UK Export Control Voluntary Disclosures

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Where an exporter discovers that they have exported goods or transferred controlled technology without the required export licence, then they should seek legal advice and strongly consider making a voluntary disclosure to HMRC.

If a non-compliance is discovered by a compliance inspector on an ECJU compliance audit, then the compliance inspector will inform HMRC, and the exporter should also do the same, without delay.

In October 2021, HMRC published new contact for exporters wishing to make a voluntary disclosure. Hard copy voluntary disclosures should be posted or sent by courier to:

Enforcement of Strategic Exports, Sanctions and Intellectual Property Rights
Customs Debt, Enforcement and Law
Customs and Border Design
14 Westfield Avenue
London E20 1HZ

Email declarations should be sent to

A voluntary disclosure should include the following information:

  • details of the export, including dates
  • details of how the breach was discovered, why it occurred and what steps the exporter has put in place to ensure that it does not happen again
  • any relevant documents, such as export documentation and commercial invoices

HMRC review all voluntary disclosures and contact the exporter directly, either to request further information, or to inform them of the outcome of their investigation.

Failure to comply with export controls and sanctions may result in criminal or civil action. Exporting any item without the relevant licence where the exporter deliberately does so in order to evade the Export Control Order 2008 (as amended), is chargeable with a fine or a custodial sentence of up to ten years’ imprisonment. Many other offences are offences of strict liability, meaning that a person may be found liable even if they were unaware that an export licence was required.

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