EU Council, Parliament Approve New Export Control Regime
The European Council and the European Parliament agreed to new export control regulations for dual-use goods and sensitive technologies, paving the way for the European Union to soon implement a host of updated export control policies, licensing procedures and enforcement methods. The regulations, which have been discussed for years (see 1911290006 and 1906050039), will lead to more “accountable, competitive and transparent” trade in dual-use items, the council said Nov. 9.
“The new rules strike the right balance between strengthening the competitiveness of the EU, ensuring our security interests and promoting human rights,” Council President Peter Altmaier said. The regulations must first be endorsed by certain member states’ ambassadors before they are adopted.
The regulations would significantly update the EU’s existing export control regime, which had been in place since 2009 and “needed … to be adapted to the changing technological, economic and political circumstances,” the council said. The regime includes stricter controls for cyber-surveillance technology that may be used for human rights abuses, new general export licenses to authorize shipments of cryptographic items and certain “intra-group technology transfers,” and mechanisms for greater coordination between members and with trading partners.
This includes a new EU-level “coordination mechanism” to increase cooperation between member states on exports of surveillance items. The regime would also strengthen enforcement of EU controls by allowing for more cooperation between member states’ licensing and customs authorities. Another provision covers “transmissible controls,” which would allow a member state to introduce export controls based on controls created by another member state.
Provisions also update “key notions and definitions,” such as the definition for exporter, and simplify licensing procedures, the European Commission said. The commission also said it would be able to more easily amend the list of export controlled items, making the regime “more agile and able to evolve and adjust to circumstances.”
Along with new regulations, the regime would introduce more due diligence obligations and compliance requirements for exporters, the commission said. “We will now have robust export controls to mitigate against abuses of dual-use tech and exporters will have to follow due diligence obligations,” Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said, adding that the commission will work “closely” with member states to “effectively” implement the regulations. “We will also interact closely with industry, which is the ‘first line of defence' to guard against proliferators and other malevolent actors.”