How can I obtain an export licence for strategic goods or dual-use goods?

Businesses require a licence to export military goods or dual-use goods. If the government has security-related concerns, it may reject the licence application.

Licence applications

Businesses can apply for licences through Customs’ Central Import and Export Office (CDIU). Applications relating to the European Union (EU), NATO member states, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and Switzerland are processed by the CDIU. Applications relating to other destinations are forwarded to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. When considering sensitive applications, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can consult the intelligence services. The CDIU website contains forms for filing notifications or licence applications for strategic goods (link in Dutch).

Approval of applications

The CDIU approves applications when it is clear that the military goods will be used for permitted purposes. In the case of dual-use goods, it must be clear that they do not pose a threat to international security.
The CDIU processes licence applications within eight weeks. It approves or rejects applications on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is responsible for export control policy.

Rejection of applications

The export of strategic goods is sometimes prohibited, for example if the government doubts whether the products will arrive at their stated destination or if the country of destination is subject to an arms embargo. In such cases, applicants receive a letter explaining why their application has been rejected.
A company can lodge an objection to the decision rejecting its application, except in cases involving arms embargoes.

Assessment against Dutch arms export policy and end-use checks

The government assesses all export licence applications for military goods against the criteria of Dutch arms export policy. For example, it examines whether the goods could play a role in human rights violations. In the case of dual-use goods, the CDIU and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs check whether there are sufficient guarantees that the goods will be used for civil purposes.