The UK’s Export Control Organisation has asked for more volunteers to test its new import/export licensing service. It is looking for people and businesses working in any sector, but is particularly interested at present in the views of those involved in the export of military or dual-use goods.
The UK’s Export Control Organisation has amended its rules on the export of goods which could be used for capital punishment, torture, or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, implementing changes made to the EU’s export controls in November 2016 (see Regulation 2016/2134). The goods in question are found in Annexes II and III of the Export Control Order 2008. As a result of the changes, there are new prohibitions on:
- transit of Annex II, and in some circumstances Annex III, goods within the customs territory of the union;
- the provision of brokering services related to Annex II goods;
- the provision of training related to Annex II goods;
- the display or offering for sale of any Annex II goods at an exhibition or fair within the EU; and
- the sale or purchase of advertising time or space for Annex II goods.
It also introduces more flexible licensing for Annex III goods, which are goods with potentially legitimate uses. The ECO’s notice to exporters is here.
South Korea has introduced new export controls on items used in the construction and operation of submarines and submarine-launched ballistic missiles. The controls are intended to cut-off North Korea’s access to the items, and cover areas that are not under the control of a pre-existing multilateral export control system. South Korea has said that it plans to share the new control list with the 41 member states of the Wassenaar Arrangement at the group’s upcoming meeting this month.
The UK has updated and amended 5 of its Open General Export Licences (OGELs) relating to the export of dual-use items. The action updates the goods-schedule of each relevant licence and removes Ivory Coast and Liberia from the list of excluded destinations for the OGEL “PCBs and components for dual-use items”. This follows the lifting of EU sanctions against them earlier this year (see previous blogs on Ivory Coast and Liberia). In addition, the OGEL “international non-proliferation regime decontrols” has been revoked as it is no longer of use to exporters. The licences now refer to the new Department for International Trade, of which the Export Control Organisation is a part.
OFAC has issued updated its guidance on general licences for publishing activities (Publishing GLs) involving the Iranian, Cuban, Sudanese, and Syrian governments. The guidance is available here. It covers:
- Publishing activities listed in the Publishing GLs by an individual employed by a sanctioned government who is publishing in his or her personal capacity, which are generally authorised.
- Publishing activities engaged in by people working at an academic or research institution, which are generally authorised by the Publishing GLs if the employer’s primary function is research or teaching, even if the employer is an agency of a sanctioned government.
- Providing certain types of peer review, style and copy-editing, and marketing services to the representatives of sanctioned governments, which is outside the scope of the information and informational materials exemption under the ITSR, CACR, SSR, and SySR sanctions regimes, but is authorised under the Publishing GLs.
The EU Commission has published a report to the European Parliament and the EU Council on the EU’s export control regime for dual-use goods (link here). The report states that the number of goods subject to controls increased in 2015, particularly those relating to aerospace and propulsion, that dual-use goods now comprise around 20% of total EU exports, and that the majority of dual-use exports outside of the EU are to E001 countries benefitting from a general authorisation, particularly the USA.
The report also notes the ongoing work of the Dual-Use Coordination Group, which brings together experts from the Commission and EU Member States to examine issues relating to the export control regime, including its support for the development of common guidelines for EU-wide standards for the Internal Compliance Programme and enhancing cooperation between customs and export control authorities.
Alexander Brazhnikov Jr, a US citizen, has been sentenced to 70 months’ imprisonment in the USA for his role in an international procurement network that obtained and smuggled more than $65million of electronics from the USA to Russia, in breach of export controls. He is said to have concealed the identity of the end-user and value of the goods in order to avoid having to fill out export control forms, and used shell addresses in Russia, including vacant storefronts and apartments, to obscure their destination. Payments for the goods were made to Mr Brazhnikov from a Russian account through shell corporations in several countries including the British Virgin Islands, Panama, and the UK. The Department of Justice’s press release is here.
The UK’s Department for International Trade has announced that it will no longer be updating the prototype replacement for SPIRE, its current online export licensing system, while it focuses on building the full replacement service. The full details are available here.