EU Dual Use Regulation + 2020 amendment

Updated: Jan 10

Dual-use items are goods, software and technology that can be used for both civilian and military applications. The EU controls the export, transit and brokering of dual-use items so the EU can contribute to international peace and security and prevent the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).


EU export controls reflect commitments agreed upon in key multilateral export control regimes such as the Australia Group, the Wassenaar Arrangement, the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Missile Technology Control Regime.


Regulation (EC) No 428/2009 governs the EU's export control regime, which includes:

  • common export control rules, including a common set of assessment criteria and common types of authorisations (individual, global and general authorisations)

  • a common EU list of dual-use items

  • a 'catch-all clause' for non-listed items which could be used e.g. in connection with a WMD programme

  • controls on brokering dual-use items and their transit through the EU

  • specific control measures to be introduced by exporters, such as record-keeping and registers

  • provisions setting up a network of competent authorities supporting the exchange of information and the consistent implementation and enforcement of controls throughout the EU

In certain cases, EU countries may put extra controls on non-listed dual-use items because of public security or human rights considerations.


Dual-use items may be traded freely within the EU, except for some particularly sensitive items, which transfer within the EU remains subject to prior authorisation (see Annex IV of the Regulation). The regulation contributes to goals of the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) with regard to trade in nuclear material and to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The regulation is directly applicable throughout the EU. EU countries nevertheless need to take extra measures for implementing some of its provisions, e.g. enforcement and penalties.


2020 amendments

On 17 October 2019, the European Commission adopted the annual Delegated Regulation that updates the EU dual-use export control list in Annex I to Regulation (EC) No 428/2009 and brings it in line with the decisions taken within the framework of the international non-proliferation regimes and export control arrangements in 2018.


The majority of the changes result from amendments agreed at the Wassenaar Arrangement, including:

  • New decontrol note for 'open-cell foam' electromagnetic wave absorbing materials (1C001) o Amendment to control entry for gear machine tool including a cascaded structure for the control criteria (2B003)

  • New local definition of 'measuring range’ for linear displacement measuring instrument (2B006b1Amendment to control entry for Digital-to-Analogue Converter to avoid overlapping of the controls (3A001a5b)

  • New entry for ‘other’ discrete microwave transistors (3A001b3f)

  • New entry for signal generators with specified 'Radio Frequency modulation bandwidths’ (3A002d5) o Amendment to control entry for multi-layer mask control (3B001h)

  • New entry for software designed to restore operation of microcomputers/ microprocessors after Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) or Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) disruption (3D005)

  • New decontrol note for "Information security" items specially designed for a 'connected civil industry application’ (5A002)

  • Amendment to control entry for cryptographic activation token, including a Technical Note for the local definition of 'cryptographic activation token’ (5A002)

  • Amendment to control entry for hydrophones operating over 1000m (6A001a2a6)

  • New Note 6 for lasers defining 'Single transverse mode' and 'Multiple transverse mode’ (6A005)

  • New entry for masks and reticles designed for optical sensors (6B002)

  • Amendment to control entry for underwater submersible vehicles (8A001c)

  • New entry for air-launch platforms for space launch vehicles (9A004g)

  • Deletion of entry for technology for diffusion bonding for gas turbine engine components (9E003a7)


Some changes result from amendments agreed at the Missile Technology Control Regime, including:

  • Amendment to the acronym for “CEP” (“Circular Error Probable”) (7A103.c)

  • Amendment to control entry for include detonation engines (9A111).

Other changes were substantially editorial changes made to bring Annex I controls in line with Regime controls and changes for the correction of minor errors.


The updated version of the Correlation list between TARIC and the EU Dual Use list (Annex I to Reg. 428/2009 as amended by Reg. 2019/2199) is now available here: https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/html/155445.htm.


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