Iraq: Export Licence System

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written statement – made on 16th May 2019.

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Photo of Jeremy Hunt Jeremy Hunt Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

This Statement updates and supersedes the Written Ministerial Statement of 11 November 2010 on the ‘Iraq: Export Licence System’ (Official Report, 11 Nov 2010: Column 24WS).

UN Security Council Resolution 1546 of 2004 (UNSCR 1546) includes an exemption to the arms embargo on Iraq for supplies of arms and related materiel required by the Government of Iraq (GoI) or the multinational force to serve the purposes of the resolution. The Written Ministerial Statement on 11 November 2010 stated that Her Majesty’s Government would consider as exempt from the embargo exports to the GoI, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, diplomatic missions in Iraq, the US forces in Iraq, the NATO training mission in Iraq, the UK naval training mission training the Iraqi Navy and entities contracted or subcontracted to the GoI, US or UK forces or NATO.

In light of the deployment of military forces of non-NATO EU countries in Iraq and in accordance with the GoI request for international support, the Government wishes to make clear that it considers as exempt from the embargo exports serving the purposes of UNSCR 1546 to the forces of EU as well as NATO countries deployed in Iraq at the request of the GoI. The Government also wishes to make clear that it considers exports serving the same purposes to United Nations agencies present in Iraq at the request of the GoI, and their contractors and subcontractors, as exempt from the embargo.

Accordingly, the Government considers as exempt from the embargo exports to the GoI, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), UN agencies in Iraq, diplomatic missions in Iraq, the NATO [training] mission in Iraq, the forces of NATO or EU countries in Iraq, and entities contracted or subcontracted to the GoI, NATO, the forces of such NATO or EU countries, UNAMI or such UN agencies. As in the statement of 11 November 2010, export licence applications to these end users will not therefore require the approval of the GoI prior to approval of the application but may require extra information to be provided by the entity seeking the export licence. For exports serving the purposes of UNSCR 1546 to entities other than these, the exporter is required to provide a supporting document from the GoI to demonstrate that the proposed export is required and thus exempt from the embargo. All export licence applications for Iraq as elsewhere will be assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria and the Government will not issue a licence where to do so would be inconsistent with the criteria.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1525