EU: Export Control Dual Use Guidelines & White Paper Issued

The European Commission has  issued new Guidelines on data gathering and processing on export controls.   This follows the Commission White Paper on export controls, released Thursday 25 January, which highlights the need to fully implement the EU’s dual-use regulation.

On 17 January 2024, the Commission published these new Guidelines in view of the preparation of its annual report on dual-use export controls. The goal is to increase transparency through more information sharing on Member States’ licensing decisions in the area of export controls.

The Guidelines set out in detail the process for the collection of licensing data by the European Commission and the competent authorities of the Member States. They will allow the EU Annual Export Control Report to include detailed licensing information, such as authorisations for dual-use exports as well as denied transactions.

Enhanced public reporting and greater transparency on EU export controls are key elements of the implementation of the 2021 Regulation on dual-use export controls.

Such Guidelines will provide exporters, civil society organisations and the public at large with a more complete set of information on the control of dual-use exports, and a comprehensive picture of the implementation of export controls in the EU. This new approach will be taken up in the next annual report later this year.

They will also facilitate dialogues and exchanges with partners in third countries and promote good reporting practices internationally. This will help supporting an informed debate regarding the development of EU export control policy.

Key Elements of the Guidelines:

  1. Regulation (EU) 2021/821: This Regulation asserts the EU's commitment to stringent legal requirements for dual-use items, focusing on improving information exchange and transparency. It requires the inclusion of specific licensing and enforcement data in the EU's annual report on export controls.

  2. Development and Background: Since 2013, the Dual-Use Coordination Group (DUCG) has been actively engaged in data collection and reporting. The current guidelines, developed by a technical expert group and shaped by stakeholder feedback, aim to unify data collection and reporting methods.

  3. Legal Provisions and Reporting Obligations: Article 26(2) of the Regulation dictates the content required in the annual report, covering authorizations, denials, prohibitions, and the administration and enforcement of controls, with special emphasis on cyber surveillance items.

White Paper on Export Controls Overview:

  1. 2021 Dual-use Regulation: The Paper reviews the implementation status of the revised 2021 Dual-use Regulation, addressing the technological progress and increased militarization of emerging technologies for more effective implementation and better coordination among EU Member States and the European Commission.

  2. Recent Developments in Export Controls evaluates the current export control framework's limitations in addressing the risks associated with dual-use exports. It points out the influence of Russia on multilateral export control regimes, the increase in unilateral export controls internationally, and recent national export controls by EU Member States.

  3. Analysis of Current Framework: The document scrutinizes the risk of disparate export controls within the EU, the absence of a unified approach to the Union's security and trade policy objectives, and the lack of a consolidated EU voice internationally. It also looks at the impact on global supply chains and the insights gained from EU sanctions against Russia.

  4. Proposed Responses: The Commission suggests several measures, including the reinforcement of uniform controls in the EU, establishing a forum for political coordination on export controls, enhancing the coordination of new National Control Lists, and moving forward the evaluation timeline of the Dual-use Regulation.


White Paper on export controls


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