Do I need a licence to provide services for military goods or dual-use goods?

If your company repairs or maintains military goods or dual-use goods or teaches people how to use them, you will be subject to the same rules that apply to the export of strategic goods. In some cases, you will have to apply for a licence. The same applies to the export of certain types of software and the brokering of trade in military goods.

Types of strategic services

Export controls on strategic services focus on 3 categories:

  • non-physical transfer of software and technology;
  • technical assistance (e.g. advice or training);
  • brokering (e.g. mediating or selling).

Notifications and licences for strategic services

Forms for notifications and licence applications for strategic services (link in Dutch) are available on the website of Customs’ Central Import and Export Office (CDIU).

Software export licences

If you want to export certain types of software, such as an operating system for a weapons installation, you need to obtain a licence. The licensing rules for non-physical products are the same as those for physical strategic goods (link in Dutch).

Rules on technical assistance for weapons and military products

Technical assistance in the development or modification of weapons and other military products is governed by strict rules. For example:

  • It is prohibited to assist in the development of weapons of mass destruction.
  • It is prohibited to advise a buyer of strategic goods in a country that is subject to an arms embargo.
  • Advising on the development of strategic goods is subject to a licensing requirement.

More information about which services are permitted can be found in this FAQ on the Strategic Services Act (link in Dutch).

Military brokering licences

Military brokering is subject to a licensing requirement. Brokering services include activities that facilitate transactions involving strategic goods, such as: 

  • negotiating;
  • making arrangements;
  • selling;
  • purchasing.

Transport, financial services, (re)insurance and marketing do not fall under brokering services.

Brokering of dual-use goods: notifications

Businesses are required to notify Customs’ Central Import and Export Office (CDIU) if they provide brokering services for dual-use goods (link in Dutch). The government wants to receive adequate information on the services that businesses provide in this area.

Brokering of dual-use goods: licences and trade bans

The Minister of Foreign Affairs can impose a licensing requirement or a trade ban on brokers, for example if their services contribute to the development of weapons of mass destruction or if they focus on military end-use in a country that is subject to an arms embargo.

Ministry responsible