The European Commission recently published a Green Paper on the Dual Use export system. Under the Dual Use Regulation, the Commission is obliged to prepare a report on the EU Export System and to consider possible areas of reform every 5 years. As well as considering the scope of the current controls, the Paper also focuses on any areas where the implementation of the controls are not uniform across the EU.
There are some recurring themes in the Paper, such as the adoption by the Commission of more General Authorisations to provide a level playing field. This is unlikely to affect many exporters in the UK and Germany as the National system of Open Licences already covers the areas proposed for coverage by the EU General Export Authorisations but will affect other EU Member States.
The Commission invites comment on the speed of updating of the List – a brave question when you consider that changes agreed by EU Member States at the Export Control Regimes during 2008 have still not been brought into EU law.
In contrast, the US has updated its List twice in this period.
As the EU and the US has successfully convinced other Nations to follow the EU structure, the huge delay in implementing current controls means that most export control systems worldwide are being the agreed changes, leaving US companies to benefit from the roll backs agreed.
The Consultation closed at the end of October and the document can be found here.
Next steps are a report on the Consultation in January 2012 followed by a formal report to the European Parliament and EU Council in September 2012.
This data will be used to assist in amendments to the current EU Regulation (428/2009) which are expected to be seen in 2013 – 2014.