SPIRE - UK Export Licensing System
  SPIRE has revolutionised the export control industry. Its award-winning technology has transformed a complex archaic paper-based manual process with multiple systems into one centralised, highly secure, paperless web-based system.

An end-to-end electronic system for processing export licence applications for goods controlled by the UK Government - SPIRE ensures each step of the application process is tracked, dated and timed, giving organisations the flexibility and control to monitor status and progress.

  UK Export licence applications for controlled goods are sent electronically to BIS (Department for Business, Innovation & Skills) to process. These are then approved or rejected on the advice of other government departments (including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Ministry of Defence and, the Department for International Development).
SPIRE was developed to:

One central web-based system for export licence applications

SPIRE is now the only system in the UK to process licence applications for the export of strategic goods. It is a highly sophisticated, business-to-government and government-to-government system for export licensing, as well as being security accredited to UK Government Restricted Level.

SPIRE's flexibility has allowed the Ministry of Defence to include their pre-licensing approval application on the system. This process is owned and run by MoD and completes the single system principle for the export community.

The system has brought the following benefits to the industry:

Data securely encrypted to UK Government Restricted Level

All data sent between exporters and BIS (Department for Business, Innovation & Skills) is securely encrypted to UK Government Level Restricted. Documents and forms are submitted to SPIRE and are securely stored with full audit trail facilities implemented. At the end of the licensing process, an electronic digitally signed licence is issued from SPIRE using specialised document creation and digital signature technology.

SPIRE is used daily by Exporters and Traders, BIS (Department for Business, Innovation & Skills), The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Ministry of Defence, the Department for International Development, HM Revenue and Customs and Government Communications Headquarters.

The system has over 11,600 active users across 5,600 organisations with up to 1,100 logins a day. It comprises of multiple systems including the following:

Publicly searchable statistics

SPIRE has enabled a publicly searchable database, allowing anyone in the world access to data about the UK Government's export licences. This allows Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) and parliamentary committees to keep up to date on what licences have been issued or refused by the government.

SPIRE technology awards
Winner Environment Project Award
Winner Better Regulation Award
Finalist Business-to-Business award
Finalist Public Sector Technology Project of the Year
Casework Group, ECO
  “SPIRE is an unprecedented success allowing us to deliver an even more efficient service to our customers. The hard work that went into the development of SPIRE has really paid off and we now have a dynamic licensing system that is the envy of many export control organisations around the world.”

David Whitehouse
Head of Licensing
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