Dual-use goods are primarily regulated by an export control regime. Coordination of export control measures helps countries meet their obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological Weapons Convention.
The global nature of trade requires the coordination and harmonization of processes and approaches. Each country has its own (often complex) set of bans and licensing requirements, with different spheres and requirements. Appropriate analysis and professional advice are often needed to navigate these rules and assess cross-border implications.
In most jurisdictions, including Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States and the European Union, there are dual-use items that require prior authorization / authorization to export items outside the jurisdiction. In this way, the government can identify and track the movement of dual-use goods and, to the extent necessary, monitor and restrict trade in such items.
Defining the concept of dual-use technology is not a clear process. The specific literature contains relatively few articles that deal directly with the definition, which leads to a certain degree of obscurity that also complicates the process of appropriate tariff classification, their end use being both military and civilian.
The effectiveness of any export control measures or checklist depends on an effective enforcement regime and sanctions. The enforcement regime often applies to all persons and companies that supply, sell or transfer sanctioned or outlawed goods without a license. Dual-use goods are often part of the sanctioned goods or are destined for a sanctioned country, which serves as an additional means to control trade in or supply of such goods.
In some cases, EU countries may place additional controls on unlisted dual-use items for reasons of public security or human rights. In specific cases, additional EU restrictive measures may apply to dual-use exports.
Most jurisdictions maintain a dual-use checklist. In many cases, these lists are very specific and reflect the fact that, as described above, problems are often found in detail. Broadly speaking, the lists of prescribed control products are divided into broad categories, including nuclear, electronic, computer, navigation and aerospace materials. Recently, the EU updated its export list to include laser metering systems, specified medical supplies and several biological agents. Finally, the success of a checklist depends on its global adoption and regular review to ensure that the list remains up to date.
The effectiveness of any export control measures or checklist depends on an effective enforcement regime and sanctions. The enforcement regime often applies to all persons and companies supplying, selling or transferring sanctioned or outlawed goods without a license. Dual-use goods are often part of the sanctioned goods or are destined for a sanctioned country, which serves as an additional means to control trade in or supply of such goods.
The key program of global sanctions is implemented through the United Nations Security Council and implemented in domestic law. Jurisdictions such as the United States and Europe also impose their own sanctions programs. The lists are dynamic. Their monitoring usually involves the use of third-party service providers and the implementation of sound compliance plans.
The Wassenaar Agreement, the most comprehensive international regime for setting export control standards, has emerged to increase accountability in transfers of dual-use conventional weapons and technologies. Its purpose is to contribute to regional and international security and stability and to prevent the acquisition of these items by occult forces.
Obtaining reliable data on the export of dual-use items is very difficult because there is no well-defined economic sector. At European level, the competent institutions collect data with which approximate estimates of exports of dual-use items can be made. These estimates are based on the number of licenses collected by the authorities and customs statistics for dual-use items.