Further memorandum from the Government
Unclassified section of HMG's letter of 8 February
2006 to Quadripartite Committee.
Quarterly Report for: (i) January to March 2005;
and (ii) April to June 2005.
SECTION A: QUESTIONS
1. The introduction to the second quarter
report states that:
A summary description is provided for all
items covered by SIELs and OIELs issued for this period. The Report
also gives information on the number of small arms covered by
SIELs issued during the period. However, this information is not
provided in cases where the information is exempt from disclosure
consistent with the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
No such exclusions were made in this Report.
Which exemptions could apply?
The exemption contained in Section 27 (harm
to international relations) could potentially apply. This exemption
would only be applied in exceptional circumstances. In fact, it
has not yet been applied since the entry into force of the act.
However, in the interests of transparency, the Government wishes
to note that it is at least a possibility that we may be required
to do so in the future.
2. Is "white phosphorus" subject
to licensing control? If it is, please indicate the licences covering
it that were issued, refused or changed in the first two quarters
White phosphorous is not controlled for export
from the UK, and does not appear on the international control
lists from which UK strategic controls derive, ie the Wassenaar
Arrangement, the Missile Technology Control Regime, the Australia
Group, the Nuclear Suppliers Group, and the Chemical Weapons Convention.
3. Were any goods exported to, or for
use in, the Western Sahara? Under what country of destination
would such goods be listed?
No export licence was issued covering goods
for stated use in the Western Sahara.
SECTION B: SPECIFIC
4. The Committees would be grateful
for more information on the following licences issued during the
first quarter (January to March) of 2005.
5. The Committee would be grateful for
more information on the following licences issued during the second
quarter (April to June) of 2005.
SECTION C: OTHER
6. On 8 May 2005 the Sunday Times reported
on the availability of rockets with radioactive warheads for sale
in Transdniester. What investigations and assessment has the Government
made of these reports and, on the assumption that the reports
are accurate, what steps has the Government taken to address the
sale of armaments in Transdniester and with the Governments of
Moldova, Ukraine and Cyprus, within or through whose territories
some of the transactions to facilitate the proposed sale would
have taken place? More generally, what assessment has the Government
made of the amount and nature of arms that originate from Transdniester,
the use to which these arms are put and of the brokers who promote
this trade? In the light of the Government's assessment have the
Government plans to strengthen UK, or to promote European and
international action to improve, controls of trafficking and brokering
of arms which originate in states such as Transdniester?
We are concerned by reports of illicit arms
sales involving Transdniester. The Ukrainian Plan for a settlement
of the Transdniester dispute, launched in April 2005, has led
to greater EU involvement in the settlement mechanism, and to
the placing of a Border Assistance and Monitoring Mission along
the Moldova/Ukraine border, including the Transdneistrian section.
The 50-man Mission has been in operation since 30 November, and
will provide training for local customs and border guards as well
as carrying out inspections and checks along the border. It is
hoped that this will significantly reduce the smuggling activity
known to take place along the border, including of arms and materiel.
There has been discussion of inspections of Transdneistrian military
factories, but this has not yet been agreed on.
7. On 27 November 2005 the Observer
reported on the use of British military equipment by the Indonesian
authorities against civilians. What assurances have the Indonesian
authorities given about the use of British-supplied weapons and
equipment? What investigations have the Government made to establish
whether British-supplied equipment has been used in any human
rights abuses? What were the results of the investigations?
We no longer seek specific guarantees or assurances
that go beyond the provisions of EU Consolidated Criteria when
supplying British-built equipment. We would not issue an export
licence in the first place if we assessed there was a clear risk
the goods would be used to commit human rights abuses.
The British Embassy followed up with the Indonesian
authorities and a number of Papuan-based community leaders and
non-governmental organisations reports that British supplied water
cannon were used in Papua.
We were informed that water cannon were used
in Jayapura to break up a violent demonstration aimed at an office
of the Indonesian Electoral Commission. Having looked carefully
at the specific circumstances of this case, we consider that the
government used proportionate and legitimate force to maintain
law and order, and did not commit internal repression or human
rights abuses. The Committee will wish to note that two local
NGOs have indicated to staff in BE Jakarta that they considered
this a reasonable level of force to use in the circumstances.
8. What assessment has the government
made of the risk of diversion of goods from China and Taiwan to
other countries? What undertakings, if any, has each Government
given about preventing diversion?
In accordance with Criterion 7 of the Consolidated
EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, the risk that
equipment will be diverted within the buyer country, or re-exported
under undesirable conditions, is part of the risk management process
of case-by-case assessment and advice for all export licence applications.
This includes the use of intelligence to expose any risks associated
with the export of the goods, including in relation to the declared
end-user. The Government works to identify any links between the
end-user and countries of concern, and any known requirement that
countries of concern may have for UK sourced equipment.
The Government continues to analyse relevant
information, for example, on arms production, trade and exports,
including `grey' arms dealers and proliferation networks. From
this analysis up-to-date advice is provided on specific export
China has shown a willingness to work with us
to modernise its export controls. They are members of the Nuclear
Suppliers Group and have applied for membership to join the Missile
Technology Control Regime. This is a positive signal that the
Chinese Government is willing to work with partners to improve
its export controls. Through an EU project, the UK hope to work
closely with China to ensure that its customs officers are able
effectively to enforce and implement export controls.
Taiwan operates an export licensing procedure
using a control list based on international control texts (NSG,
MTCR, Wassenaar and Australia Group) and receives regular updates
from members of international export control regimes. The Taiwanese
Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) classifies export destinations
into three categories and tailors its controls according to the
destination. Additional regulations are applied to exports to
the People's Republic of China.
In January 2005, the Taiwanese Bureau of Foreign
Trade (BOFT) announced that they had brought their export controls
on strategic high-tech commodities in line with international
efforts against terrorism and the proliferation of WMD. Specifically,
it announced that exporters who falsified customs declarations
would be blacklisted and subject to stricter inspections of their