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Export control

As a technical university, KTH performs a lot of research that can have both civilian and military applications. This means that KTH must ensure that the University handles questions about the export of controlled technology and knowledge in accordance with laws and regulations in force and that no export controlled items, information, technical assistance or other services will be exported or transferred without first clarifying whether any a license requirements exist.

Before advanced technology (item, software or technical information) is transferred or dispatched, KTH must establish whether any type of export control exists. Normally, this means to establish whether (1) it is permitted to send the product in question, and (2) the necessary licenses have been obtained, and (3) that the conditions of the license have been complied with. To achieve this requires all employees to contribute at least to the extent that they pay attention to the issue. More is required of the operation managers.

When intending to send an item suspected of being export controlled, all employees must report this to an export control officer at the RSO ( ). Exactly what is expected of the different employees is described in the regulation Tasks and decision-making power within export control  that reflects the legislation. The Export Control Programme (docx 444 kB)  describes more of the legislation and advice on how it can be complied with at KTH.

Every employee responsible for an activity (e.g. research manager, course coordinator, programme director) is also responsible for classifying products, software, and technical information within the activity. In addition, the individual must assess the operational risks linked to aspects of export control. To support this, a checklist  (docx 586 kB) is available that should be filled-in at the start of all projects, as well as when relevant changes take place in a project.

Support for staff at KTH

Export control officers at the Research Support Office provide support and inform the staff at KTH on issues relating to export control. Product classifications usually require the export control officer and operation manager or other technically qualified staff to work together. Export control officers prepare and administer license applications for employees at KTH. Environments that process their own applications send copies of the applications and any licenses to the export control officers.

To contact the export control officers:

Export control at KTH

There are three basic questions that individuals wishing to transfer or export an item must ask:

  • What shall be exported/transferred?
  • Where and to whom shall it be exported/transferred?
  • Why shall it be exported/transferred?

It is important to also remember what is considered to be an export or transfer.

  • Export is to send something out of the EU's customs territory (dual-use items) or beyond Sweden's national borders (military equipment).
  • Transfer is to send something out across a national border within the EU's customs territory (dual-use items).

Export and transfer take place through the movement of physical goods, the distribution of software or technical information via electronic channels, and written or verbal transmission.

It may, for example, be a question of taking demonstration models to a conference, divestment of obsolete equipment, research or teaching for foreign principals, sharing program code on the Internet, or publishing in international journals. In exceptional cases, it may also be a question of transferring certain technical information to individuals resident abroad but visiting Sweden.

What shall be exported/transferred?

There are two regulations to observe in order to determine whether an item is export controlled, the first refers to military equipment, and the second refers to dual-use items.

Military equipment is equipment that is especially designed for military use, and technical assistance is technical support related to military equipment. The Military Equipment Act (1992:1300)  and the Ordinance (1992:1303) on military equipment regulate license requirements and obligations. Which item, software or technical information that constitutes military equipment and technical assistance for such equipment is defined in the Annex to the Ordinance on military equipment, the so-called military equipment list . For equipment that is to be considered as military equipment, license requirements apply for the following activities: manufacture, supply, supply abroad, export from Sweden, transit through Sweden, agreements on manufacturing rights, cooperation agreements, amending agreements, and military training. All staff who suspect they may be handling products classified as military equipment must contact an export control officer at the RSO (

Dual-use items are products (items, software, technical information) designed for civilian use, but have such properties that they can also be used for military applications. Many dual-use items require licenses to be exported. Some require a license for transfer within the EU. When sending a dual-use item subject to export control, the recipient must also be notified about the matter.

In order to know whether an item being sent is a dua- use item subject to a license requirement, a check must be made to determine whether it is listed in Annex I of the EU Regulation on dual-use export controls. Current list is in the checklist  (docx 586 kB) .

To know which products require licenses for transfers within the EU, reference should instead be made to Annex II in (EU) 2022/1  (Replaced the Annex IV (EU) 2021/821  January 13th 2022). Some examples of what is included in Annex II are blasting equipment, hydrophones, missile technology, cryptography, and nuclear technology.

If products (items, software, technical information) originate from the United States, regulations regarding US-controlled products may also need to be taken into account. United States origin dual-use products are listed in the Export Administration Regulation ( EAR ).

Where and to whom shall it be exported/transferred?

It is important to know the recipient of the exported/transferred item. This applies whether it is something that is shipped, or transferred electronically or verbally, to recipients in third countries, or recipients from third countries. Action to assess the risks related to the export of products to end users and end uses is known as due diligence.

To exercise due diligence includes paying attention to warning signs such as:

  • it is difficult to find information about an end user/collaboration partner or his/her organisation,
  • the end user/collaboration partner has links to the military, defence industry or authority in a country subject to arms embargoes and the end use is reported to be civilian,
  • the end user/collaboration partner gives no reference to a website, or refers to an unconvincing website,
  • the end user/collaboration partner is unwilling or is vague when describing why he/she wants to collaborate or share information.

Sanctions are implemented against countries, companies/organisations or individuals. These can prevent transactions even for an item that is not a dual-use item subject to a license requirement. The UN, EU or OSCE (OSSE in Swedish) decides on sanctions applicable in Sweden. Sanctions can be in the form of arms embargoes, financial sanctions, or bans on equipment that could be used to repress a country's own population. Transactions with recipients located in sanctioned countries can be entirely feasible, but require careful analysis. Note that special sanctions may apply in the handling of products originating from the United States.

There are various aids to identifying whether sanctions exist, one of them is to use the EU sanctions map .

Why shall it be exported/transferred?

The purpose of exporting/transferring a product (items, software, technical information) also needs to be taken into account when export control is to be considered. Different license requirements may exist, depending on the end use or purpose of an export/transfer.

There is a so-called Catch-all provision (General Clause) in the EU's Regulation on dual-use items, which means that if the exporter is aware that a product or technology may be used for weapons of mass destruction, it is subject to export control regardless of whether it is listed in Annex I of the Regulation (checklist). Information about Catch-all is available in Article 4 (EU) 2021/821

Factors to pay attention to include, among other things, whether the purpose is military, whether it concerns cyber surveillance, or whether something shall be integrated into another design, such as to integrate software into a product intended for military use.

Here too, the exporter needs to pay attention to warning signs such as:

  • the end user/collaboration partner is unwilling to describe or is vague when describing the end use,
  • unusual requirements are set or requests made regarding confidentiality when it comes to partners, deliveries, or research specifications.

Relevant documents:

Checklist - checklist  (docx 586 kB)

Guidelines KTH - Tasks and decision-making power within export control

Export control programme - Export control programme (docx 444 kB)