According to preliminary figures, individual licences for exports of military equipment worth approx. €8.76 billion were issued in the first three quarters of 2023. Of these, war weapons account for €4.3 billion and other military equipment accounts for €4.46 billion. The main recipient country is Ukraine, accounting for more than three billion euros.

Just like in the same period of the preceding year 2022, licences for EU/NATO members and NATO-equivalent countries plus Ukraine and the Republic of Korea, i.e. allied countries and close partner countries account for approx. 90% of the total value (€7.9 billion of €8.76 billion) of all individual licences issued. The total value in the preceding year 2022 had been €5.64 billion.

Says State Secretary Sven Giegold:
Germany’s ongoing support for Ukraine as the country defends itself against Russia’s illegal war of aggression continues to be reflected in the figures for exports of military equipment. For reasons of security policy, it is also absolutely essential that we intensify our cooperation with our allied partners and partners with whom we share values and that we accelerate our approval processes. Since the beginning of this month, approvals for close partner countries have therefore been issued in the form of so-called general licences, provided that the relevant goods are not for re-export. The resulting streamlining of administrative processes makes it possible to focus controls and checks on critical exports to other third countries, particularly with a focus on the essential question of human rights.

More detailed information:

For Ukraine, the main recipient of German export licences for military equipment, licences worth approx. €3.3 billion were issued in the first three quarters of 2023 (compared to €775 million in the same period of the preceding year 2022). The Federal Government has published further information about the support provided to Ukraine here.

A total of €4.33 billion was accounted for by licences for deliveries to EU/NATO and NATO-equivalent countries1 of which €1.57 billion was for war weapons and €2.76 million for other military equipment). Of this, approximately €1.03 billion was spent on equipping the Hungarian armed forces. In addition to Ukraine and the Republic of Korea, €860 million was for other third countries2 (compared to €579 million in the same period of 2022). This equates to 10% of the value of total approvals.

In the period from 1 January to 30 September 2023, the following ten countries ranked highest in terms of the approved individual export volumes for military equipment:

CountryValue in €
United States466.900.256
United Kingdom393.937.654
Republic of Cyprus269.039.857
Republic of Korea251.226.228

According to preliminary figures, the total value of the licences for small arms and parts for small arms in the first half of 2023 amounted to €56.6 million (first half of 2022: €77.7 million). A total of €50.5 million of these exports (89%) went to EU/NATO and NATO-equivalent countries. This means that almost all the licensed exports of small arms and small arms parts were destined for a privileged group of EU and NATO partners. Export licences for third countries were approved for a UN mission in Iraq, an UN mission in Lebanon, for Kosovo, the Republic of Korea and for Ukraine.
The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action recently took measures via the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control so as to strengthen and accelerate administrative processes in the field of export control. Approval procedures for supplies to selected EU and NATO partners and close partners were accelerated in that these decisions are (since 1 September 2023) no longer made on a case-by-case basis, but bundled together in the form of so-called 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 controls. To strike the balance between accelerating approval procedures on the one hand and restrictive control on the other, businesses are, in principle, obliged to report arms exports to the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control on the basis of the General Licences. Data reported on this basis for the period 1 September to 31 December 2023 will become available from 15 January 2024. Further information can be found here.


1 Japan, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand.
2 Third countries including Ukraine and the Republic of Korea: approx. €4.43bn (of which €2.73bn war weapons and €1.7bn other military equipment). This figure includes export licences for developing countries (developing countries and developing territories pursuant to the list of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee, excluding upper middle income countries (column four of said list)) of €3.77 million (consisting of €2.67 billion in war weapons and €1.1 billion in other military equipment, most of which was destined for Ukraine, which is also covered by this category).