§ Mrs. Curtis-Thomas
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the expected time limit is on decisions for export licence applications. 
§ Nigel Griffiths
I have been asked to reply.
The Export Control Organisation (ECO) sets out the Government's commitment to exporters in a Service and Performance Code (available on its website www.dti.gov.uk/export.control). Where, as in almost all cases, it is necessary for a Standard Individual Export Licence (SIEL) application to be circulated to other Government Departments the aim is to provide a response to 70 per cent. of cases within 20 working days, except in special circumstances. Details of performance in processing SIEL applications against the target are published in the Government's annual reports on strategic export controls, copies of which are available in the Libraries of the House.
While there is no time limit placed on decisions for export licences, the Government are committed to processing all export licence applications as quickly as possible, consistent with our determination to manage the transfer of all goods and technology controlled for strategic reasons in a responsible manner.