EU Export Controls on Dual-Use Goods: The Latest Update

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Nearly five years after the European Commission proposed to overhaul Council Regulation (EC) No 428/2009, an updated version was published in June 2021.1 EU Regulation 2021/821, referred to here as “the Recast”, is effective from 9 September 2021 – but what does it mean for industry?

The Commission proposed this Recast in 2016, having identified a lack of consensus between member states about the implementation of the original regulation. There was concern that this lack of consensus could lead to divergence by some states away from a uniform EU dual-use list.

The Recast is therefore intended to harmonise controls across member states, lessening variations in interpretation, application and enforcement. It also aims to better address the human rights aspects of export controls, though it could be argued that there is still more to be done in this area. Generally, the Recast adapts the regulation to meet the changing technological, economic and political circumstances shaping international trade over the past decade.

Businesses involved in dual-use items should be aware of the significant changes that this Recast brings. These cover a variety of areas, including a revised definition of the term “exporter”. No categories have been added to the original list of items requiring authorisation.

The most important changes fall into five key areas:

  • New and expanded catch-all controls: human rights and cybersecurity
  • Information exchange and greater cooperation on enforcement between member states
  • Changes in licensing architecture – two new EU General Export Authorisations (EU GEAs)
  • Clarifications around technical assistance

Internal Compliance Programmes (ICPs)

Footnotes:

1: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32021R0821

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