Container to the topic exports of arms; Source: istockphoto.com/Teun van den

© istockphoto.com/Teun van den

Based on a proposal submitted by Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Sigmar Gabriel, the Federal Cabinet today adopted the legal preconditions for the introduction of post-shipment controls for exports of German military equipment.

Federal Minister Gabriel said: "Post-shipment controls for exports of military equipment will help to verify on the spot whether the recipients are complying with their declaration about the end-use of the weapons. We are the first EU Member State to introduce a system where controls for exports of military equipment are not completed after the granting of an export licence. The new rules have also been developed in light of past scandals. Together with the small arms principles, these are the most stringent rules on military equipment exports that have ever existed in the Federal Republic of Germany."

In the past, on-the-spot controls were possible only for war weapons; in the future, they will also apply to other military equipment including pistols and sniper rifles. Governmental recipients in third countries must in the future declare in the end-use statements that they will tolerate on-the-spot controls.

The controls will be implemented gradually, with the Federal Government focusing on small arms in a pilot phase. The first on-the-spot controls can of course not be carried out until weapons have been produced and exported subject to post-shipment controls. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy expects the first controls to be carried out this year.