The Committees' 2011 Quarter 1 (January - March)
questions and the Government's answers
Given the large-scale unrest and human rights violations by the
which occurred in Bahrain during this period, why
were the SIELs granted for components for combat aircraft and
small arms ammunition, rather than refused under the terms of
either or both Criterion 2 and 3 of the Consolidated Criteria?
The licence for components related to a jet trainer.
The small arms ammunition was for the sporting use and personal
protection of a private individual. When the applications were
considered in January we took into account the nature of the equipment,
the specified end users and the circumstances in the country at
the time. We assessed the applications against the Consolidated
Criteria and concluded that there was no clear risk that these
goods might be used for internal repression or to aggravate internal
tensions. Bahrain requires combat aircraft for external defence
Belarus: Why was a SIEL
granted for imaging cameras, rather than refused under the terms
of either or both Criteria 2 and 3 of the Consolidated Criteria?
The thermal imaging cameras in question are specifically
designed for fire fighting operations with the stated end user
being a municipal fire service. This approval was "made before
the current EU embargo was adopted. We assessed the application
against the Consolidated Criteria and we had no concerns about
the stated end use and end users. Had the embargo been in place
at the time of the application, it may have been exempt on humanitarian
China: Given the human
rights record of the Chinese Government, why were SIELs granted
for small arms ammunition and weapon sights, rather than refused
under the terms of either the EU Arms Embargo or Criterion 2 of
the Consolidated Criteria? In connection with the weapon sights
that were approved for export, the Committees note that a SIEL
for weapon night sights was refused under Criterion 1, which requires
the UK, inter alia, to " uphold the EU Arms Embargo against
Applications granted under "small arms ammunition"
were for cartridges classified as sporting ammunition for the
end use of sporting and training purposes. The goods were supplied
to a sporting goods supplier. Sports ammunition is not caught
under the Arms Embargo, however these applications were still
assessed against the Consolidated Criteria and we had no concerns
about the stated end use and end users.
The application for weapon sights was for the
return of goods to the original manufacturer as they were deemed
faulty. They were being returned for evaluation of defects and
subsequent destruction. It was considered that these particular
goods did not fall under the EU Arms Embargo as they were faulty.
This application was assessed against the Consolidated Criteria
and we had no concerns about the stated end use and end users.
The application refused for weapon sights was
assessed against the Consolidated Criteria and the items were
deemed to be caught by the Arms Embargo as specially designed
components of lethal weapons. There was therefore clear grounds
for a refusal under Criterion 1.
Djibouti: Given the human
rights record of the Government of Djibouti, why were SIELs granted
for military combat vehicles and military support vehicles, rather
than refused under the terms of Criterion 2 of the Consolidated
This application was for Military Combat Vehicles
and Military Support Vehicles for use in defence logistics, thus
contributing to Djibouti's defence. We took into consideration
that, although elections are due to take place in 2011, the previous
election had passed without violence. We therefore judged there
was not a c1e.ar risk that such items would be used in contravention
of Criterion 2.
Egypt: Given the large-scale
unrest which occurred in the country during this period, in
which the country's security forces played a major
role, why was a SIEL granted for components for smoke projectors
not subsequently revoked?
This licence was considered during the review
of all existing licences for Egypt in February 2011 following
unrest in the country. The goods were components intended for
use with safety smoke generators used by an electrical contact
for leakage testing of grain silos, petroleum digging sites and
for a factory producing fireworks. After considering the goods,
end use, end user and prevailing circumstances in the country,
we judged there was no clear risk that these goods might be used
in internal repression and insufficient risk that the goods would
aggravate existing tensions. The licence remained consistent with
the Criteria and was not revoked.
Equatorial Guinea: Given
the human rights situation in the country, why was a SIEl granted
for all-wheel drive vehicles with ballistic protection, rather
than refused under the terms of Criterion 2 of the Consolidated
This application was for Personnel Protected Vehicles.
It should be noted that delivery was requested in respect of the
AU Summit in Malabo in July 2011. It is also intended that the
vehicles be used to provide protection of VIP's when Equatorial
Guinea co-hosts the 2012 African Cup of Nations. There was an
attack on a visiting national team during the last African Nations
Cup in Angola and it was deemed reasonable to expect Equatorial
Guinea would want to increase its capability to provide adequate
security at such events. We were unaware of any Human Rights abuses
being committed using this type of vehicle in Equatorial Guinea.
