Written answers

Thursday, 15 October 2020

Department of Trade, Enterprise and Employment

Arms Trade

Photo of John BradyJohn Brady (Wicklow, Sinn Fein)
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24. To ask the Minister for Trade, Enterprise and Employment the number of arms export licences granted per year since 2015; the value of licensed arms exports per year; and the breakdown of the type of arms exported and the destinations of arms exports from Ireland. [29079/20]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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My Department actively participates in global efforts to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, to support regional security, to prevent terrorism and to protect human rights. To this end, the Department operates the highest standards of export controls, in accordance with international law and best practice.

My Department is responsible for administering controls on the export of Military equipment from Ireland, in accordance with the European Council Common Position 2008/944/CFSP defining common rules governing control of exports of military technology and equipment. The list of Military equipment subject to these controls is set out in the Common Military List of the European Union.

All applications for export licences in respect of Military equipment are subject to rigorous scrutiny by my officials, on a case-by-case basis. Each application is reviewed against the eight assessment criteria set out in Article 2 of the European Council Common Position.

The application is also reviewed against any EU Restrictive Measures, such as trade sanctions or arms embargoes, that may be in place in respect of the destination country.

My officials also seek observations from the Department of Foreign Affairs on any foreign policy concerns, including human rights considerations, that may arise with the proposed export.

In keeping with the commitment in the Programme for Government, I am committed to the maximum openness and transparency in the operation of Ireland’s export controls. On 24th August 2020, I published the Annual Report under the Control of Exports Act 2008, in respect of activities under the act during 2019.

In 2019 my Department issued 101 Military Export Licences, with a total value of €42.3 million. These licences were issued in respect of exports to the following countries:

Australia, Canada, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Kosovo, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea/Republic of Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States.

The United States accounted for €32 million of the total of €42.3 million value of licences issued.

These licences related to,

- Personal Firearms for hunting, sporting and recreational activities,

- Explosives for commercial mining and quarrying,

- Aircraft and related equipment and components,

- Ground vehicles and components,

- Electronic control systems, and

- Software.

A more detailed breakdown of licences issued by category of the Common Military List of the European Union is provided in the Annual Report for 2019.

In 2018 my Department issued 96 licences, with a value of €37.3 million; in 2017, 118 licences with a value of €24.9 million; in 2016, 128 licences with a value of €62.8 million; and in 2015, 81 licences with a value of €42.6 million.

The destination countries and the categories of goods for each of these years is available in the corresponding Annual Reports under the Control of Exports Act 2008, published on my Department's website.

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