Changes to the EU Control List and updates on the modernisation of the Dual-Use Regulation

(Updated 6 January 2020)

On 31 December 2019 Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/2199 amending Council Regulation (EC) 428/2009 (‘Dual-Use Regulation’) entered into force.

The Regulation updates Annex 1 to the Dual-Use Regulation, which lists dual-use items subject to control in the EU. The majority of the changes to the EU Control List result from amendments agreed at the Wassenaar Arrangement and Missile Technology Control Regime. These changes include:

  • New entries for certain microwave transistors, signal generators, software designed to restore operation of microcomputers/microprocessors, masks and reticles designed for optical sensors, and air-launch platforms for space launch vehicles.
  • Amendments concerning gear machine tool, digital-to-analogue converter, multi-layer mask control, cryptographic activation token, certain hydrophones, underwater submersible vehicles.
  • Deletion of technology for gas turbine engine components.

Other changes include new decontrol notes concerning “information security items” for civil industry application, certain lasers and open-cell foam (materials absorbing electromagnetic wave), as well as certain editorial changes.

The European Commission has published a detailed overview of the changes, which can be found here

As regards the modernisation of the Dual-Use Regulation, the European Commission, Parliament and Council officially began the trilogue process with the first trilogue discussion held on 21 October 2019.

Back in 2016, the Commission published its proposal for the recast of the regulation. It particularly focused on:

  • Introducing a “human security dimension” in export control, requiring human rights and terrorism to be taken into account for authorisations and catch-all controls;
  • Introducing cyber-surveillance technology in definition of dual-use items and “autonomous” EU Control List of cyber-surveillance technologies;
  • Introducing four new Union General Export Authorisations for encryption, low-value shipments, intra-company technology transfers and ‘other dual-use’ items, a new authorisation for large projects, and general authorisation for intra-EU transfers;
  • New ICP requirement for global authorisations;
  • Strengthening controls on technology transfers, technical assistance, brokering, and transit;
  • Convergence of catch-all controls and enhanced cooperation between the Member States and the European Commission.

In January 2018, the Parliament published its report on the proposal. The Parliament’s position endorse many of the changes proposed by the Commission, including on cyber-surveillance technology and human rights. It mainly focuses on reducing the administrative burden, particularly for SME’s. In June 2019, the Council published its position, largely rejecting a number of key elements in the Commission’s proposals, including references to the definition of cyber-surveillance technology and the autonomous control list.

In the trilogue process, the Commission, Parliament and Council are seeking to reach an agreement on the final text of the proposed recast. The discussions are expected to particularly focus on cyber-surveillance technology, the role of human rights and information sharing/cooperation. It is expected that an agreement on the final text will be reached in 2020.






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