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Trade of Dual-Use Items: New EU Rules Adopted

The EU has upgraded its legislation on the export controls applicable to sensitive dual-use goods and technologies such as cyber-surveillance tools. On 10 May 2021, the Council adopted a regulation modernising the EU system for the control of exports, brokering, technical assistance, transit and transfer of dual-use items. These are goods, software and technology that can be used for both civilian and military applications.

João Leão, Portuguese Minister of Finance and President of the Council commented that: "We welcome the new EU rules on exports of dual-use items that give human rights the prominence they deserve. Strong controls will allow us to prevent human rights violations and abuses, while keeping up with the latest technological developments."

The new regulation strengthens controls on a wider range of emerging dual-use technologies, and the coordination between member states and the Commission in support of the effective enforcement of controls throughout the EU. By introducing due diligence obligations for producers, the new rules also give companies an important role in addressing the risks to international security sometimes posed by dual-use items.

United Nations Security Council Resolution, adopted on 28 April 2004, set that all States are to take and enforce effective measures to establish domestic controls to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their means of delivery, including by establishing appropriate controls over related materials, equipment and technology. In this regard, ECOPNET (European Cooperation and Partnership Network) takes kindly to the adaptation of new rules that allow for more transparency on trade in dual-use items while at the same time respecting the confidentiality of business secrets and of national security interests.

Finally, the dual-use regulation paves the way for better coordination between the EU and partner countries in enhancing international security through more convergent approaches to export controls at global level.

Next Steps

After the European Parliament and the Council sign the adopted regulation, it will be published in the EU Official Journal and enter into force 90 days later.

Source: Council of the EU Press Releases


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