Use cases and licence conditions

Users can gain access to ECMWF forecast products under one of the following licence agreement types.

Provide official duty or public task activities

NMHS of​ ECMWF Member and Co-operating States ​and their authorised users do not require a licence and are granted full access to ECMWF products and services via their computing representative >>

NMHS of WMO Members ​can apply for a non-commercial version of the ECMWF Standard Licence Agreement in order to use real-time (valid) products.

You must:

  • fulfil national governmental obligations related to the protection of life and property
  • and use the data only for research projects and educational use

You must not:

  • provide commercial services, even if a part of your national governmental obligation
  • redistribute, sell, broker or licence to data to any third parties for commercial or non-commercial use

You may:

  • provide ECMWF data to governmental bodies within your territory in order for those bodies to meet national governmental obligations related to the protection of life and property

If you only need to use archive products then you should also check the conditions of the section below: 'Provide a service or carry out research using archive ECMWF products'

Provide a service using real-time (valid) ECMWF products

If you wish to provide a commercial, non-commercial, or not-for-profit service to third parties using ECMWF real-time products, you will need to accept the terms of the ECMWF Standard licence and pay for the associated data and handling costs.

You must:

  • apply the appropriate attribution as per Article 8 of the licence agreement

You must not:

  • redistribute, sell, broker or licence ECMWF valid real-time products to Service Providers or End Users

You may:

  • use the Products for your own internal purposes
  • produce and supply Non-retrievable Value Added Services to all users, as per the definitions in the licence agreement
  • produce and supply Retrievable Value Added Services to End Users, as per the definitions in the licence agreement
  • produce and publish Graphics Based on ECMWF Products
  • share data with directly controlled subsidiaries

Note: From 01 July 2021 until 30 June 2022, licensed Service Providers can request permission from their Licensor to redistribute up to 1GB per month of ECMWF Real-time Products for Personal Use. Service Providers will be asked to provide usage statistics about the redistribution. 

ECMWF has produced additional guidelines to support the interpretation of the licence agreement.

Carry out research using real-time (valid) ECMWF products

If you wish to use ECMWF real-time products for research purposes, you will need to apply for the ECMWF Standard Licence via a Catalogue Contact Point or directly with ECMWF.

You must:

  • openly publish research outputs without any delay linked to commercial development
  • inform ECMWF of any project partners who may require access to or use of ECMWF valid real-time products
  • attach an appropriate attribution of the data in any publications

You must not:

  • provide operational services that could be used for operational or commercial purposes by yourself or any other third-party
  • redistribute, sell, broker or licence the valid products to any third party

You may:

  • conduct time-limited research according to the Scope of Use for which the licence was approved

When requesting a research licence, please provide the following information:

  1. the name and length of the project, including a list of participants involved (organisations)
  2. a description of how the data will be used and the expected outputs
  3. why real-time data will be required

Provide a service or carry out research using archive (expired real-time) ECMWF products

If you wish to use archive (expired real-time) ECMWF products to provide commercial, non-commercial, or not-for-profit services to third parties, or carry out research, the data itself is governed by the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0). However, an access fee may still be applicable and the Terms of Use apply.

You must:

  • give appropriate credit (attribution) to ECMWF as outlined below, provide a link to the licence, and indicate if changes were made

You must not

  • add restrictions, i.e. apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the licence permits

You may:

  • Share - copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
  • Adapt - remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially


'Real-time' is data for which the value of DATE + TIME + STEP + 24 hours is greater than or equal to the current date.

All real-time licences have: 

  • 24/7 real-time support
  • Tailored real-time forecast products
  • Office hours support and access to relevant documentation 
  • Delivery of real-time data by FTP over the internet (options include: FTP, SFTP, Amazon AWS S3, Azure Blob and Google Cloud Platform)