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Committee launches inquiry on 2017 arms exports Annual Report

29 November 2018

The Committees on Arms Export Controls (CAEC) published its report on 2016 arms export controls in July 2018, and today published the Government Response to our report.

The CAEC are now launching an inquiry into the Government's latest 2017 Strategic Export Controls Annual Report, as well as two of the issues covered in the Committees' previous report.

Send a written submission

The Committee welcome written submissions on:

UK arms exports in 2017

  • The trends in the statistics in the 2017 Annual Report compared to the trends presented in the previous 2016 Annual Report, the implications of those trends, and any changes in the transparency of the reporting;
  • Areas of improvement and areas of concern arising from the 2017 Report, compared to the 2016 Report, and more generally;
  • Any omissions in the coverage of the 2017 Annual Report;
  • Any particular issues of concern from the Government's response to the Committee's July report (HC 666);
  • The use/adequacy of the ‘Consolidated criteria' for assessing arms exports, and how they are interpreted; and
  • The Government/HMRC's approach to enforcement.

End-use / compliance audits

  • 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;
  • In considering the scope for any more extensive or deeper auditing process, what the components of such a system might be, and what information should be considered;
  • Whether (and if so, how) particular types of arms and/or particular countries should be subject to different degrees of audit; and
  • The lessons from the experience of other arms exporting countries that might be applied in any UK end-use auditing system, including how any constraints on undertaking audits (or trade-offs) are tackled in practice.

Brokering and extra-territoriality

  • The extent and adequacy of UK controls and oversight of arms brokering;
  • Whether the ‘Criteria' and ‘Other factors' (commercial, industrial and international relations interests (p38 in the 2017 Annual Report)) that are used to assess exports from the UK are (or should be) also applied equally to brokering cases;
  • Whether assessment criteria are (or should be) applied consistently to different types of brokering cases in practice;
  • Whether processes for considering and deciding brokering cases differ from how consideration of UK export cases are assessed (including how assessments are made by Government departments/agencies/ministers, and the timeframe within which approval/rejection decisions are made);
  • Whether the scope of licensing provisions applied to brokerage is sufficient, and whether their scope should be changed;
  • In assessing brokering cases, the rationale and scope for potentially differentiating between different types of items, including differentiating between items (a) on the basis of whether the technology or intellectual property originated in the UK, or (b) on the basis that the source of the items is an overseas subsidiary of a UK company (rather than unconnected to the UK); and
  • The pros and cons of establishing a register of brokers.

Send a written submission to the inquiry on 2017 arms exports Annual Report.

Image: MoD