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UK ECO to Require Embargo-based End-User Certs

Over in the UK, the Export Control Organisation has issued a Notice to Exporters that as of July 1, 2010 that all end-user undertakings (EUUs are basically end-use certificates) contain a declaration by the end-user that they will not re-export or transfer goods to destination subject to UN, EU, or OSCE embargoes.  The suggested template reads:

We – the person or body named at 1(e) – certify that we are the end-user of the goods described in Section 2, which are to be supplied by the exporter named in 1(a). We further certify that we shall use the goods for the purposes described in Section 3; that the goods will not be used for any purpose connected with chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, or missiles capable of delivering such weapons; that they will not be re-exported or otherwise re-sold or transferred if it is known or suspected that they are intended or likely to be used for such purposes; that the goods will not be re-exported or otherwise re-sold or transferred to a destination subject to UN, EU or OSCE embargo where that act would be in breach of the terms of that embargo; and that the goods, or any replica of them, will not be used in any nuclear explosive activity or unsafeguarded nuclear fuel cycle.

Members of Parliament who had been pressing for a stronger approach praised the move but seemed to be holding out for stronger language in the future. In the recently released 2010 Scrutiny of Arms Export Controls Report, House of Commons Committees on Arms Exports, it concludes that the certification “falls short of the no re-export clause that we have previously recommended … [w]e recommend that our successor Committees monitor the effectiveness of the measure introduced by the Government as a deterrent against re-export in contravention of a UN, OSCE or EU embargo, to assess whether no-re export clauses remain desirable.”

EUUs and EUCs are not a panacea for all issues that could arise after a product has reached an end-user.  They will certainly not stop a state sponsor of terrorism from attempting to acquire weapons or dual-use technologies.  While not all of the Committee Members’ prior discussions were available for review, the Report oddly cites NGO studies with a strong anti-defense ideological bent that EUUs are useful tools for curbing re-exports.

This will likely be the last notice for a few weeks from the UK. The UK ECO website alerts user that the website will not be updated, nor e-mail alerts sent, until after the general election on May 6 that was just announced this week.  Do you think U.S. business and DC trade compliance lawyers would survive a similar black out during U.S. elections?  No DDTC Hotline or BIS Export Counselors?

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