We therefore judged there was not a clear risk that these vehicles
would be used in contravention of Criterion 2.
The Gambia: Given the
human rights record of the Government of the Gambia, why was an
OIEl granted for cryptographic software, equipment employing cryptography,
software for the use of equipment employing cryptography, technology
for the use of equipment employing cryptography, rather than refused
under the terms of Criterion 2 of the Consolidated Criteria?
The OIEL was for cryptographic software, equipment
employing cryptography, software for the use of equipment employing
cryptography and technology for use of employing cryptography.
This equipment was non-military and had a commercial/civilian
end use. We judged this to be a legitimate end use. We had no
other Consolidated Criteria concerns on the application and therefore
Ghana: Why was Ghana refused
as a destination for an OIEL granted during this period for ballistic
shields, body armour, bomb suits, civil body armour, components
for body armour, constructions for ballistic protection of military
systems, military helmets?
The OIEL was for ballistic shields, body armour,
bomb suits, civil body armour, components for body armour, constructions
for ballistic protection of military systems
and military helmets. All applications are assessed
on a case by case basis which takes account of the prevailing
circumstances in the country, human rights records of the end
user and the risk of internal repression. Recent
reports of the use of excessive force by Ghanaian Security Forces
resulting in the deaths of several people. led us to conclude
that, for this application, we would need to see a SIEL application
detailing exact quantities and end user information.
Hong Kong: Given the human
rights record of the Government of China, how were concerns about
diversion under Criterion 7 - and then by extension, Criterion
2 - of the Consolidated Criteria allayed with regard to the SIELs
granted for, inter alia, components for assault rifles, components
for machine guns, machine guns and grenade launchers?
The licence application refers to the export of
a private weapons collection. The import of these items was approved
by the Special Administrative Region Government of Hong Kong and
completed End User documentation was seen. The application included
119 deactivated items in addition to 27 other items for which
we were given a full listing. The application was assessed on
its merits and we had no concerns under Criterion 7 or Criterion
India: The Committees
would be grateful for an official public statement on the implications
for the UK-India Civil Nuclear Co-operation Declaration, as signed
on 11 February 2010, of the refusal during this period, under
Criteria 1 and 7 of the Consolidated Criteria, of SIEl applications
for accessories for materials testing equipment, instrumentation
cameras, mass spectrometers, materials testing equipment, numerical
control software, pumps, software for materials testing equipment.
The joint declaration by the United Kingdom and
India on civil nuclear cooperation set out our joint desire to
promote cooperation in civil nuclear energy, recognised the importance
of India's safeguards agreement with the IAEA and emphasised the
importance of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) statement on civil
nuclear cooperation with the IAEA safeguarded Indian civil nuclear
The decisions to refuse the licences highlighted
by the Committees were taken against the UK's international commitments
as set out by the Guidelines of the NSG (Criterion 1) and in the
light of the UK's policy on civil nuclear exports to India, which
was restated in the Written Ministerial Statement (WMS) submitted
by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and
Commonwealth Affairs, Alistair Burt MP on 29 November 2010. The
WMS makes clear that; 'for an NSG dual-use list export, we will
continue to take into account whether its export is for a nuclear-related
end use, whether it is destined for a nuclear facility safeguarded
by the IAEA and whether there is an unacceptable risk of diversion
to an unsafeguarded nuclear fuel cycle activity." The UK
is committed to promoting and enabling civil nuclear trade with
India in line with our international commitments and obligations.
Iran: Given the existence
of an extensive regime of international sanctions against Iran,
the Committees would be grateful for further information about
why SIELs were granted during this period for the following items:
components for civil aircraft, components for filtration equipment,
components for industrial gas turbines, corrosion resistant chemical
manufacturing equipment, electrical test equipment, filtration.
equipment, general laboratory equipment, process control equipment,
With the exception of components for civil aircraft,
these applications relate to uncontrolled goods which do not require
a licence. These goods can only be refused if there is an unacceptable
risk of diversion to a WMD or military programme. The applications
were approved because we did not consider the goods to be of specific
utility to a WMD or military programme or that there was a programmatic
requirement for the goods, we considered the end users to be legitimate
and did not consider that there was sufficient risk of diversion
to justify refusal.
The civil aircraft components are rated in the
UK Strategic Export Control Lists. They require a licence for
export to Iran but do not fall within any of the sanctions regimes
against Iran. The equipment in this licence application comprises
different types of aircraft tyres to be fitted to planes operated
by a civilian airline. There is nothing to indicate these tyres
will be used for anything other than civilian passenger aircraft.
