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The UK government has introduced new export controls on metal 3D printers, a move that will have significant implications for businesses involved in the export of these technologies. The new regulations, which took effect on April 1, 2024, require exporters to obtain a license before shipping metal 3D printers or related software and technology to any destination. [1][2][3][4].

This expansion of export controls is part of the UK’s broader efforts to protect emerging technologies, such as semiconductors and quantum computing, that are deemed critical to national security. Businesses will need to carefully navigate these new requirements, as a breach of the export controls can result in criminal offenses and administrative penalties. [5] The regulations also have implications for investors, as transactions involving entities engaged in the supply of these restricted goods or technologies may now fall under the scope of the UK’s National Security and Investment Act, requiring government approval before closing. [5] These changes align with actions being taken by other international partners to safeguard their technological competitiveness and security.

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