As reported in one of our earlier posts on the leaked proposal for recasting the EU control regime for dual-use items (Regulation 428/2009), the Commission specifically aims to subject cyber-surveillance technology to control. This is part of a broader move to introduce human rights as a factor for consideration when exporting dual-use items (see also our post on export controls as a toolbox for human rights policy). Given the potential for abuse of cyber-surveillance technology by repressive governments this is undoubtedly a welcome development. But there is concern that the proposal is too inarticulate in this respect such that it will also inhibit trade in technology used for legitimate purposes.
Following last year’s successful seminar, there have been a number of important developments in the area of export control regulations and economic sanctions. Foreseeable international events are expected to have a significant impact in the near future. This calls for an update on trade controls from both a US and EU perspective.
The renewable energy industry is expanding at a fast rate, with emerging technologies and a growing number of projects all over the world. Renewable energy companies, however, must ensure compliance with applicable export control regulations to the extent that the materials, equipment and technology they produce, assemble and ship qualify as dual-use items within the meaning of EU Regulation 428/2009. For items exported from the United States, items which contain US content, or items which are produced using US technology, US export controls should also be considered. Given the world wide activities of such companies, export control implications should be considered right from the start.
By Jochen Vankerckhoven , 17 August 2016
In 2014, the EU Commission announced its intention to recast Regulation 428/2009 (“the Dual-use Regulation”), triggering a long process of internal discussion and public consultation. The project now seems to have reached a milestone with a draft proposal from the Commission. In particular, as explained in a previous post, the leaked document foresees the inclusion of a human rights factor in the processing of export license requests. Yet, other important changes are also proposed.
Arguably, for the EU Commission, the exercise is one of equilibrium. Thus, the institution appears to be torn between two objectives: the contribution to peace, security and human rights on the one hand and maintaining the competitiveness of EU businesses on the other.