Sven Goor: “Dutch Government Amends Export Controls Concerning Egypt and Qatar”

* Author: Sven Goor, Associate, sggoor@fullcirclecompliance.eu.

On 18 April 2019, the Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation and the Minister of Foreign Affairs presented a letter on the Dutch arms export control policy to the Dutch parliament.  Below the key takeaways of this letter. 

More Stringent Weapons Export Policy

Due to a more stringent arms export controls, which is a direct result of the ongoing Yemen conflict, exports with Egypt as final destination now require an individual permit. The general transit license NL007 license can no longer be used for this country.  However, the same license can now be used again for Qatar, since this country left the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

Duration Export Licenses

The first of July 2019 will see the implementation of a new policy by the Dutch government which offers the possibility for an extended duration of licenses for exporting military and Dual-Use goods. This change in policy will have the following effects:

Military items

– Individual and global licenses for exports of military goods to allies of the Netherlands, including after sales and brokering, will now be valid for 3 years.  Allies include EU Member States, NATO-allies, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and Switzerland.

– Due to limitations regarding the ability to perform a thorough risk assessment over a period longer than 1 year, the validity of individual and global licenses for military goods to third countries (non-allies) will remain 1 year.

– The validity of temporary licenses to third countries and licenses linked to other rules and regulations will remain one year.

Dual-Use items

  – In principle, all individual and global licenses for the export of dual-use goods will have a standard duration of two years.

– Licenses for sensitive dual-use goods to sensitive destinations, which are subject to reviews by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will keep their validity of 1 year. This includes exemption requests for the Chemical Weapons Convention, license requests for items on the NSG-trigger list, Wassenaar Sensitive/Very Sensitive goods, and Annex-IV goods, and licenses related to sanctions concerning Regulation (EU) 2019/125(the “anti-torture regulation”).

Communication Equipment

The Dutch Cabinet replied to parliamentary questions regarding the use of unlicensed Dutch communication equipment in Saudi tanks. It was impossible to track the communication equipment to specific tanks and units.  However, due to the volume of sets delivered to the U.S. manufacturer of tanks it is very likely that some of this communication equipment is operational in Saudi tanks. This answer concludes the inquiry.

(Source: Overheid.nl, 18 Apr 2019.) [Excerpts; unofficial translation by Sven Goor of Full Circle Compliance.]