HC Deb 14 March 2001 vol 364 cc643-6W
Mr. Harvey

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what controls Her Majesty's Government have over the(a) sale and (b) re-export of components or sub-systems exported from Britain to Chile, and assembled in Chile into the Rayo rocket system; [152487]

(2) what discussions there have been between his Department and (a) British Aerospace/Royal Ordnance, and (b) the Chilean authorities, about (i) the export of the Rayo rocket system to Chile and (ii) its subsequent re-export; [152488]

to undertake in the next year; and if he will state in each case the (a) expected date of commencement and completion and (b) cost. [151480]

Dr. Howells

[holding answer 26 February 2001]: The DTI plans to undertake the following significant IT projects in the next year. A number of smaller projects are likely to be undertaken, which are expected to proceed broadly to time and budget.

Dr. Howells

[holding answer 26 February 2001]: The following significant IT projects are currently being undertaken within the DTI. There are a number of smaller projects in progress all of which are expected to proceed broadly to time and budget.

(3) if the export since July 1997 of components on sub-systems for the Rayo rocket system, from British Aerospace/Royal Ordnance to the British/Chilean company FAMAE Ordnance Ltd., requires (a) export licences and (b) end-user certificates; and what such export licences or end-user certificates have been issued; [152486]

(4) when an export licence was granted for the pre-production model of the Rayo rocket system exported by British Aerospace/Royal Ordnance to Chile in July or August 1997. [152485]

Dr. Howells

The export of the Rayo rocket system, including components and sub-systems thereof, is controlled under entry ML4 in Part III of Schedule 1 to the Export of Goods (Control) Order 1994, commonly known as the Military List. This means that an export licence would normally be required before any such components are exported. Since 28 July 1997 all applications for a licence to export arms from the UK have been considered under the UK national arms export licensing criteria, now the consolidated EU and UK national arms export licensing criteria. Criterion seven includes the assessment of export licence applications against the risk of diversion within the buyer country or re-export under undesirable conditions.

Details of licences issued for Chile since 2 May 1997 have been outlined in the Government's Annual Reports on Strategic Export Controls. Between 1 January 2000 and 28 February 2001, eight Standard Individual Export Licences (SIELs) and no Open Individual Export Licences (OIELs) have been issued covering the export of goods with the relevant rating to Chile. As regards how many of these covered components on sub-systems for the Rayo rocket system and were issued to Royal Ordnance/British Aerospace inquiries are being made under the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information. As confidential information is involved, the party concerned is being asked if they object to its disclosure. I will write to the hon. Member in the light of its response, and will place a copy of that letter in the Library of the House.

All applications for Standard Individual Export Licences (SIELs) for the permanent export of goods subject to strategic export control must be supported by appropriate end-user documentation. Where the intended consignee is a Government body, and the application is not for a licence to export chemicals listed in Schedule 2 or 3 to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) to a state which has not ratified the CWC, a copy of the official Government purchase order or a copy of the relevant part of the Government contract covering the order is normally sufficient. An end-user undertaking is not usually required for Standard Individual Export Licence (SIEL) applications for the temporary export of goods subject to strategic export control.

An Open Individual Export Licence (OIEL) is specific to an individual exporter and covers multiple shipments of specified goods to specified destinations and/or, in some cases, specified consignees. The exporter must obtain from each consignee an appropriate written undertaking for each export before the export takes place, or not later than one month after the date of export. Where the exporter intends to make more than one export to the same consignee in any period of one year, an annual written undertaking may be obtained in fulfilment of this requirement.

As with SIELs, where goods are being consigned direct to a Government body, we will normally accept a copy of the Government purchase contract order, or the relevant extracts from the contract.

An Open General Export Licence (OGEL) allows the export from the UK of goods specified in the goods coverage of the OGEL to specified destinations. In such circumstances, end-user undertakings are not required. Copies of OGELs are routinely placed in the Library of the House.

Other than routine discussions involving the Department for Trade and Industry's Export Control Organisation during the licensing process, the DTI has no records of any discussions with either British Aerospace/Royal Ordnance or the Chilean authorities about the export or re-export of Rayo rocket systems.

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