Submission from Export Group for
Aerospace and Defence
Many thanks for inviting us to give evidence
to the Committee on the afternoon of Thursday 28 January
2009, which we very gladly accept.
We must apologise for failing to meet the Committee's
deadline for the receipt of memoranda. If we may, we would like
to submit to the Committee, for their consideration, the following
comments, which we hope that you will be able still to accept.
The Export Group for Aerospace and Defence (EGAD)
is the only dedicated national industrial trade body in the UK
dealing with export control issues. EGAD operates under the joint
auspices of: the Association of Police and Public Security Suppliers
(APPSS), the British Naval Equipment Association (BNEA), the Defence
Manufacturers Association (DMA), INTELLECT, the Society of British
Aerospace Companies (SBAC) and the Society of Maritime Industries
The services provided to Members include:
Providing reliable information concerning
export control issues;
Providing a forum for discussion
Sharing of information and experiences;
Lobbying Government for and on behalf
of the Membership.
EGAD's overall purpose may be summarised as
To provide a Defence and Aerospace Industry focus
for export control issues'
1. We believe that Her Majesty's Government's
stated commitment to non-proliferation efforts is highly laudable,
and, indeed, is utterly essential, especially at this time with
a growing perception of increased threat to us all, especially
from non-state actors. However, conversely, industry continues
to experience practical difficulties in getting signed End-User
Undertakings (EUUs) out of our own UK MoD, to satisfy the export
control authorities of other sovereign nation states. While we
understand the arguments of principle adduced by the UK MoD, the
fact is that this does not offer a very good example to others.
2. In this regard, it must be understood
that the constituent elements of a so-called "dirty bomb"
are, for the most part, more likely to be found on the dual-use
control list than on the military list. Therefore, at present
the greatest enforcement effort does not appear to be focused
on the greatest perceived threat. Enforcement is, though, not
the first stage in the export control process; more significant
is the need to ensure that exporters of licensable items are actually
working within the export control system, in the first instance.
3. Prima facie, it is worrying that
the Defence industry, which accounts for approximately 2% of UK
GDP, accounts for over 60% of export licences. At the very least,
this lends strong support to the (very considerable) anecdotal
evidence that there is significant non-compliance in the dual-use
4. This non-compliance is not that which
is often encountered by the relevant agencies, that of a mostly
law-abiding and compliant exporter making an honest mistake or
a technical breach of licence conditions, rather it is a sector
of what should be a regulated Industry operating wholly outside
of the regulatory regime.
5. The difficulties of bringing these companies
into the compliant community are well recognized, both by Government
and Industry; however, the risk of not doing so is that an easy
market for proliferators is created, in addition to an "uneven
playing field" commercially where compliant companies alone
carry the overhead of the Regulations and the non-compliant compete
at an advantage, at a time of acute financial stress.
6. For the foregoing reasons, we believe
that HMG must put in much greater effort (and resource) into enhancing
the effectiveness of the UK's export controls relating to the
dual-use sector, as this is clearly the area of greatest potential
concern in this arena; if only HMG could be clearly perceived
to be doing this just as vigorously as it is in the conventional
sector (eg the Military List), then there would be far fewer concerns.
7. We were delighted to read recently about
the fact that Mr Colin Stott and Mr Simon Knowles, directors of
Organic Intermediates Limited, based near Liverpool (which went
into liquidation in August 2004), have become the first people
to be prosecuted under the Chemical Weapons Act, and been fined
for breaching rules designed to halt the spread of weapons of
mass destruction (WMD). We look forward eagerly to hearing and
reading more about other similar successful prosecutions that
HMG may pursue in the future.
8. Currently, global efforts at counter-proliferation
just do not work, as they cannot actually prevent proliferation,
but, at best, can merely delay it and mildly inconvenience the
potential customers, whilst they scour around the World for an
alternative source of supply. Therefore, on this basis, it really
does not matter how much more effective we make our own system,
unless these efforts and systems are replicated by other nations.
With that in mind, we applaud HMG for its outreach activities
in other countries, but believe that much more of this needs to
9. We believe that HMG is to be congratulated
for its efforts to promote the proposed International Arms Trade
Treaty, which does offer considerable potential benefits, although,
contrary to the overly-enthusiastic pronouncements of some in
the NGO lobby, we do not perceive this, alone, as being a panacea,
10. Business has gone global, whilst regulatory
regimes are still implemented at the national level; this basic
fact must be seen to be what it is: a fundamental weakness in
the global counter-proliferation system.
11. Under the ATT, we would want to see
total transparency on what has been approved for export by other
12. For a truly effective ATT to be introduced,
there must be provision of capacity-building outreach assistance
to other signatories, by HMG, and other nations who have effective
and robust export control systems of their own.
13. For the ATT to succeed, there needs
to be greater clarity on definitional issues, to minimise the
burden on legitimate Industry and to make the systems and procedures
We hope that the above comments may be of interest
to the Committee.
Mr Brinley Salzmann,
18 December 2008