§ Dr. Howells
Licences to export arms and other goods whose export is controlled for strategic reasons are issued by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry acting through DTI's Export Control Organisation (ECO). All relevant individual licence applications are circulated by the DTI to other Government Departments with an interest as determined by those Departments in line with their policy responsibilities. These include FCO, MOD and DfID. These Departments give advice to the DTI on whether the applications should be approved or refused in accordance with the consolidated EU and national export licensing criteria announced by the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, my hon. Friend the Member for Neath (Mr. Hain), on 26 October 2000,Official Report, columns 199–203W.
Strategic export licensing is a joined-up process. Officials in the Export Control Organisation (ECO) are in contact with officials in other Government Departments, including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, on a daily basis, and there is an inter-departmental Steering Group that meets regularly to discuss export controls. There 496W are also regular meetings between officials in the main Departments to identify specific ways of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the export licensing system, as well as to discuss particular licensing applications.
In addition, Government Departments have worked together since 2 May 1997 to publish Annual Reports on Strategic Export Controls. Three such reports have been published so far; copies are in the Library of the House.
Finally, details of the roles and responsibilities of the Government Departments involved in the export licensing process have been set out in a Memorandum from the FCO and DTI to the 'Quadripartite Committee' (Defence, Foreign Affairs, International Development, Trade and Industry), published on 15 June 1999 (HC540).
§ Dr. Howells
Between 1993 and 1997 statistics on export licensing decisions were periodically placed in the Library of the House.
Since 2 May 1997, details of export licensing decisions have been set out in the Government's Annual Reports on Strategic Export Controls published by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; copies are in the Library of the House. Three such reports have been published so far and each report lists by country of destination the export licences issued and refused in each equipment category and gives details of the military equipment for which licences have been granted. The report for the year 2000 will be published this year.
§ Dr. Howells
The Government's commitments to exporters are set out in a Service and Performance Code published by the Export Control Organisation (ECO). Where, as in almost all cases, the advice of other Government Departments is sought on applications for Standard Individual Export Licences (SIELs), the aim is to provide a substantive response within 20 working days.
While the Government have performance targets for processing SIELs, this target does not apply to applications concerning Iran, Iraq or applications for licences to export goods which are subject to control solely because of UN sanctions. This is because there are special licensing procedures for those destinations, which reflect the Governments concerns. But none the less, we still make every effort to process such applications as quickly as possible. Nor do they apply for Open Individual Export licences because of the very wide variation in the goods and destination coverage of such licences.
The Government's performance figures were not collected on a monthly basis before 1 January 2000. However, the performance for the whole of 1999 can be found in the Government's Annual Report on Strategic Export Controls. The figures from 1 January 2000 are set out in the table.497W
Percentage of Standard Individual Export Licences (SIELs) Month (2000) Completed within the 20 day target Not completed within 20 days January 63.1 36.9 February 64.8 35.2 March 68.6 31.4 April 63.8 36.2 May 61.7 38.3 June 56.2 43.8 July 53.4 46.6 August 50.6 49.4 September 53.5 46.5 October 55.7 44.3 November 54.5 45.5
§ Dr. Howells
Licences to export arms and other goods whose export is controlled for strategic reasons are issued by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry acting through the Export Control Organisation (ECO) of the Department of Trade and Industry. The ECO issues a range of licences depending on the circumstances.
Standard Individual Export Licences (SIELs) generally allow shipments of specified goods to a specified consignee up to the quantity specified by the licence. Such licences are generally valid for two years where the export will be permanent; where the export is temporary the licence is generally valid for one year only.
Open Individual Export Licences (OIELs) are specific to an individual exporter and covert multiple shipments of specified goods to specified destinations and, in some cases, specified consignees. OIELs covering the export of goods on the Military List are generally valid for two years, while OIELs covering the export of other goods are generally valid for three years.
Open General Export Licences (OGELs) allow the export of specified controlled goods to specified destinations by any company, removing the need for exporters to apply for an individual licence, provided the shipment and destinations are eligible and the conditions on the licence are met. All OGELs remain in force until they are revoked.
PEDL Number/operator Co-applicants Blocks 95 Midmar Energy Onshore Ltd. PermaGas Ltd. SE60 Altwood Petroleum Ltd. 96 Midmar Energy Onshore Ltd. TQ42, TQ43, TQ44 97 Midmar Energy Onshore Ltd. NC80, NC90, NC91 98 Black Rock Resources (UK) Ltd. Magellan Petroleum (NT) Pty Ltd. Northern Petroleum plc Italmin Exploration S.R.L 99 Black Rock Resources (UK) Ltd. Magellan Petroleum (NT) Pty Ltd. SU50, SU60 Northern Petroleum plc Italmin Exploration S.R.L 100 Coastal Oil and Gas Ltd. SS78, SS88, SS98 101 Mustang Oil and Gas Ltd. Celtic Petroleum Ltd. SJ49 Pinto Petroleum Ltd.
These licence offers conclude the consideration of applications in the 9th Round.498W
All individual export licence applications, including those for repeat orders, are considered on a case by case basis. This is because there may have been a change in circumstances, since the original application was scrutinised, that affects the Government's decision on whether to issue a licence. However, when submitting applications, exporters are asked for details of previous applications to export the same or similar goods/technology to the same destination(s) so that these may be taken into consideration during the licensing process.
If an exporter makes many SIEL applications for the same or similar goods/technology to the same destination(s), they may in some cases be advised by the ECO to apply for an OIEL which, if granted, would give the exporter the flexibility to meet repeat orders.
§ Dr. Howells
Details of all export licensing decisions taken in 1999 were set out in the Government's Annual Report on Strategic Export Controls, published by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; copies are in the Library of the House. This report lists by country of destination the numbers of Standard Individual Export Licences (SIELs) and Open Individual Export Licences (OIELs) issued and refused in each entry in the relevant legislation under which the export of goods is controlled, which is known as their rating. It should be noted that an OIEL covers multiple shipments of specified goods to specified destinations or specified consignees.
In addition, Open General Export Licences allow the export of specified controlled goods to certain destinations by any company, removing the need for a company to apply for an individual licence. Copies of all Open General Export Licences valid at any time during 1999 were listed in the Annual Report and have been placed in the Library of the House.