Global Security: Non-Proliferation - Foreign Affairs Committee Contents

Letter from Export Group for Aerospace and Defence, to the Second Clerk of the Committee

  Many thanks for arranging for us to give evidence to the Committee on the afternoon of Thursday 28 January 2009.

  I believe that the Committee asked for further details of the problems that our companies have reported encountering when seeking to export anything relating to anti-personnel land mines. I must apologise for the delay in addressing this issue, but I have been taking soundings of our Members to try to get a better feel of the scale of the problem.

  The fact appears to be that, initially, when the regulations first came into effect here in the UK, back in the very late 1990s, they did cause some problems for our Members involved in this field, but that since the officials have got increasingly familiar with them, the problems have been fewer and fewer in number. As very few UK companies were in any way involved in the manufacture or storage of anti-personnel land mines for some years before the introduction of the Ottawa Convention, the impact was felt on those of the periphery of this area, especially involving those who sell equiment to detect and clear such mines: so, whenever a UK firm was seeking to provide such a mine to a potential customer for trials purposes to support their efforts to sell them such clearance equipment, they almost invariably encountered delays, even if the item in question was an inert, dummy.

  However, as I stated, there have been few such problems along these lines of late.

  We hope that the above comments may be of interest to the Committee.

Brinley Salzmann,


22 May 2009

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