Government controls hurting electronics exports, says techUK

Government imposed export controls are “unfair” to the electronics industry, says industry organisation techUK.

Ken Ball

Ken Ball

It claims that exports of technology components are unfairly restricted compared to similar exports by other countries, especially the US following their introduction of new rules exempting many components from licensing.

“We are aware of the significant improvements due to be implemented but we’re concerned at the slow progress to date,” said Ken Ball, head of electronics at techUK.

The stark warning comes from techUK which believes that its recommendations outlined in a report last year have not been acted upon.  This followed a joint programme with the Export Control Organisation (ECO).

“Following our report, we laid out a clear programme of improvements, and we’re clear that implementing these changes would have a real, positive impact for UK electronics companies,” said Ball.

The report outlined export controls processes for UK-based electronic component and systems manufacturers. There was then a meeting with ECO and Ministers at a ‘star chamber’ to discuss the measures that could be taken to help the UK electronics industry to establish a level playing field to other European and worldwide manufacturers.

TechUK  welcomes two deregulatory reviews announced in September which expected to reduce the regulatory burden on UK exporters. The aim is to move more exports to “light touch licensing arrangements, which exporters may register for online for immediate use without End User Undertaking”.

ECO is now consulting a range of Government Departments on a package of proposals arising from these reviews and following this will seek clearance from Ministers.

“The early introduction of these will make a significant difference to UK component manufacturers. techUK hopes that this work will reverse the trend to manufacture these components outside of the UK to avoid UK license restrictions,” said Ball

Ball continued: “In addition to this work, techUK has identified a number of improvements to the way licensing is currently applied to components and systems which incorporate Cryptography.

This technology is increasingly being used in a wide range of products from mobile phone, communications infrastructure, to anything that has to transmit data in a secure format. Many of these components and systems are the backbone of the Digital Economy of the future.”


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