The control of exports of dual-use items aims at a non-proliferation policy to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). Non-proliferation policy is implemented through international agreements and multilateral export control cooperation.
In Finland the licensing authority of dual-use items is the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The Ministry of Defence is the licensing authority of defence materiel exports, and the National Police Board is the licensing authority of exports of firearms and cartridges for civilian use.
Export control covers the export of dual-use items and dual-use technology, which are controlled by law. Terrorism and the threat of the spread of WMDs have increased not only arms control but also the need to control the export of dual-use items.
Export control seeks to promote responsible export of Finnish technology and to prevent the use of Finnish technology for the development of WMDs, for undesirable military ends, for uses against the interests of Finland, or for purposes that violate human rights.
Thanks to export control, Finnish companies can use controlled products and technology manufactured elsewhere.
Export of dual-use items
In Finnish legislation, dual-use items refer to products, technologies, services or other goods which, besides their normal civilian use, may have military applications or may contribute to the proliferation of WMDs.
They also mean products that may be used to advance the general military capability.
Dual-use items can consist of a range of products, normally high-technology products, such as nuclear substances, special materials and equipment related to them, electronics, certain computer devices, data communications and data protection equipment, and, for example, sensors and lasers.
Export means export of dual-use items under control to outside the EU. Export is subject to an authorisation.
In trade within the EU, an authorisation is required only for very sensitive products, such and nuclear material and equipment.
Transit and brokering are subject to a licence. However, control is limited to apply to only such cases where there is reason to suspect use for WMD purposes.
National licensing authorities
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs is responsible for Finland's security policy positions in the plenaries of the international export control arrangements. The Ministry is also the licensing authority of dual-use items in Finland and responsible for the administration of the EU export control system in Finland.
The Unit for Export Control at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs is the public authority that grants export authorisations and serves companies in all matters related to the export control of dual-use items.
The Ministry's website provides information about export control legislation in force, export licence procedures, and topical issues related to export control. (in Finnish, Swedish and English)
Export control of dual-use items in the EU
In the EU, provisions on the export of dual-use items are laid down in the Council Regulation (EC) No 428/2009. The regulation has been complemented by Council Joint Action (2000/401/CFSP).
The lists of controlled items in the EU dual-use regulation correspond to the lists agreed in international export control arrangements. The control procedures that have been laid down are in agreement with the principles adopted in different arrangements except that the EU's harmonisation has proceeded further than is required internationally.
International control arrangements are the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA), which focuses on conventional arms and dual-use items, the Australia Group (AG), which focuses on chemical and biological products, the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), which focuses on missile technology, and the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG), which controls nuclear materials.
The arrangements coordinate the participating states' export control procedures and lists of controlled products, which the European Union integrates into the Union law (Council Regulation 428/2009).
The export of controlled products is subject to authorisation. Licensing decisions are subject to national discretion.