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Arms Trade: Export Controls

Question for Department for International Trade

UIN 115685, tabled on 16 November 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many times the Government has suspended or revoked an existing Arms Export licence in the last five years; what the grounds were for those actions; and which countries those licences were for.

This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.

Answered on

17 December 2020

Since 2015, we have taken revocation action 74 times on individual licences; and suspended licences, pending further investigations, four times.

I have provided the Hon. Lady with instances below where a licence was revoked in full; where a country was removed; where goods were removed; or where goods for a country were removed.

  • 9 SIELs for Ukraine were revoked following increasing tensions in the region (Criterion 3).
  • 3 SIELs for Yemen and 1 OIEL destination were revoked further to the deteriorating situation in-country and the risk of diversion (Criteria 3, 7)
  • 1 OIEL had seven destinations revoked (Taiwan, Spain, Qatar, Greece, Canada, Australia and Afghanistan) when extended beyond its original validity date.
  • 1 OIEL has one destination revoked (Isle of Man) having been issued in error.
  • 1 OIEL had three destinations revoked (Japan, Norway and Switzerland) due to the sensitivity of the goods (Criterion 5)
  • 1 SIEL for the Philippines was revoked following a change of situation in country and the risk of items being used to commit abuses of rights and responsibilities (Criterion 2)
  • 3 SIELs for Germany, Italy and the United States were revoked where the goods were for onward export to Venezuela following the introduction of restrictive measures by the EU in 2017 (Criterion 1).
  • 2 SIELs and 13 OIEL destinations for Venezuela were revoked following the introduction of restrictive measures by the EU in 2017 (Criterion 1).
  • 1 OIEL had three destinations revoked (Hong Kong, Mongolia and Taiwan), having been issued in error.
  • 1 SIEL for Iraq was revoked following new information indicating a risk of diversion (Criterion 7)
  • 1 SIEL for Bangladesh was revoked following the provision of additional technical information on the capabilities of the equipment, giving rise to concerns over rights and responsibilities (Criterion 2)
  • 1 OIEL destination for Belarus was revoked because of the risk of contravening EU financial sanctions including asset freezes (Criterion 1)
  • 2 SIELs for China were revoked following new information indicating a risk of diversion (Criteria 5a and 7)
  • 1 SIEL and 3 OIEL destinations for Myanmar (Burma) were revoked following the expansion of EU Sanctions there in 2018 (Criterion 1)
  • 1 OIEL had 31 destinations revoked (Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Gibraltar, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Namibia, New Caledonia and Dependencies, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, St Helena, Switzerland, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, United States and Uruguay), having been issued in error.
  • 6 SIELs for China were revoked following new information indicating a risk of diversion (Criteria 5a and 7), 4 of these SIELs were initially suspended.
  • 1 SIEL for Pakistan was revoked following new information indicating a risk of diversion to a WMD programme (Criterion 1)
  • 2 SIELs for Sweden and Saudi Arabia and 2 OIEL destination for Jordan and Saudi Arabia were revoked because they were contrary to Secretary of State‚Äôs commitment to Parliament that no new licences would be granted for export of arms or military equipment to Saudi Arabia or its coalition partners for possible use in the conflict in Yemen.
  • 1 OIEL destination for Saudi Arabia was revoked because of the risk of internal repression and violations of rights and responsibilities (Criterion 2a)
  • 2 OITCLs for Sierra Leone had goods revoked because the licences were issued in error (Criterion 1).
  • 1 SIEL for Turkey was revoked following new information indicating a risk of diversion to a third country of concern (Criteria 1 and 7)
  • 1 SIEL for Uganda was revoked following new information indicating a risk of diversion to a third country of concern (Criteria 1 and 7)
  • 1 SIEL and 1 OIEL destination for Iraq was revoked following a change of situation in country and the risk of items being used to commit abuses of rights and responsibilities (Criterion 2)
  • 3 SIELs for Israel were revoked following new information indicating a risk of diversion to a third country of concern (Criteria 1, 5a and 7)
  • 3 SIELs for South Africa, Spain and Jordan, 3 SIELs for the United Arab Emirates and 1 OIEL destination for the United Arab Emirates were revoked following new information indicating a risk of diversion to a third country of concern (Criteria 1 and 7)

In seeking to be open with the Hon. Lady, this data is provided from management information and may, therefore, not align with published official statistics. My department has identified some instances where revocations were not reported. For example, following the introduction of EU restrictive measures in 2017, we revoked Venezuela from 13 OIELs, but five were not reported. My department has identified the cause of this and put in place measures to ensure there is no re-occurrence. The data will align with the next official statistics update and the official estimates will be revised.

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