Updated: Oct 1, 2021
A recast EU Export Control Law entered into autumn. Our educational webinar talked about the changes. Watch the intro for free here.
The EU has equipped lawmakers with new rules allowing for more accountable, competitive and transparent trade of dual-use items. These are a vast group of goods, materials, software and technology that can be used for both civil and military purposes.
EU export controls are designed to protect national security and stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, but they don’t only cover physical products. Sharing certain sensitive technology or software may also require authorisation and an export licence.
You don’t have to be manufacturing nuclear centrifuges for export to North Korea to violate EU export controls. You could be producing products with EU origin content that may seem harmless enough, but could be used in unintended and malign ways.
The rules of the game are about to change. We have created a webinar detailing all the changes that will occur when the new EU Dual-Use law enters into force.
Watch the intro here for free.
The EU’s previous export control system for dual-use items has been in place since 2009. This system needed, however, to be adapted to the changing technological, economic and political circumstances.
Since September 2021, the new rules aim to further strengthen EU action on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, to contribute to regional peace, security and stability, and to help ensure respect for human rights and international humanitarian law by controlling the export of dual-use items from the European Union.
The main features of the agreed regulation are as follows:
in order to prevent human rights violations and security threats linked to the potential misuse of cyber-surveillance technology, the new rules include provisions making this technology subject to stricter export controls in certain circumstances
moreover, the regulation now includes an EU-level coordination mechanism which allows for greater exchange between the member states concerning the export of cyber-surveillance items
the regulation introduces two new, general EU export authorizations for the export of dual-use items – one for cryptographic items and one for intra-group technology transfers under certain circumstances – thereby significantly reducing the administrative burden for both companies and licensing authorities
the regulation also strengthens the enforcement of controls through improved cooperation between licensing and customs authorities and introduces mechanisms allowing member states to strengthen their cooperation in this area
the regulation introduces a new provision on transmissible controls, allowing, in certain cases, a member state to introduce export controls on the basis of the legislation established by another member state, thereby allowing for a cross-border effect of member states’ export controls
the regulation harmonises at EU-level the rules applicable to certain services with regard to dual-use items currently regulated at the national level (technical assistance)
new reporting rules will allow for more transparency on trade in dual-use items while at the same time respecting the confidentiality of business secrets and of national security interests.
Background & next steps
Under international commitments, EU member states need to have measures in place at national level to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their means of delivery. This includes controls over dual-use items, that is related materials, equipment and technology for export which can be used for both civilian and military purposes, including the purposes mentioned above.
To this end, in 2009 the EU adopted a regulation setting up a regime for the control of exports, brokering, technical assistance, transit and transfer of dual-use items.
To adapt to the rapidly changing technological, economic and political circumstances, in September 2016 the Commission presented a proposal for a revised regulation that would update and extend the existing rules.
In June 2019 the Council agreed on its negotiating mandate, and since then trilogies have been held in October 2019, November 2019, February 2020 and September 2020. The agreement entered into force one year later on September 9th 2021.
If you'd like to watch the full version, head to this website:
To learn how to export successfully, visit our export hub, full of information, tips and explainer videos: