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Notice to exporters 2021/08: LITE replaces SPIRE for export control licensing


NTE 2021/08: LITE

Published 2 August 2021


  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Next steps
  3. 3. Action for SPIRE users
  4. 4. Time frame to release LITE
  5. 5. Contact ECJU

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1. Introduction

To maintain efficiency of the export control licensing operation, the Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU) is introducing a new digital licensing service called LITE to replace SPIRE. LITE will streamline the application process using increased automation to support robust licence decision-making. With its intuitive user interface, LITE will save exporters time with faster processing of licence applications and better signposting to helpful advice.

The roll out of LITE has begun in a Private Beta version. Private Beta is when we release functionality incrementally, test the service with users and make improvements. Following a successful run in this version and once we are assured the service meets full capability requirements, we will release a Public Beta version to the entire exporter community.

2. Next steps

The Private Beta service is currently being used to apply for and process applications, by a limited audience of industry and government users. This first cohort of exporters has been applying for SIEL licences for firearm goods. To ensure we are developing a sound service, the user insights and feedback we are getting from this group is helping us understand how we need to improve the service before it is launched in Public Beta.

After the Public Beta launch, SPIRE will be decommissioned. Further information about what this means will be provided nearer the time. We plan to ensure that all previous application details from SPIRE are migrated into LITE so all users maintain a record of historical applications.

We will invite further cohorts of users as we release extra functionality and add further licence types and we will do this until we are confident the service is capable of processing at scale all licences in line with Export Control legislation and policy.

Private Beta testing will include:

  • receipt of applications in ECJU
  • analysis of applications against the consolidated criteria by government departments
  • decision making
  • notification of outcome of the application

3. Action for SPIRE users

While this testing takes place, most applicants should continue using SPIRE in the normal way. For those of you involved in the Private Beta testing, only use SPIRE if you are unable to apply for your licence on LITE.

4. Time frame to release LITE

We will release new cohorts between now and the launch of the Public Beta version. We will continue to update you on progress through the Notice to Exporters service and as part of our wider training and awareness activities.

5. Contact ECJU


Export Control Joint Unit
Department for International Trade 
Old Admiralty Building 
Admiralty Place


Telephone 020 7215 4594

Contact for general queries about strategic export licensing.

You can find more information on export controls on the:


Notice to exporters 2021/08

Categories: Export Control Export Control Joint Unit LITE export control licensing system Notice to Exporters SPIRE online export licensing system


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