§ Lord Bragg
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether there have been any recent changes to export controls in place against the FRY. [HL1103]
§ The Minister for Trade (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean)
The EU arms embargo was lifted at the General Affairs Council on 8 October 2001 due to the improved security situation and ongoing process of internal reforms undertaken by the FRY authorities. In light of this, the Government have decided to lift the controls imposed in 1996 on exports to the FRY of all wheel drive vehicles capable of off-road use that have a ground clearance of greater than 175 millimetres; heavy duty recovery vehicles capable of towing a suspended load of more than 6 tonnes or winching a load of more than 10 tonnes; and drop-sided trucks that have a load-carrying capacity of more than 5 tonnes. An amendment to the Export Control (Goods) Order will be made in due course.
The Government have also decided to lift the policy, as announced to Parliament on 14 March 2000, of presumption of refusal for the export of dual use goods to the FRY which could benefit the armed forces, internal security forces or similar entities of the authorities in Belgrade. Again, with the change to a democratic government in the FRY and ongoing improvements in the security structures there, we have no reason to continue doing so. This will bring our export control policy on the FRY in line with that on most other countries. All future applications for dual use goods to the FRY will be judged on a case-by-case basis, on their merits, against the consolidated EU and national export licensing criteria.