Written answers

Thursday, 8 February 2024

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Export Controls

Photo of Matt CarthyMatt Carthy (Cavan-Monaghan, Sinn Fein)
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74. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment in light of the order of provisional measures of 26 January 2024 by the International Justice in the case of South Africa v. Israel, if he has conducted an analysis of Ireland’s legal obligations regarding the granting of export licences for dual use commercial items with military applications; if he has sought input from the Department of Foreign Affairs regarding human rights implications; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5743/24]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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My Department is the National Competent Authority with responsibility for Export Controls, including Controls on defence-related exports and exports of Dual-Use goods. Controls on the export of Dual-use items are administered by my Department, in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2021/821 of the European Parliament and of the Council setting up a Union regime for the control of exports, brokering, technical assistance, transit and transfer of dual-use items.

Dual-use items are products and components, including software and technology, that can be used for both civil and military applications. The bulk of Dual-use exports from Ireland are mainstream business ICT products, both hardware and software (networking, data storage, cybersecurity etc). They are categorised as Dual-use items as a consequence of the fact that they incorporate strong encryption for ICT security purposes.

My officials seek the views of the Department of Foreign Affairs in respect of all applications for export licences including those destined for Israeli end users. The Department of Foreign Affairs reviews all dual-use export license applications received from my Department against the eight assessment criteria set out in Council Common Position 2008/944/CFSP – criterion two of which is “Respect for human rights in the country of final destination as well as respect by that country of international humanitarian law” and criterion three of which is "Internal situation in the country of final destination, as a function of the existence of tensions or armed conflicts".

Accordingly, the Department of Foreign Affairs raises relevant human rights considerations in respect of all export license applications received from my Department, including those concerning dual-use exports to Israel, which are taken into account in the final risk assessment of any licence application.


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