14th Export Control Conference opens in Berlin, Germany (20-21 February 2020)

Updated: Feb 21, 2020

We report from the export control conference in Berlin.

"For the existing challenges not to become a problem, it is essential to clearly state the challenges and to keep the discourse with everyone involved - especially when it may be particularly difficult," said Torsten Safarik, President of the German Federal Office for Economic Affairs,

With these words he opened the export control the 14th export control day in Berlin. At the center of this year's export control day are the "challenges and opportunities of export control".

The exclusive specialist forum offers around 600 participants on February 20 and 21 in Berlin the opportunity to discuss with high-ranking representatives of the ministries, export control and security authorities, science and industry.

The thematic focal points of the first day of the event are the economic developments in China and the trade conflict between China and the USA as well as the associated challenges in dealing with emerging technologies in terms of export control law.

With this year's keynote lecture and a look at “Security Policy Opportunities through international developments ”opens Thomas Bareiß, Parliamentary State Secretary (BMWi) the second day of the event. In the subsequent round of discussions, he and representatives of the Federal Foreign Office, the Federal Association of the German Security and Defense Industry (BDSV) and the Joint Conference Church and Development (GKKE) devoted current issues to "arms exports control in the mirror of politics" from the point of view of government as well as Industry and civil society.

As an interface between practice and politics, the Export Control Day 2020 also pays special attention to specialist topics and offers the opportunity to get information about news from criminal law and from the BAFA - including the two long-running issues "Amendment to the EC Dual Use Regulation" and "Brexit"

What is this conference all about?

This is one of the largest export control conference in Europe, now in its 14th edition. International businesses, predominantly German speaking, with a stake in Export Controls in Europe and the world attend it, more than 500 participants. The event is officially supported and promoted by the German Export Control Authorities (BAFA).

Are there networking events?

The “who is who of the export control world” will be in attendance. Getting to know export control professionals is vitally important. Besides lunch and coffees breaks, there are two key networking events during the conference which allow for more informal exchanges of views and further discussions. First, there was an evening reception including keynote speech of the Chief Executive of the German DIHK at the House of the German Economy. Then, there was an evening network reception at the end of Day 1 at Berlin’s famous Kulturbrauerei on Prenzlauer Berg, the perfect setting for informal discussions and reflections of the first day.

Who are the speakers?

Speakers include leading academics, politicians, German, EU, and US government officials as well as industry practitioners.

German Keynote speaker: Export Control meets Politics

This year, the keynote speakers on security opportunities through international developments by Thomas Bareiß, Parliamentary State Secretary, Member of the German Bundestag. In the horrific wake of the Hanau shootings and the US-Iran conflict of the beginning of the year, it was a fundamental opportunity for global trade professionals to understand how politics and geopolitical considerations matter in export controls. Those who fail to understand how foreign, security, economic, military, and other policy goals influence export control regulations, will not be able to export successfully.

US Export Controls: What emerging technologies?

The European export control professionals were able to meet and debate with Deputy Assistant Secretary of the US BIS, Matthew S. Borman. What a unique and rare opportunity to understand EAR and ITAR related export control viewpoints. The section, conducted in English, allowed Germans to engage with extraterritorial controls, understand the latest US Export Control Reform changes and how the US considers controlling emerging technologies.

What topics were discussed?

The Export Control Conference is not training in export controls. This was not a seminar. Yet is was an opportunity to learn, challenge and reflect. And most importantly, it was an opportunity to look beyond just legislation, beyond an export control license authorization. It was an opportunity to understand how export controls are closely connected and constrained by economic (how can I export more dual-use goods to strengthen my economy?) and political discussions (should we allow the export of weapons and if so, to which country). The event allowed practitioners to understand the political context and sensitivities, including the moral, ethical and strategic dimensions.

It is this deeper and boarder understanding which allows global trade professionals to place day-to-day export control decisions into context.

Topics discussed were:

• Foreign Policy Assessment of the Gulf Region

• Security situation and cybersecurity

• Economic developments in China

• Chinese export control: meaning for Germany

• German Emerging Technologies

• China - USA conflict and Impact on technology issues

• Arms export control reflected in politics

• News from criminal law

• News from BAFA

• Amendment EG-Dual-Use-VO

• Brexit

• ITAR and EAR

Check back here for more information and reports on the event as they become available

Download the Programme (In German): Here

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