Chemicals: Exports

Defence written question – answered on 6th September 2013.

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Photo of Caroline Lucas Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the oral answer of 2 September 2013, Official Report, column 19, on what date it was considered that the sodium fluoride and potassium fluoride could be precursors in some other application; what these applications were considered to be; for what reason that consideration was not given before those export licences were issued; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Philip Dunne Philip Dunne The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

Export licences are approved by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.

The two standard individual export licences for sodium fluoride and potassium fluoride were revoked following a revision to the sanctions regime which came into force in June 2012. The revision introduced new prohibitions on certain chemicals, including sodium fluoride and potassium fluoride. In these cases the chemicals were to be used for metal finishing of aluminium showers and windows. There was no evidence at the time of granting the licences—and there has been no evidence subsequently—to suggest that the end-use was anything other than stated. Our system of export controls is robust, responsive and effective in protecting our interests and upholding the highest international standards.

The licences were not used before they were revoked.

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