Dual-use products

The term dual-use product refers to products with an established civilian function that can also be used for military purposes. Dual-use products may not be exported outside the EU without a license.

The term dual-use product refers to products with an established civilian function that can also be used for military purposes. Dual-use products may not be exported outside the EU without a license from the Swedish Inspectorate of Strategic Products (ISP) or Swedish Radiation Safety Authority. In some special cases, transfer within the EU of such items also require a license.

In which situations is this important for you?

Compliance with legislation concerning strategic products may be an issue in various contexts, for example:

  • In research or collaborative projects with foreign partners. - When entering into an agreement with a foreign party.
  • When employees who handle strategic products participate in international conferences or other contexts in which representatives of foreign states participate.
  • When research data containing information about strategic products is shared, via a cloud service for example.
  • When used equipment, surplus products, chemicals, biological agents, etc. are sold or donated (transferred) to foreign universities.
  • When advanced instruments or chemicals are taken on expeditions.
  • Handling strategic products in situations that present a risk for dissemination to foreign contacts

What kind of research is affected?

The goods and technologies classified as dual-use items are listed and described in Annex I of the EU Council Regulation No 2021/821 (EU Dual-use Regulation). The list can be found under Links further down this page. The controlled items are divided into 10 different categories and include:

Category 0 Nuclear materials, facilities and equipment
Category 1 Special materials and related equipment
Category 2 Materials Processing
Category 3 Electronics
Category 4 Computers
Category 5 Telecommunications and "information security"
Category 6 Sensors and lasers
Category 7 Navigation and avionics
Category 8 Marine
Category 9 Aerospace and Propulsion

At universities examples may, for example, be specific human or animal pathogens and toxins (category 1), certain chemicals (category 1), advanced computers (category 4) or instruments (category 6). The term dual-use item also includes technologies for the development, production or use (including software) of goods specified in the above-mentioned annex.

The term dual-use products also includes technologies for the development, production or use (including software) of goods specified in the above-mentioned annex.

What is export?

Export refers to a transfer out of the European Community, and that includes:

  • Physical transport
  • Transmission by electronic media
  • Oral transmission of technology

Transfer of technology using electronic media (for example via e-mail or via the Internet) to a destination outside the EU is defined as export. Scientific publication as well as oral transmission of technology is also covered by the export control regulations.

Export control may be relevant for researchers in, for example, international research projects where it is important that the responsibility for possible export licenses are regulated in the agreements. Another example is when employees participate in international conferences.

Anyone who exports products and/or technology from the country is obliged to find out if these are classified as dual-use items. Even if a license is not required for transfer within the EU, there is an obligation to provide information if it concerns dual-use items.

How to applicate for a license

Category 1-9

The Swedish Inspectorate of Strategic Products (ISP) is responsible for products in category 1-9. You can for these products:
- Demand a notice in advance. A notice in advance is not a binding formal decision. To proceed you need to do a formal application. Ansöka om individuellt exporttillstånd.

You can also use a global license for certain of dual-use products to a number of predetermined destinations. https://isp.se/pda/export-och-overforing/eu-generella-exporttillstand/

Category 0

The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority is responsible for products in category 0.

For category 0 products (nuclear materials, facilities and equipment) authorisation is issued by the Swedish radiation Safety Authority. This also applies to the export of technical information and software relating to such products. Permission may also be required for certain intermediary services from Sweden.

The Swedish radiation Safety Authority ansökan om export av produkter med dubbla användningsområden.

Roles and responsibilities at Umeå university

The Vice-Chancellor bears the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that the University complies with statutory requirements for dual-use products.
Deans have faculty-wide responsibility for strategic products within their faculty. Deans may appoint a coordinator for strategic products should they feel that the need exists in the faculty, see below.

Heads of department or directors are responsible for ensuring compliance with statutory requirements concerning strategic products and that staff have adequate knowledge in this regard. Heads of department or directors are also responsible for ensuring that the requisite authorisations are obtained and that the Property Management Office is informed that a strategic product is to be transferred within the EU or exported to a third country. Heads of department may appoint a coordinator for strategic products should they feel that the need exists in the department, see below.

The function that has been delegated responsibility in writing for precautions and applying for export authorisation from the Inspectorate of Strategic Products (ISP) or Swedish Radiation Safety Authority and ensuring that authorisation is obtained, such as a research group leader. This function is responsible for identifying and classifying strategic products pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2021/821 and that any contracts involving the export or import of strategic products comply with statutory requirements. The function is also responsible for informing the Property Management Office that authorisation has been granted and for submitting annual declaration information to the Property Management Office. This function is also responsible for ensuring that any customs declarations are correctly completed, including the export license number.

A coordinator for strategic products may be appointed at a faculty or department if the need arises. This function provides support to the function with delegated responsibility for strategic products. The person appointed to this position should have knowledge of both the administration of strategic products and export controls, as well as of the specific research projects being conducted at the department or faculty.

Staff who participate in projects involving strategic products must observe and comply with applicable legislation and regulation.

The Property Management Office is responsible for coordinating and developing the University's work on these issues. The Property Management Office develops and drafts governance and support documentation and, together with the Radiation Safety Expert, is the University's point of contact for licensing and supervisory authorities. The Property Management Office prepares and submits the annual export control declaration to ISP. The function also ensures that the relevant training is provided to research group leaders and/or any other support functions that may need it.

The University's legal officers support the organisation on matters related to agreements to import or export strategic products.

Chemical, biosafety and radiation safety experts can provide specialist knowledge for identifying and classifying strategic products in their respective fields.


To prevent exporters from deliberately trying to circumvent the law's intention, there is also a so-called "Catch-all clause" in the EU Dual-use Regulation. This clause means that if the exporter is aware of that the product / technology may be used for weapons of mass destruction, it is subject to export control even if the product is not listed in Annex I.

In case of uncertainty, the ISP can be consulted. ISP then examines and decides whether the individual export should be subject to permit requirements.

Annual declaration

The holder of a permit to manufacture or supply munitions must annually submit a declaration to the ISP of the activities invoiced during the previous year. The declaration is prepared and submitted by the Property Management Office with the assistance of the relevant organisational units. This may mean that the Property Management Office will request supplementary information about certain products that the University has a duty to declare.


Products with export restrictions (both physical and information) need be handled in a secure manner to prevent unauthorized access. Contact the Property Management Office for guidance.

Guidance regarding information security: Information security.



Frida Fjellström