The decision to issue this licence was reached after concluding
that there was no risk under Criterion 1 (UK'S international commitments)
and Criterion 7 (diversion risk).
Israel: Given the controversy
that occurred over "Operation Cast Lead" in Gaza, which
is part of the Palestinian Occupied Territories, in late 2008
and early 2009, the Committees would be grateful for further information
regarding the following SIELs that were granted, inter alia, during
this period: components for electronic warfare equipment, components
for military aircraft head-up/down displays, small arms ammunition.
Many of the applications under reference were
for components and goods whose end use was in third party countries
where we assessed there were no Consolidated Criteria concerns.
Details of other specific applications are found below.
A licence was granted for components for use in
the head up display of military training aircraft which is not
front line aircraft. We had no Consolidated Criteria concerns
and recommended approval.
Another licence related to 22 sporting cartridges
manufactured in the UK. All the cartridges in the order were for
use in preparation for the Olympic Games in London in 2012. These
goods were destined for a legitimate sporting civil end use and
the end user paperwork supported this. We had no Consolidated
Criteria concerns and recommended approval.
Kazakhstan: Given the
human rights record of the Government of Kazakhstan, why were
SIELs granted for, inter alia, sniper rifles and components for
sniper rifles, rather than refused under the terms of Criterion
2 of the Consolidated Criteria?
This application was from a manufacturer of sports
shooting & hunting
rifles used by Olympians as well as military and police units
around the world. This rifle was for a private collector/sportsman
and was approved as we had no Consolidated Criteria concerns.
Equipment/spare parts for sniper rifles were approved
in late 2010 specifically for protecting international visitors
when Kazakhstan hosted the OSCE Ministerial Council summit in
Almaty in December 2010. The end user specified that these goods
would be used for this purpose. We had no Consolidated Criteria
concerns and therefore approved this application.
Kenya: Given that many
observers judge that there is a clear risk of renewed violence
in Kenya in the context of the 2012 national elections, why were
SIELs granted for, inter alia, small arms ammunition, rather than
refused under the terms of Criterion 2 of the Consolidated Criteria?
This licence application was for a SIG Pistol
and Small Arms Ammunition. The goods are intended for target pistol
shooting. There were no concerns with the end use or end user.
The application covered a single weapon (including ammunition)
and its use was deemed commensurate with the stated end purpose.
This decision was consistent with the approach we had taken for
previous applications for the same end use for Kenya. There were
no grounds for refusal under the Consolidated Criteria.
Lebanon: The Committees
note that, inter alia, the following SIELs were granted during
this period: components for assault rifles, components for semi-automatic
pistols, military communications equipment, sporting guns, technology
for the use of military communications equipment, training small
arms ammunition; We would be grateful to know whether any of these
licence applications were approved on the grounds that they were
authorised by the Government of Lebanon and so not covered by
the prevailing arms embargo. If so, we would also be grateful
to know which ones were so authorised. In addition, given that
Prime Minister Hariri, an opponent of Hizbollah, stood down in
January (a new Prime Minister, nominated by Hizbollah, was not
appointed until June), on what basis was it decided that a Government
of Lebanon continued to exist with which it was appropriate to
carryon doing business?
During the period January to March 2011, 3 licences
were approved for Lebanon. The first two were approved on 4th
January whilst Sa-ad Hariri's Government was
in power. These were for components for assault rifles, components
for semi-automatic pistols, training small arms ammunition and
sporting guns. The third licence was granted on 3rd March for
communications equipment. The end user was a government ministry
and therefore exempt from the terms of the arms embargo (UNSCR
1701) under the Government of Lebanon clause. Although there was
no substantive Government in place, there remained a caretaker
government led by PM Hariri, and therefore the licence was issued.
Libya: While the Committees
note that these licences were subsequently revoked, why
were permanent SIELs initially granted during this
period for components for military
communications equipment and equipment for the use
of military communications equipment, rather than refused under
the terms of either or both Criteria-2 and 3 of the
A licence for communications equipment was approved
in January 2011. When this and
similar licence applications for military communications
equipment were initially considered we did not identify a clear
risk under either Criteria 2 or 3 given the prevailing circumstances
and evidence available at the time. When circumstances changed,
we revised our risk assessment and revoked the licences accordingly.
Macao: Given the human
rights record of the Government of China, how were the concerns
about diversion under Criterion 7 - and then by extension, Criterion
2 - of the Consolidated Criteria allayed with regard to the SIEL
granted for small arms ammunition?
