Quadripartite Select Committee Written Evidence

Letter to the Chair from the Minister of State at the Department of Trade and Indusry

  When I gave evidence to the Committee on 13 March, I promised to let you have a note on various points.

  Firstly whether Turkey as a NATO Member has any obligation to its NATO partners in relation to its exports. As this is a matter which falls within the responsibilities of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Kim Howells will respond separately on this point.

  Secondly, I promised a note on "trigger devices" for explosions, and where they appear in the export control lists. I can confirm that such devices are specifically controlled, in a number of different places in both the Military Lists (ML) and EU Dual-Use List. The UK also has a national control covering such devices. Full extracts of these controls are provided for the Committee at Appendix A [not printed].

  Finally, you asked for a note on the "Military End Use Control" in the context of the exports of the civilian Land Rover kits to the Otokar company in Turkey. The Otokar vehicles were then delivered to Uzbekistan. The relevant control is set out in article 4.2 of the EC Dual Use Regulation, to be read in conjunction with article 4.4 (attached at Appendix B) [not printed]. These controls in summary allow us to impose export licence requirements on goods which are not normally licensable, where it is known they are to be used for military purposes in an embargoed destination. Our view, having checked with the European Commission, is that this control can be applied in circumstances where the goods are passing via a third country and are further developed there before reaching the embargoed destination; provided their ultimate destination and end user are known at the time of their export from the UK. The EC Commission has indicated it shares this view. Thus, in future these provisions could be used to control exports of non-military Land Rover parts (for example) to Turkey if it is known that those parts will be incorporated into military vehicles and delivered to an embargoed destination for a military end-use. In the case of Uzbekistan vehicles, the controls would not have applied because at the time Uzbekistan was not subject to an embargo and also because, as far as we know, it was not envisaged at the time of export from the UK that the Otokar goods would be transferred to Uzbekistan.

  I am grateful to the Committee for providing us after the hearing with evidence from Oxfam about the nature of the commercial relationship between Land Rover and Otokar. I have asked Land Rover for their comments on this. To the extent that there may be a working relationship between the two entities, this is only relevant to current export controls insofar as Land Rover could thereby be deemed to participate in "an act calculated to promote" supply or delivery of military goods from a third country to an embargoed destination (see the Export Control Act 2002 Trade in Goods (Control) Order 2003). However, may I remind you that I said I would welcome the advice of the Committee on the issue of where British export control jurisdiction should begin and end, in cases where the export from the UK is not military in nature and not normally controlled.

May 2006

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