Regulation (EU) 2021/821 setting up a Union regime for the control of exports, brokering, technical assistance, transit and transfer of dual-use items (recast)

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Series Details L 206, Pages 1-461
Publication Date 11/06/2021
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Regulation (EU) 2021/821 - formally adopted by the European Union (EU) on 20 May 2021 - updating the legislation on the EU's export controls on sensitive dual-use goods and technologies.

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Council Regulation (EC) No 428/2009 set up an EU-wide regime for the control of exports, transfer, brokering and transit of dual-use items. In line with Article 25(2) of the Regulation, the Commission presented a Report on its implementation in October 2013. This report concluded that the system in place provided solid legal and institutional foundations but could not remain static and should be upgraded in order to face new challenges.

The Commission adopted in April 2014 a Communication setting out concrete policy options for the review of the EU export control regime and its adaptation to rapidly changing circumstances. An impact assessment was conducted in 2015 to identify the most suitable regulatory and non-regulatory actions to bring them into effect. This proposal was prepared in light of the conclusions of that impact assessment. The review of this policy was identified in the context of REFIT, in consideration of its potential regulatory simplification and burden reduction. A recast was tabled by the European Commission on 28 September 2016, considering that the existing Regulation was amended on several occasions and several further amendments were to be made.

The review aims to upgrade, modernise and strengthen the EU's export control toolbox and respond effectively to evolving risks and emerging technologies. The proposed Regulation should allow the EU to address the risk of violations of human rights associated with trade in cyber-surveillance technologies without prior agreement at multilateral level. It also enhances the EU's capacity to control trade flows in sensitive new and emerging technologies.

The European Parliament's plenary session adopted its position and mandate for trilogue negotiations on 17 January 2018, followed by the Council of the European Union on 5 June 2019. Interinstitutional talks were launched on 21 October. An informal agreement between the co-legislators on a compromise text was reached on 9 November 2020. The Parliament formally endorsed it on 25 March 2021, followed by the Council on 10 May. The Act was signed by the co-legislators on 20 May and published in the Official Journal on 11 June 2021.

The Export Control Regulation entered into force on 9 September 2021.

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Commentary and Analysis
EPRS: Briefing, January 2017: Control of exports, transfer, brokering, technical assistance and transit of dual-use items - Initial Appraisal of a European Commission Impact Assessment
SIPRI: Commentary, 07/10/2019: Revising the EU Dual-use Regulation: Challenges and opportunities for the trilogue process
ORGALIM: Position Papers, 29/01/2020: Trade: Joint statement by European business on the recast of the EU Regulation on Dual-Use Export Controls
Human Rights Watch: News, 09/06/2020: Joint Letter Re: Strengthening the European Commission Position on Dual-Use Recast
RUSI: Commentary, 17/11/2020: Revising EU Export Controls: A Path to Greater Coherence?
Amnesty International: News, 25/03/2021: New EU Dual Use Regulation agreement ‘a missed opportunity’ to stop exports of surveillance tools to repressive regimes
AEB: Magazine 11/06/2021: Reform of the EU dual-use regulation: Overview of key changes
EPRS: Briefing, July 2021: Review of dual-use export controls
Finabel: Info Flash, 31/08/2021: The Dual-Use Technology Conundrum: The Role of Dual-Use Goods in the Modernisation of the EU Armed Forces and Export Control Initiatives

EurActiv, 28/09/2016: Commission proposes export controls to rein in surveillance technologies, to industry fury
EurActiv, 17/10/2016: ‘Anti-trade’ MEP put in charge of controversial export control bill
EurActiv, 21/09/2020: EU nears conclusion on cyber surveillance export controls
Politico, 15/10/2020: Europe to crack down on surveillance software exports

EUR-LEX: COM(2016)616: Proposal for a Regulation setting up a Union regime for the control of exports, transfer, brokering, technical assistance and transit of dual-use items (recast)
EUR-LEX: SWD(2016)314: Report on the EU Export Control Policy Review - Executive summary of the impact assessment
EUR-LEX: SWD(2016)315: Report on the EU Export Control Policy Review - Impact assessment
European Parliament: Legislative Observatory: Procedure File for Proposal on Union regime for the control of exports, transfer, brokering, technical assistance and transit of dual-use items (Recast) (2016/0295(COD))
European Parliament: Legislative Train Schedule: Review of dual-use export controls
European Commission: DG Trade: Dual-use trade controls
European Commission: Press Release, 28/09/2016: Commission proposes to modernise and strengthen controls on exports of dual-use items
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 05/06/2019: Dual-use goods: Council agrees negotiating mandate
European Commission: Press Release, 09/11/2020: Commission welcomes agreement on the modernisation of EU export controls
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 09/11/2020: New rules on trade of dual-use items agreed
European Parliament: Press Release, 09/11/2020: Dual use goods: Parliament and EU ministers agree on new EU export rules
European Parliament: Press Release, 25/03/2021: Parliament agrees to new EU export rules on dual use items
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 10/05/2021: Trade of dual-use items: new EU rules adopted
Global Trade Review: Analysis, 16/06/2021: New EU dual-use goods regulations present headache for exporters
European Commission: Press Release, 09/09/2021: Strengthened EU export control rules kick in

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