HL Deb 26 January 2005 vol 668 c158WA
Lord Alton of Liverpool

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the finding of the United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics Database (Comtrade) that the United Kingdom has exported 180 tonnes of arms to Sudan since 2001 is correct. [HL755]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean

An allegation was made in the UK press in August 2004, based on statistics published by Comtrade, that the UK exported around 200,000 dollars worth of arms to Sudan between 2001 and 2003. We do not believe this information to be correct. The UK adheres fully to the European Union arms embargo which has been in force since 1996.

Details of all UK export licensing decisions are published in the Government's annual reports on strategic export controls (from 2004, licensing information is also published quarterly). The Department for Trade and Industry licensing records show that a total of £11,121 of military-listed goods were licensed by the UK for export to Sudan between 2001 and 2003.

The United Nations International Trade Centre and the United Nations Statistics Division have told us that their statistics are based on Sudanese reporting, and they would revert to the Sudanese authorities for clarification. We have as yet received no information to support the statistics Comtrade published. If we do, we will investigate further and action will be taken against any UK person or entity found to be in breach of UK legislation implementing the arms embargo against Sudan.