Export license

An export license is an essential component in international trade, especially when it comes to exporting certain goods. In this article, we explain what an export license is, why it is necessary, and how to obtain it to ensure a smooth export process.

export license
export license

















What is an Export License?

An export license is a governmental permission required for the export of certain goods from a country. It is issued by the relevant state authorities and ensures that the export of certain goods complies with national and international regulations.

When is an Export License Required?

Controlled Goods: For the export of military goods, dual-use goods (for civilian and military use), or other sensitive technologies, an export license is often required.


International Agreements: The need for an export license can also arise from international agreements and sanctions.

Steps to Apply for an Export License

Determining the Necessity: Determine whether an export license is required for your goods.


Application Process: Submit the application to the competent authority, often this is the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA) or a similar institution.


Documentation: Prepare all necessary documents required for the application, such as product descriptions, destination, and purpose of use of the goods.

Importance of the Export License in Business Processes

Legal Compliance: Adhering to export control regulations is essential to avoid legal consequences.


Market Access: A valid export license enables access to certain markets and prevents delays in customs clearance.

Tips for a Successful Application Process

Early Planning: Start the application process early as it can take time to process.


Detailed Information: Ensure that all information in the application is precise and complete.


Consultation: Consult experts or advisors for clarification or complex issues.


The export license is a critical factor for the successful export of controlled goods. By understanding the requirements and a careful application process, businesses can ensure that their export proceeds smoothly and complies with legal regulations.


An export license is an authorization to export goods that are subject to certain export restrictions. Certain goods are subject to special monitoring by authorities and may only be exported with an export license. These include, for example, protected animal species (CITES), weapons and armaments, dual-use goods and goods that can be used to manufacture weapons of mass destruction. According to Section 21 of the Foreign Trade and Payments Ordinance (AWV), an export license must be applied for by the exporter on a specific form, for all goods listed in Part I of the export list.


In order to apply for an export license, all relevant data and information should be thoroughly prepared in order to speed up the completion and avoid queries. It is advisable to add all additional documentation to the export license application.


It is important to note that not all goods are automatically subject to an export license requirement. The respective export restrictions and licensing requirements may vary depending on the type and intended use of the goods as well as the countries of destination. To ensure that export regulations are complied with, companies should carefully inform themselves in advance and, if necessary, ask an experienced customs agent or freight forwarder for assistance.


Further information can also be found at www.zoll.de.


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