Arms Trade: Exports

Department for International Trade written question – answered on 17th October 2018.

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Photo of Lloyd Russell-Moyle Lloyd Russell-Moyle Labour/Co-operative, Brighton, Kemptown

To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, for what reason the Government does not audit end user certificates used for the exporting of controlled goods.

Photo of Graham Stuart Graham Stuart Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)

Auditing end-user certificates would necessitate the introduction of post-licensing end-use checks in foreign jurisdictions. Permission from each country would be required on each occasion, negating any possibility of unannounced visits. We do not believe that auditing end-user certificates through an end-use monitoring programme would result in proportionally better, more informed export licensing decisions.

Our current approach is to focus on a rigorous risk assessment before a licence is issued to consider whether goods might be used in a way which is inconsistent with the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, while retaining powers to revoke extant licences if circumstances dictate. This assessment looks at the information picture in the round, taking into account information from a range of information sources, including overseas diplomatic Posts. An end-user undertaking is only one part of the application assessment process and does not guarantee that a licence would be granted.

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