This application was for 50,000 x 22 LR Sporting
Cartridges. All cartridges were to be used for training and competitions
in 2011 which is a very important year in terms of qualifying
places for the Olympics in 2012. This ammunition does not fall
under the EU China Arms Embargo. There were no concerns under
Criteria 2 or 7.
Saudi Arabia: The Committees
would be grateful for more information about why an OIEL for technology
for the use of weapon sights and weapon sights was refused?
The assessment considered the goods, proposed
end user and prevailing circumstances in the country. Weapon sights
and technology weapon sights do carry Criterion 2 risks. We judged
that there was insufficient information provided about the end
user and specific end use to reach an assessment under the Consolidated
Criteria and to satisfy the risk requirements for an open licence.
The OIEL application was therefore refused and the exporter was
advised to apply for SIELs.
Serbia: Given the continuing
tensions between Serbia and Kosovo, which recently included armed
border clashes involving armed Serbs, the Committees would be
grateful for more information about why SIELs for small arms ammunition
and technology for small arms ammunition were granted, rather
than refused in terms of either or both Criteria 4 and 7 of the
This application was from a well known and long
established British manufacturer of
sporting ammunition. This .22 calibre sporting
ammunition was for use in the qualifying tournaments of the London
2012 Olympics. Therefore we assessed that there were no grounds
for refusal under Criteria 4 (regional peace, security and stability)
or 7 (risk of diversion).
South Africa: Given the
challenges that South Africa faces in terms of' promoting sustainable
development, specifically with regard to poverty reduction and
addressing what are currently the highest levels of income inequality
in the world, the Committees would be grateful for an explanation
of why over £3 million
worth of military SIELs were granted during this period?
In the same context, the Committees would also be
grateful for more information about
why 20 SIELs were granted for items covered by the
Consolidated list category 5A5002
(described in the list as "information security
systems, equipment and components
therefore), given their high total value at £10,494,912.
Licence applications for South Africa are not
considered under Criterion 8 of the Consolidated Criteria as
the Government only applies this criterion to World Bank International
Development Association (IDA)-eligible countries. South Africa
had a per capita GNI in 2010 of $6,100. To be IDA eligible a country's
per capita GNI must be below $1,135.
A list of the countries considered under Criterion
8 can be found in the Government's Strategic Export Controls Annual
Report at Annex B.
All the SIELs under reference were assessed against
the Consolidated Criteria and there were no grounds for refusal.
Thailand: Given rising
tensions during the course of 2011 between Thailand and Cambodia
over territorial issues along their mutual border, the Committees
ask whether any of the military SIELs granted during this period
might now justify being reviewed - and possibly revoked - in terms
of Criterion 4 of the Consolidated Criteria? If not, why not?
If so, which ones and why?
Three of these licences were for a small quantity
of goods for demonstration purposes,
which were to remain under the exporters' control
and to be returned to the UK. One was for filter canisters for
protection against chemical agents and does not pose a clear
risk of increasing tensions on the Cambodian border.
Two licences were for spare components for radar equipment already
held and would therefore not constitute an increased capability
that could escalate tensions. None of these applications therefore
raised concerns under the Consolidated Criteria.
Uganda: Given the human
rights performance of the Ugandan Government since parliamentary
and presidential elections were held in February, the Committees
ask whether any of the military SIELs granted during this period
might 'now justify being reviewed - in terms of Criterion 2 of
the Consolidated Criteria? If not, why not? If so, which ones
Only 3 SIELs were granted during the period 1
January 2011 and 31 March 2011, all for non military use.
- One was for a Crane Truck and Turbo Diesel
Engine to be used for supporting mineral exploration. We had no
Consolidated Criteria concerns about this end use.
- One application was for Armour Systems Protective
Vests, Level III Hard Armour Upgrade Plates and Ballistic Helmets.
These items were for protection of international agency staff
members travelling to insecure areas whilst delivering services
to the Karamoja population. It was therefore concluded there was
no clear risk under Criteria 2 and an insufficient risk of diversion
under Criteria 7.
- One was for protective equipment for the police.
This application was approved as part of a comprehensive programme
to strengthen public order and community policing skills. It was
considered that the lack of protective equipment limited the tactical
responses open to local law enforcement agencies on crowd control.
It was therefore concluded there was no clear risk under Criteria
2 and we had no other Criteria concerns.