"Export controls on dual-use items must be strict and proportionate. In the vote today, we are focusing on stricter control for the goods with the largest human rights risks while making it simpler to export products with lesser risks, such as encryption. With better definitions, it will hopefully become clearer to companies what they need to do before they export. The overarching aim of dual-use export controls must, however, still be to stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction", said the EPP Group Rapporteur Christofer Fjellner MEP in today's debate on the recast of the Regulation in force since 2009 and which controls the export of the so-called ‘dual-use’ items.
Dual-use items are certain goods and technologies that can be used either for civilian purposes or for the development of weapons of mass destruction and human rights violations. "Clear definitions and criteria are key to ensuring we minimise the risks of serious human rights violations while not creating unnecessary red tape for European companies. Still, we have concerns over new extra-territorial controls on brokering and technical assistance in the Report that go beyond what is proportionate", added Fjellner. The EU-level general authorisation allows companies to already request general export licences for non-listed items, for example in countries that are viewed unproblematic regarding possible military use. As a novelty, the Report introduces general export licenses for encryption, low-value shipments and intra-company transfers. "By easing and simplifying controls on these non-critical items, we are ensuring the competitiveness of our high-tech industries on the global market", Fjellner explained.
"Introducing EU rules must not become a reason for not advancing multilateral export control rules. Export controls are most effective when they are indeed multilateral and I expect the European Commission and Member States to try to update the Wassenaar List with new cyber-surveillance items", concluded Fjellner, the EPP Group Rapporteur for the trade Report on setting up an advanced EU-level control of exports, transfer, brokering, technical assistance and transit of dual-use items, which will be voted today in plenary.