Oral Questions – Business and Enterprise – Weapons Exports

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Clare submitted two Oral Questions to the Minister for Business about Irish weapons exports in 2017 – unfortunately neither was selected for debate, but you can read the written responses below.

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For Oral Answer on : 18/04/2018
Question Number(s): 49 Question Reference(s): 16605/18
Department: Business, Enterprise and Innovation
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QUESTION

To ask the Minister for Business; Enterprise and Innovation the number of applications for a licence to export military or dual use items denied by her Department in 2017.

REPLY

My Department is responsible for controls on the export of these military and dual use items from Ireland. 

Under Irish law, military export licences must be sought in respect of the goods and technology, and any components thereof, listed in the Annex to the Control of Exports (Goods and Technology) Order, S.I. 216 of 2012 which reflects the 2008 EU Common Position on Arms Exports and EU sanctions regimes.

My Department is also responsible for licensing the export of dual-use items outside the EU pursuant to Council Regulation (EC) No. 428/2009 setting up a Community regime for the control of exports, transfer, brokering and transit of dual-use items.

All export licence applications, whether for Dual-Use or Military Goods are subject to rigorous scrutiny.  My officials seek observations on any foreign policy concerns that may arise in respect of a proposed export; such factors are subject to review in the light of developments in a given region and having regard to the 2008 EU Common Position on Arms Exports. Any observations which may arise from this examination are considered in the final assessment of any licence application.

My Department may refuse an export licence, following consultation with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and other EU and Non-EU export licensing authorities, as appropriate.

In 2017 four export licence applications were refused. These refusals were made on the grounds of considerations about the intended end-use, the risk of diversion and EU sanctions.

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For Oral Answer on : 18/04/2018
Question Number(s): 63 Question Reference(s): 16604/18
Department: Business, Enterprise and Innovation
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QUESTION

To ask the Minister for Business; Enterprise and Innovation the number and value of licences issued for military exports in 2017; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

REPLY

My Department is responsible for controls on the export of military items from Ireland. Under Irish law, military export licences must be sought in respect of the export from Ireland of military goods and technology, and any components thereof, listed in the EU Common Military List.

I publish an annual report under the Control of Exports Act 2008 which includes information on military exports. The objective of publishing such a report is to provide the public with a continuing enhanced level of transparency about exports of controlled goods and services.

Export controls are of particular importance to my Department in ensuring compliance with the highest international standards in accordance with international law. Our policy of free trade and open markets must conform with the core principles of security, regional stability and human rights which underpin export controls.

In 2017, 118 licences with a value of €25m were issued to export goods with a military classification.

These licences were in respect of:

components which have a military rating
explosives for commercial mining and quarrying
firearms for hunting, sporting and recreational activities, and personal use.

All export licence applications to export goods with a military classification are subject to rigorous scrutiny.  My officials seek observations on any foreign policy concerns that may arise in respect of a proposed export; such factors are subject to review in the light of developments in a given region and having regard to the 2008 EU Common Position on Arms Exports. Any observations which may arise from this examination are considered in the final assessment of any licence application.