Amendment of EU Dual-Use Regulation

23 October 2008

Martine Chin-Oldenziel

The European Commission (“EC”) has submitted a proposal (COM (2008) 541 to finally amend Regulation (EC) 1334/2000 (“Dual-Use Regulation”). This proposal provides for an amendment of Annex I and Annex IV of the Dual-Use Regulation. Secondly, this proposal includes the Wassenaar Medical Exemption for encryption items.

Amendment Annex I and IV of the Dual-Use Regulation

Annex I of the Dual-Use Regulation stipulates for which goods and technology an export licence is needed. Annex I of the Dual-Use Regulation is based on the following international non-proliferation regimes:

  • Wassenaar Arrangement (“WA”)

  • Missile Technology Control Regime (“MTCR”)

  • Nuclear Suppliers’ Group

  • Australia Group (“AG”)

  • Chemical Weapons Convention (“CWC”)

Not all new EU Member States have yet accepted the above mentioned control regimes, in particular the MTCR and the WA. This difference in export control regimes has lead to discrepancies between EU Member States.

The WA, MCTR and AG have been amended since the last amendment of the Dual Use Regulation. The proposal of the European Commission includes the amendments made in the control lists of the WA, MCTR and AG. The current amendment of the Dual-use Regulation provides for changes in Annex I and IV of the Dual Use Regulation.

Medical exemption for encryption items

The WA provides for a medical exemption for encryption items (NF(96) DG PL/WP1) stipulating that the Participating countries agree that equipment specially designed for medical end-use that incorporates an item controlled in the Dual-Use List is not controlled. The EU has not yet adopted this exemption, whereas this exemption had already been implemented in non-EU countries being members of the WA.

The proposal of the European Commission includes this medical exemption for encryption items.


The Council still has to adopt the proposal of the European Commission. With the adoption of this proposal, the EU Dual-Use Regulation will be in conformity with the international proliferation regimes. Please note that the Council still has to approve the earlier proposal of the European Commission in 2006 to recast the Dual-Use Regulation.