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Export control procedures to be made more efficient Cooperation with partners in the Alliance and those with shared values to be accelerated plus more targeted control for third countries
The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action will introduce short-term measures via the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control so as to strengthen and significantly accelerate administrative processes for export control. Approval procedures for deliveries to selected EU and NATO partners and close partner countries will be sped up in that these decisions will no longer be made on a case-by-case basis, but will be bundled together more as general instructions. In the case of third countries, assessments will continue to be made primarily on a case-by-case basis in order to ensure targeted control.
State Secretary Sven Giegold said, “We are facing two challenges here: Exporters are rightly demanding faster licensing procedures. At the same time, the human rights to be observed and the difficult security situation require more in-depth examination procedures – not least with regard to sanctions. Under the new regulations, partners in the Alliance and those with shared values will now be supplied with military equipment in a sped up and straightforward process. Exports to other third countries will continue to be subject to in-depth reviews on a case-by-case basis. We are simplifying administrative processes in this way and pooling our control resources to manage the essentials.”
Background to the measures:
Licensing procedures for deliveries to selected EU and NATO partners and close partner countries will be made more efficient, while existing resources will be increasingly focused on controlling more critical exports. In order to implement this, measures which will comprise of newly-created and adapted existing General Licences will be published on 1 August 2023 and will take effect on 1 September 2023. The General Licences are legal general instructions, i.e. administrative acts that are issued for a variety of cases, and that stipulate, according to specific criteria, which cases are covered and which are not. Until now, these have been assessed by the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control on a case-by-case basis. In the future, deliveries to selected EU and NATO partners and close partner countries in particular are to be made more efficient on the basis of General Licences.
The planned measures will allow businesses to export certain military equipment and dual-use goods to selected EU and NATO countries and other close partner countries directly via General Licences, i.e. without specific individual licences. This will be subject to strict conditions, in particular the
specification that the goods remain in the countries of destination. General Licence decisions combine various cases, thus accelerating procedures.
To strike the balance between accelerating approval procedures on the one hand and more restrictive control on the other, businesses will be obliged to report arms exports to the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control on the basis of the General Licences. Data reported for the affected scope of application of the General Licences for the period 1 September to 31 December 2023 will only become available from 15 January 2024. This means that it will not be possible to provide data for this period and for 2023 as a whole until the beginning of 2024.
The planned measures comprising of new and adapted existing General Licences include:
For military equipment:
The introduction of a new General Licence for the export and transfer of other military equipment (with exceptions) to EU countries, certain NATO countries, countries with NATO-equivalent status and the Republic of Korea
The introduction of a new General Licence for the export and transfer of software for articles already licenced (except: upgrades) to EU countries, certain NATO countries, countries with NATO-equivalent status, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Chile and Uruguay
Changes made to the existing General Licences No. 20 (Brokering transactions), No. 21 (Protective equipment), No. 22 (Explosives), No. 24 (Temporary exports), No. 25 (Special categories), and No. 26 (Armed forces), by expanding the scope of countries to include certain NATO countries, countries with NATO-equivalent status, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Chile and Uruguay
Further substantive changes and extensions to General Licences No. 18 (Military clothing), No. 24 (Extending the re-transfer period to 24 months in all categories), No. 25 (Introduction of a new category for the export of ships for testing international territorial waters, No. 26 (Extending the existing category 4.1 c) by including an additional civil intermediate consignee), and No. 28 (Including de minimis re-exports in line with the trilateral Franco-German-Spanish agreement).
For dual-use goods:
The introduction of a new General Licence (an addition identical in content to General Licence EU001) for exports to the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Chile, Uruguay, Mexico and Argentina
The introduction of a new General Licence for goods of list position 2D002 (Software for electronic components) for certain countries
The introduction of a new General Licence for the intra-EU transfer of goods listed in Annex IV Part I of the EU Dual-Use Regulation
Changes made to the existing General Licences No. 12 (Doubling the threshold), No. 13 (Addition of three categories: (1) affected exports for marine and polar research if the owner of the ship is a federal or Land ministry; (2) the export of statutory marine equipment on ships flying the flag of an EU Member State provided that the intention is for the equipment to remain on the ship; (3) the export of goods for temporary use or for consumption during archaeological research) and General Licence No. 14 (Pumps and valves) by adding to the list of privileged goods and expanding the scope of countries.
The duration of ‘zero notice’ certification, i.e. a statement that a specific export project is not subject to a licensing requirement, will also be extended to two years. The same applies to information on the list of goods and the period of validity of the declaration of the person responsible for exports. In the future, these are also to be extended to two years.
The Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control will publish further information on 1 August on its website at: www.bafa.de