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Import licensing

Please be aware that all countries, including EU states, now need to submit an import licence as of 1 January 2021.

See GOV.UK for further information

The Open General Import Licence (OGIL) allows all goods to be imported into the United Kingdom. However, the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero proscribes certain goods, which are detailed within the Schedule to the OGIL, and may restrict or even ban the import of such goods.

For safety and security reasons, relevant nuclear materials are amongst those commodities that may not be imported under the OGIL and require individual import licences.

Importers must apply with at least 30 days’ notice, to the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) for a licence to import the following nuclear materials:

  • Tariff heading: 26 12 - Uranium Ore and concentrates.
  • Tariff heading: 28 44 - Plutonium, Uranium 233, Uranium enriched in the isotopes 233 or 235, natural Uranium and mixtures, compounds and alloys containing any of the foregoing, including spent or irradiated nuclear reactor fuel elements (cartridges).

Please use the current UK Trade Tariff commodity codes.

On your application specify if you are applying for a Single Import Licence or an Open Import Licence. A Single Import Licence is for one import shipment, with a maximum timeframe of 3 months, from the commencement date to the expiry date of the licence. An Open Import Licence allows more than one shipment and has a maximum timeframe of 1 year from commencement to expiry date.

It should be noted that in order for the UK to meet its international obligations it is unlikely that a licence would be granted to import nuclear materials from a state not party to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material.

An application could be refused under NISR for a variety of reasons, for example, due to over excessive quantities, legal entity of the company importing, etc. Any refusal would be fully explained and the reason(s) given in an open and transparent manner. Right of appeal in the first instance would be in writing to the Deputy Chief Nuclear Inspector at ONR.

The forms needed to apply for an import licence are available for download below.

Please be aware that amendments cannot be made to previously issued licences. New applications must be submitted if material or dates change.

  • ONR-DOC-TEMP-348 – Application for Licence to Import Nuclear Materials
    This form is solely for the application for an Import Licence for the commodities described above. The form consists of the application itself, a declaration and guidance notes.
    An Authorised Signatory Form for an Import Licence must be completed by the applicant prior to their first import, the authorised signatory stated on this form must be the same as the signatory on the application form for an import licence. Once submitted, we will store the details of the authorised signatory and can be referred to when further import licences are requested. A new Authorised Signatory form will be required if the authorised signatory changes.
  • ONR-DOC-TEMP-349 – Notice for Authorised Signatory for Import Licence Applications
    This is for the nomination of someone to sign applications on behalf of Directors, Partners or Proprietors. The person authorised can work either in the importing company or their shipping agents.

An original signature is needed, application forms must be scanned and then emailed to us at

Should you need to contact us, please email

Please be aware that amendments cannot be made to previously issued licences. New applications must be submitted if material or dates change.

Import licensing restrictions

ILB publicises its restrictions by issuing Notices to Importers. Notices covering the current restrictions, including nuclear materials, are available on their website (details below).

Import licences for other goods

If you have any queries about Import Licensing for other goods, please refer to the ILB website.