Ministers urged to ease trade barriers for products that incorporate encryption
24 Feb 2017 02:26 PM
techUK has urged the government to cut the red tape associated with the export of communications equipment and components.
In a letter to Mark Garnier MP, parliamentary undersecretary of state at the Department for International Trade, techUK has urged the government to cut the red tape associated with the export of communications equipment and components. Failure to tackle this issue risks eroding the competitiveness of UK-based exporters, the letter warns.
The UK digital economy is responsible for 24% of total UK exports and represents some three million jobs. Businesses that either produce or intensively use digital technology make up a large, and growing, part of the UK economy. Many of the everyday products we use are increasingly dependent on the use of encryption and this will increase exponentially as smart and IoT technologies take off.
However, under the current rules, many B2B technologies that use encryption must undergo a lengthy licence approval process before exports are permitted. While this scrutiny is important for sensitive exports, for a large proportion of impacted products this creates unnecessary red tape and is leading to lost orders.
In almost all comparable nations there are significantly more liberal export controls in place for these goods than exists in the UK. The situation is impacting UK companies’ competitive position.
As the UK now looks to enhance the UK’s international trade position it is now imperative that the UK’s companies can compete on a level playing field. An Open General Export Licence covering specific communications equipment would address concerns, along with clear guidance to help industry determine which items require licensing.
Members interested in joining our Joint electronics telecoms security export control group, please do get in touch with Lucas Banach.