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Call for Evidence

UK arms exports in 2019

On 9 February 2021, the Committees on Arms Export Controls (CAEC) launched its inquiry into UK Arms Exports in 2019 with a focus on enforcement and compliance matters. On 21 July, the Government presented to Parliament its Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2020. Therefore, CAEC is today issuing a new call for evidence (as part of its current inquiry) seeking comments on the 2020 Annual Report. There is no need to resubmit previous written evidence although updated submissions taking into account the 2020 Annual Report are welcome.

You can submit evidence until 30 September 2021. Guidance for organisations or individuals submitting written evidence to a Committee can be found here.

Original terms of reference

(a) UK arms exports in 2019, including:

  • The trends in the statistics and information presented in the 2019 Annual Report, the implications of those trends, and any changes in the transparency of the reporting;
  • Areas of improvement and areas of concern or omission from the 2019 Report; and
  • The potential impact of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on arms export controls.

(b) Enforcement of export controls and compliance audits, including:

  • The Government/ECJU/HMRC’s approach to encouraging export controls compliance, and its enforcement action against breaches of the controls;
  • How these compare with other countries;
  • Trends in the use of enforcement and compliance measures, and in the use of particular enforcement tools available — compliance warning letters, seizures, compound penalties, prosecutions, etc;
  • The scale and adequacy of enforcement and compliance sanctions available;
  • The adequacy of enforcement and compliance resources, staff levels and budgets;
  • The rationale and adequacy of the Government’s licence compliance checking regime, both in terms of on-site inspections in the UK and any checks — in-country or ‘remotely’ — on UK-based businesses’ activities undertaken overseas;
  • The scope for more extensive or deeper auditing of the end-use of UK arms exports and lessons from the experiences of other countries systems; and
  • Would physical overseas post-shipment on-site checks and verification lead to improved application of the Consolidated Criteria?

The Committee is unable to consider individual cases but may use them to highlight overarching policy concerns. If you anticipate such issues arising, you should discuss with the Clerk of the Committee how this might affect your submission.

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