Strategic Export Controls: Annual Report for 2004, Quarterly Reports for 2005, Licensing Policy and Parliamentary Scrutiny
HC 873, First Joint Report of Session 2005-06
- House of Commons Defence, Foreign Affairs, International Development and Trade and Industry Committee
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
The Committee on Strategic Export Controls (known as the Quadripartite Committee) is made up of members of the Defence, Foreign Affairs, International Development, and Trade and Industry Committees. It began regular scrutiny of the Government's policy on the export control system in 1999, and this report includes a detailed examination of the operation and enforcement of strategic export controls run by the Export Control Organisation and HM Revenue and Customs. It also considers issues raised by particular licences, including whether the policy on licence approvals or refusals is consistent and determined in accordance with the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports and the National Export Licensing Criteria.
The Committee held five evidence sessions in the course of its inquiry, including evidence from officials from the DTI and FCO, HMRC and the Revenue and Customs Prosecution Office, members of the Export Group on Aerospace and Defence (EGAD) and the UK Working Group on Arms, as well as from Mark Thomas, broadcaster and journalist. Amongst the Committee's 83 conclusions and recommendations, the report raises concerns about the loopholes in regulations relating to internet arms sales and to arms fairs, as well as 'dual-use' equipment (that could have both a civilian and a military purpose). It also calls for greater clarity in the policy on arms sales to Saudi Arabia and Israel, given human rights concerns; and it argues that the arms embargo on China should remain and that the Government should work with the EU and the United States to ensure the embargo remains effective.
The report also raises concerns about the reporting and status of strategic export controls to and from the Channel Islands, given that they are not subject to the Export Control Act 2002; and recommends that the Export Control Organisation should remain within the public sector under government control. The report notes that the Government's review of arms control rules scheduled for 2007 provides a timely opportunity to take stock of developments in the UK's export control system since the Scott Inquiry into exports to Iraq in 1996, and in light of the challenge of increased globalisation of the defence industry, and that it will also be a critical year for progress on the International Arms Trade Treaty.
|Format||Paperback||Published||03 Aug 2006|
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