updated open licences were presented as a replacement for a revoked export licence from a given date. In this instance, the older licences are still in place for use by those companies with a previous registration, the updates to the licences being available for new registrations only, but having a dated suffix of ‘from June, 2019’. The difference being that the coalition countries are removed from the newer version of the licence.
Likewise, some open licences permitting controlled goods exports to Turkey are also affected, due to the Turkish military action in north east Syria.
A link to the notice is given below. Any queries should be address to the ECJU as detailed in the notice.
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