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Dual use controls | Brussels, 22 October 2014,

Commission updates EU control list on dual use items

The Commission has updated the EU list of dual-use items – goods, software and technology normally used for civilian purposes but which might have military applications or contribute to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The updated list takes into consideration the latest commercial and technological developments and thus provides transparency and upholds the competitiveness of EU exporters. The updated list also reflects growing security concerns regarding the use of surveillance technology and cybertools that could be misused in violation of human rights or against the EU's security: controls are introduced on new categories of items such as IT intrusion software ('spyware') and telecommunication and internet surveillance equipment.

Background

The EU controls the export, transit and brokering of dual-use items as a way of contributing to international peace and security and preventing the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). EU export controls also enable EU Member States and the EU as a whole to comply with international security obligations, such as the non-proliferation of WMD and the Chemical Weapons Convention. They play a critical role in protecting the legitimate international trade from illicit trafficking of sensitive goods and technologies.

The list (Annex I to Regulation (EC) No 428/2009) sets out the list of dual-use items subject to controls in the EU. The new Regulation introduces some 400 changes to the list. These include:

  • changes to technical parameters for nuclear reactor parts and components, such as frequency changers,
  • new controls on certain chemicals, such as plant pathogens,
  • new controls on special materials, electronics and computers, telecommunications and information security equipment, sensors and lasers, aerospace and propulsion, for example underwater survey equipment, carbon monoxide lasers and hydro-acoustic sensors.

The new Regulation also removes from the list certain items and technologies which have become more widely available and represent a lower security risk, and therefore do not need to be subject to control any longer.

The Regulation has been transmitted to the European Parliament and Council, and will enter into force only if there are no objections from the European Parliament or the Council within two months.

The Regulation