The EU Dual Use Regulation (Regulation (EC) 428/2009) (the "Dual Use Regulation") governs the export of a range of 'dual use' goods and associated technology from the UK and other EU Member States. Dual use goods are those that can be used for civil or military purposes and which meet certain specified technical standards.

Annex I of the Dual Use Regulation establishes the list of dual-use items that are subject to export controls, meaning that a licence or authorisation is required to export the item from any EU Member State. The European Commission has previously noted that to ensure full compliance with its international security obligations, maintain exporter competitiveness, and ensure transparency, the EU needs to regularly update the Dual Use Regulation. On 31 December 2014, a new EU Regulation [1]came into force revising Annex 1 to the Dual Use Regulation.

The changes to the Dual Use Regulation will affect companies across a number of industries and include:

  • new controls on special materials, electronics and computers, telecommunications and information security equipment, sensors and lasers, aerospace and propulsion
  • new controls on certain chemicals
  • changes to technical parameters for nuclear reactor parts and components
  • the removal from the list of certain items and technologies which have become more widely available and represent a lower security risk, and therefore no longer need to be subject to control.

The European Commission has noted that the revised list 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 have been introduced on new categories of items such as IT intrusion software ('spyware') and telecommunication and internet surveillance equipment. In addition, as a result of the changes to the Dual Use Regulation, five Open General Export Licences (OGELs) have been republished with an updated list of items to which the OGELs apply. The republished OGELs, which all came into force on 2 February 2015, are:

  • open general export licence (technology for dualuse items)
  • open general export licence (international nonproliferation regime decontrols: dual-use items)
  • open general export licence (Turkey)
  • open general export licence (X) [2]
  • open general export licence (oil and gas exploration: dual-use items).

What does this mean for your business?

Any company exporting dual use goods or technology from the EU will need to consider whether the Annex I changes result in the items becoming either controlled or decontrolled. Given the broad range of changes implemented by the new Regulation a significant number of companies are likely to be affected.

The effect of items becoming controlled is that new export authorisations may be required. If an item has been decontrolled an export authorisation will no longer be required. Companies should asses their product inventory against the revised Annex I Control List to ensure that the appropriate authorisations, associated reporting and record keeping requirements and other compliance procedures are in place in order to ensure compliance with European and national export control regimes.