In accordance with the UK Government's commitment to uphold arms embargoes, the Export Control Organisation (ECO) requires that end-users and stockist end-users declare on the relevant undertaking template that they will not re-export or otherwise transfer goods where to do so would be in breach of an embargo.
There is also a requirement when completing the Stockist Undertaking (SU) template to adhere to the Weapons of Mass Destruction(WMD) clause. This specific clause is included to guard against exports, which are held in stock, being diverted to undesirable end users in the future.
1. What do you mean by 'embargo' and where can I find a list of applicable embargoes?
By 'embargo' we mean a restriction on trade with the target country in arms and military equipment and other specified items imposed by either the United Nations (UN), European Union (EU) or the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
The UK is legally obliged or has made a political commitment to uphold and enforce these embargoes. See current arms embargoes and other restrictions.
2. If I am exporting dual-use goods does my undertaking have to contain the 'no re-export' clause?
Yes. While most embargoes are arms embargoes, there are some which include dual-use goods, such as the Iran sanctions. Some embargoes also include dual-use goods which might be used for internal repression. It is also not possible to predict what embargoes will be imposed in the future and what they might cover.
3. What if the goods are to be re-exported to an embargoed destination in support of a peace-keeping or humanitarian mission?
The ECO asks for a declaration that the goods will not be re-exported where to do so would be a breach of an embargo. Embargoes often contain exemptions that permit exports of military equipment in certain circumstances, such as in support of peace-keeping operations or international missions or for use by humanitarian or media organisations and in some cases for supply to legitimate government end-users. If the re-export is for a purpose permitted under the embargo in question, and is made within the terms of the embargo, then clearly this is not a breach and so the declaration is still valid. If you are in any doubt as to whether the re-export would contravene an embargo, you should seek advice from the ECO.
4. Does the end-user have to ask the UK Government's permission if they want to re-export the goods to an embargoed destination?
No. This is not a re-export control where end-users must seek the UK Government's permission if they wish to re-export the goods. The ECO is asking that end-users make a declaration that they will respect the terms of those embargoes to which the UK is legally or politically bound by not re-exporting UK supplied goods where to do so would be in breach of the embargo.
5. If the goods are subsequently re-exported in breach of an arms embargo, will I be held responsible?
You will not be held responsible for the actions of your customers. If however you had any involvement in the breach you may be liable to prosecution or other appropriate remedial action. The ECO may also take into account regarding re-exports to embargoed destinations in any subsequent licensing assessments.
6. Does 're-export' include situations where the goods are incorporated in some other item and that other item is subsequently exported?
No. In this context 're-export' refers to the subsequent export from the initial destination country of the goods that you exported, in the form that you exported them. Where goods are to be incorporated into another item (eg as components) and that other item is subsequently exported, or the goods are to be subject to further processing in the end-user country before subsequent export, then that is not considered to be a 're-export'. However, in these cases you must provide the ECO with details (so far as they are known) of the final recipient of the goods. This information should be provided in the 'third party' section of the licence application.