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821 Clinic: Watch 50 min+ Full Webinar on Demand

(P) A recast EU Export Control Law entered into force in autumn 21. Our educational webinar goes through the changes. Watch the full 50+ minutes here

Export Controls are restrictions imposed by governments on the tangible and intangible movement of certain goods, software, and technology and on the provision of technical assistance related to controlled items and other restrictions on trade. Eu businesses exporting goods outside the EU may be subject to licensing requirements when dual-use goods, goods used both in civil and military applications, are exported.

The recast of the EU export control legislation is expected to enter into force in autumn 2021. EU businesses and those moving dual-use goods out of the EU or via Eu territory need to be ready for these controls and changes, dubbed a "System Upgrade". New controls in relation to cyber-surveillance and human rights abuses have been introduced, definitions of key terms amended.

There is a new "EU Watch List" and new general licenses are to come into force. It is imperative for any business in the EU (but also from the UK) to gain fundamental awareness of the key provisions of the new law and get practical steps of how to implement the new rules.


  • EU legislative procedure: procedure and current status

  • From the Commission Draft 2016 to the Final Compromise Text 2020

  • Overview of significant changes

  • Selected changes in the individual consideration

  • New export restrictions/catch-all for goods under surveillance

  • Extended restrictions on (trading and) brokering activities

  • (For the first time) EU restrictions on (trading and) brokering activities

  • National opening clause and EU-wide enforcement

  • EU general authorizations, in particular, EU007: Software and technology transfer in the group

  • Conclusion / outlook / need for adjustment for exporters



The reform of the EU dual-use regulation has been under discussion since summer 2016. Protecting human rights is a major goal of these planned changes. In this context, the scope of control in the area of software and technology for interception and surveillance will be expanded.

In March the European Parliament voted in favour of the EU dual-use regulation:

Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council setting up a Union regime for the control of exports, transfer, brokering, technical assistance and transit of dual-use items (recast).

Exports of interception and surveillance technology from the EU is expected to be subject to licensing in the future. Authoritarian regimes will no longer be able to use surveillance technology from the EU for the suppression of opposition groups and/or violations of human rights. In addition to the protection of human rights, changes of the EU dual-use regulation also aim to make so-called "emerging technologies" more controllable.

Objective: Harmonizing EU export rules for dual-use goods

Another goal of the EU regulation reform is to harmonize the dual-use export rules in all EU member states. Closer cooperation between the member states should lead to a better and more uniform EU policy on dual-use export controls in the future. Some planned measures to ensure this includes:

  • New mechanisms to align and coordinate

  • New forms of licensing to make it easier for companies

  • Better enforceability of controls through increased cooperation at the EU-level between licensing bodies and customs authorities

  • More transparency in the annual report of the EU Commission

EU autonomous controls

The new Regulation introduces a basis for EU autonomous controls allowing the EU to make its own decisions regarding human rights controls on cyber-surveillance technologies, and for coordination of national controls on emerging technologies.

The “human security” dimension: an EU mechanism for human rights end-use controls on cyber-surveillance exports (Art. 2.21, Art. 4a)

The mechanism follows a “bottom-up” approach reflecting Member States’ decisions to control non-listed cyber-surveillance items for human rights considerations

The mechanism provides for the introduction of controls through a mandatory and prescriptive consultation procedure, resulting in the publication of an “EU Watch List” of items and destinations subject to control

The mechanism is supported by due diligence requirements for exporters.

EU Guidelines will be developed


  • 28/09/2016 Legislative proposal published COM(2016)0616

  • 06/10/2016 Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading

  • 19/12/2017 Committee report tabled for plenary, 1st reading/single reading A8-0390/2017

  • 16/01/2018 Debate in Parliament

  • 17/01/2018 Results of vote in Parliament

  • 17/01/2018 Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading T8-0006/2018

  • 17/01/2018 Matter referred back to the committee responsible

  • 21/10/2019 Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading

  • 30/11/2020 Approval in committee of the text agreed at 1st reading interinstitutional negotiations

System Upgrade

The new Regulation represents a comprehensive “system upgrade”: virtually all provisions of the Regulation are amended in order to enhance the efficiency and/or the effectiveness of controls. This includes updated

  • definitions and control parameters,

  • Harmonization,

  • simplification and digitalization of licensing,

  • enhanced information- sharing, and

  • cooperation with third countries

The “system upgrade” also introduces new rules on

  • transparency,

  • enforcement,

  • industry outreach and an EU training program.

Key changes

  • Harmonization of licensing parameters e.g. new definition for “large project authorization”, max. license validity (2y), end-use statements, ICP requirements

  • New EU General Export Authorizations (EUGEAs) for Intragroup Technology Transfers (EU007) and for Encryption (EU008)

  • Harmonization of EUGEA basic conditions and requirements (registration, notification and reporting under EUGEAs) and delegation of competence to the Commission to amend destinations and items in Annex I and II in consideration of technology and political developments

  • Development of electronic licensing and interconnection of IT systems


Here are the changes provides by the European Parliament

Changes by the European Parliament - Cus
Download • 1.07MB

Änderungen im Europäischen Parlament (Deutsch)

Aenderung Dual Use - Customs Manager LTd
Download • 1.04MB


Dual Use Law in the EU - Partnership Pre
Download • 1.56MB

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