Export control

Export control of dual-use items aims at the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and to promote responsible export of Finnish technology. Export control is implemented with international agreements and cooperation. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs serves as the national competent authority for export control in Finland.

Export control covers all export of dual-use items and technology under statutory supervision. Terrorism and the threat of the spread of WMDs have increased both the need for arms control and 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.

Export control ensures that Finnish companies have access to controlled goods and technology manufactured elsewhere.

Definition of dual-use items

In Finnish legislation, ‘dual-use item’ refers to products, technologies, services or other goods which, besides their normal civilian use, have military applications or can be used in the development of WMDs.

The term also refers to products that may be used to increase military capability in general.

A range of products can be dual-use items, but usually they are high-technology products, such as nuclear substances and special materials and equipment related to them, electronics, certain computer devices, data communications and data protection equipment, and sensors and lasers.

Export of dual-use items

Export of dual-use items refers to the export of controlled dual-use items to outside the EU. Such export is subject to authorisation.

In trade within the EU, an authorisation is required only for some particularly sensitive products, such as nuclear material and equipment.

Transit and brokering are subject to authorisation as well. However, the control is limited only to cases where there is reason to suspect the goods are planned to be used for WMD purposes.

National competent authorities

In Finland, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs is the national competent authority responsible for export control of dual use items. The Ministry of Defence is the national competent authority for defence materiel exports and the National Police Board serves as the competent authority for the export of firearms and cartridges for civilian use.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs is responsible for Finland’s security policy orientations in the plenaries of the international export control arrangements. The Ministry is also responsible for the administration of the EU export control system in Finland.

The Unit for Export Control at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs serves companies in all matters related to the export control of dual-use items.

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 428/2009Link to another website.(Opens New Window). The Council Regulation has been supplemented with the Council Joint Action (2000/401/YUTPLink to another website.(Opens New Window))

The lists of controlled items in the EU dual-use regulations correspond to the lists agreed in international export control arrangements. The control procedures that have been laid down are in line with the principles adopted in different international control arrangements and in some aspects, EU’s harmonisation has proceeded further than is required internationally.

The international control arrangements are:

  1. the Wassenaar ArrangementLink to another website.(Opens New Window) On Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies (WA)
  2. the Australia GroupLink to another website.(Opens New Window) (AG) fighting the spread of chemical and biological weapons   
  3. the Missile Technology Control RegimeLink to another website.(Opens New Window) (MTCR) and 
  4. the Nuclear Supplier’s GroupLink to another website.(Opens New Window) (NSG)

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).