§ The Minister for Europe (Mr. Denis MacShane)
The Government have approved the export of four military-listed portable explosive detectors to the NATO Stabilisation Force (SFOR) headquarters in Sarajevo. Bosnia-Herzegovina is subject to an EU arms embargo, from which only de-mining equipment and the transfer of small arms to the police are specifically exempt. The embargo was put in place to ensure the safety of international troops and civilians deployed locally. SFOR requires this equipment for the protection of its premises and personnel.
This decision was made in accordance with our practice occasionally to make an exemption to our interpretation of the embargo by approving exports of non-lethal military goods to humanitarian, media or peacekeeping organisations where it is clear that the embargo was not intended to prevent those exports and there is a strong humanitarian case for them.
HMG fully supports SFOR and recognises its legitimate need for the right equipment to carry out its job safely and effectively. The decision underlines HMG's continued support for the work being done by SFOR in maintaining security and development in Bosnia-Herzegovina.