HC Deb 31 January 2000 vol 343 cc461-2W
Ann Clwyd

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his Department's process is for checking that arms companies exhibiting and trading at British arms fairs are complying with the UK Landmine Act 1998 and the Ottawa Convention. [104297]

Mr. Spellar

I have been asked to reply.

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Richmond Park (Dr. Tonge) on 24 November 1999, Official Report, column 116W. While there is no specific check for compliance with the Landmines Act 1998, all companies exhibiting and trading at UK defence exhibitions are subject to UK law: this includes the Landmines Act 1998, which brings into effect the provisions of the Ottawa Convention.

Where the MOD supports an exhibition, UK contractors are scrutinised for compliance against the Handbook of Industrial Security. Overseas contractors are not bound by the Handbook, but are subject to spot checks by MOD staff. In addition, HM Customs & Excise make targeted checks at import to enforce the prohibition on the importation of anti-personnel mines and components.

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