HC Deb 05 November 1999 vol 337 cc335-6W
Dr. Tonge

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what checks are made and controls imposed by his Department on arms manufacturers and arms brokers before they are granted permission to advertise on his Department's website. [97389]

Mr. Caborn

British Trade International brings together the joint work of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department of Trade and Industry in support of UK trade and investment overseas and its TradeUK Internet website (www.tradeuk.com) has been created to help put UK suppliers in touch with overseas buyers. Over 57,000 firms are currently listed. The majority of UK firms' contact data is used under licence from a commercial database source but firms can also submit their own entries. Our current policy is to allow any firm in any sector involved in exporting for the UK to be listed, free of charge, on the TradeUK National Exporters Database. These firms are responsible for the information they supply and for its accuracy. It is clearly not in their interest to promote goods for which an export licence would not be granted. We are reviewing the guidance we provide to UK firms both in the TradeUK application form and on the website to make clear the need to comply with current export control legislation. We are also reviewing operational procedures with the TradeUK contractor.