BIS Export license - thermal viewer

Erik Hamburger

Well-Known Member
I need to return a Thermal Viewer to the retailer under warranty. The Thermal Viewer was purchased online in The Netherlands.
Does anybody has any experience returning a similar item (NV, Thermal) from the UK to EU country?
My understanding is an Export License (SIEL : Standard Individual Export License) from BIS is required. This is free but will take some 3 weeks to obtain. BIS has a web portal (SPIRE) for this purpose.
Is this really necessary, has anybody successfully returned a 'controlled item' item under warranty to a EU supplier without an Export License?
It all seems a bit OTT as my supplier in The Netherlands didn't need and Export License, and I didn't need an Import License to import it.
If you have experience with this system I would appreciate your comments. Thank you.
 

mealiejimmy

Well-Known Member
I purchased a Guide 518 thermal from MSS Defence in holland 3 or 4 years ago.
It was returned to the Guide service centre in Belgium twice for repair during that period.
On each occasion it was shipped via DHL and declared as a thermal camera.
No export licence was applied for on either occasion and there were no problems with either shipment.
My advice - just send the thing and don't worry about any paperwork.

Cheers

Bruce
 

Erik Hamburger

Well-Known Member
Thank you Bruce, I am likely to do just that. Include copies of the purchase invoice and a covering letter explaining the fault, asking for a repair or replacement. In the unlikely event it is checked/opened, even the most pedantic Custom man must then realise this is not going to IS in Syria...
 

Erik Hamburger

Well-Known Member
Thank you Bruce, I am likely to do just that. Include copies of the purchase invoice and a covering letter explaining the fault, asking for a repair or replacement. In the unlikely event it is checked/opened, even the most pedantic Custom man must then realise this is not going to IS in Syria...
OK so DHL collected the thermal viewer from my UK home at 10AM yesterday, it was delivered to the Dutch retailer today by 10AM. Costs £36 - yes that is quite steep but we're looking at a package with a value of some £2,500... I declared as a 'thermal viewer' and it has not caused any issues with Customs. DHL will check the content of the package at the time of collection - anyway that it was it says in their T&C's ;) Others may not be so lucky of course. There is no import license required to get the replacement /repaired unit back to to UK.
 

Ronin

Distinguished Member
If you had to negotiate the SPIRE website its relatively simple process to apply for a SIEL
 

Erik Hamburger

Well-Known Member
If you had to negotiate the SPIRE website its relatively simple process to apply for a SIEL
Well maybe I am relatively simple myself, because I couldn't work it out. It appears BIS has stopped/suspended certain online services that let you check if you need an Export License or not. So their advice is now to apply for one anyway, whether you think you need it or not. Once you worked your way through the instructions and help files you loose the will to live.
 

Ronin

Distinguished Member
Ive applied for several export licences for firearms export over the years, the form is very simple, but repetative in places.

The on line help forms dont really...

However the templates when you save the document tell you what is wrong (if anything)

If the advice is to apply for one regardless, of necessity or not then I would heed that advice.

If I can do it, anyone can complete the application.
 

.243Hunter

Well-Known Member
OK so DHL collected the thermal viewer from my UK home at 10AM yesterday, it was delivered to the Dutch retailer today by 10AM. Costs £36 - yes that is quite steep but we're looking at a package with a value of some £2,500... I declared as a 'thermal viewer' and it has not caused any issues with Customs. DHL will check the content of the package at the time of collection - anyway that it was it says in their T&C's ;) Others may not be so lucky of course. There is no import license required to get the replacement /repaired unit back to to UK.
Erik £36 to the netherlands with insurance upto £2500 is incredibly cheap. Did you go via DHL direct or use another processor who use them..
 

Erik Hamburger

Well-Known Member
Erik £36 to the netherlands with insurance upto £2500 is incredibly cheap. Did you go via DHL direct or use another processor who use them..
DHL online, which included their standard insurance.
I did not purchase the additional insurance which would have been another £45 or so.
 

Erik Hamburger

Well-Known Member
Will you get your £36.00 back.
I don't expect I will, and have not even considered asking for that. Having saved some £800 on the best available UK retail price by buying online in the Eurozone I feel the parcel costs of £36 for a warranty return are not something I would worry about.
 

Erik Hamburger

Well-Known Member
It is to do with the refresh rate - above a certain Hz -30 I think- it becomes 'controlled'.
So low spec thermals are not, higher spec's are.
 

mealiejimmy

Well-Known Member
No licence is needed to import thermals into the UK
Export of thermals with a refresh rate over 9Hz from the UK is controlled and in principle a licence is required - in practice nobody seems to bother when it's a single item going for repair.
If the purpose of a licence is to stop the bad guys from getting thermals, then it's pointless since all the non military thermals used in this country are manufactured outside the UK (e.g. Lithuania and China), so the bad guys don't need to get them from here.

Cheers

Bruce
 

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