The Department for International Trade and the Export Control Joint Unit published a notice to exporters on 10 January 2022 regarding compound penalties imposed on ten UK exporters for unlicensed exports of dual use and military items and breaches of export licence conditions between March and November 2021.

The compound penalties imposed by HM Revenue & Customs (“HMRC“) ranged between £1,000 and £54,000 and related to unlicensed exports of dual use goods, military goods and related activity controlled by The Export Control Order 2008. A number of the larger compound penalties described in the notice related to dual use items. This included penalties of £31,355.28 in March 2021 and £34,499.88 in November 2021, notably two of the three largest penalties issued by HMRC during this period.

The notice stated that “HMRC has policy responsibility for enforcing export controls on strategic goods and sanctions and investigating breaches of those controls. Where appropriate, HMRC can use their powers to offer a compound penalty in lieu of a file being prepared and sent to the Crown Prosecution Service.” In recent years, HMRC has used its discretionary power to impose civil monetary penalties in lieu of criminal prosecution to issue compound penalties of up to £211,250.


Ross Evans is a Senior Associate in the EU, Competition and Trade team in London, who specializes in advising companies in the technology, telecoms, engineering, and fintech sectors on how to manage a rapidly changing landscape of competition/antitrust, trade law, and national security and investment regimes. He regularly advises clients in relation to UK public interest intervention rules and national security and investment issues, and on global foreign investment review strategy, leveraging his expertise in trade and export control laws and competition merger control regimes, and an in-depth understanding of emerging technologies.