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The EU announced last week that the UK would be added to its list of safe countries to export ‘dual-use items’.

Following the UK’s exit from the EU, the UK is no longer a Member State of the EU since 31 January 2020 and the EU law will cease to apply to the UK after the end of a transition period on 31 December 2020. As a result, the export of ‘dual-use items’ from the EU to the UK will require, as of 1 January 2021, an export authorisation. This authorisation would need to be issued by the competent national authority of the Member State where the exporter is established and would create a significant administrative burden for the authorities of the Member States and EU exporters, impacting on their competitiveness.

In order to reduce the impact of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, the UK will be added to Annex IIa of Council Regulation (EC) No 428/2009 (the “Regulation”). Exports to the UK will therefore be eligible under the Union General Export Authorisation EU001. In justifying the UK’s addition to the list, the EU gave the following reasons:

  • the UK is party to the relevant international treaties and a member of international non-proliferation regimes and maintains full compliance under these; and
  • the UK applies proportionate and adequate controls effectively addressing considerations about intended end use and the risk of diversion consistent with the provisions and objectives of this Regulation.

The full  proposal for amending the Regulation is available here.  The UK joins the other existing 8 so-called safe countries, namely Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland (including Lichtenstein) and the US.