The export control system is intended to ensure that strategic goods, services and technology are only exported from Norway in accordance with Norwegian security and defence policy, and that exports of dual-use goods do not contribute to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, chemical and biological weapons) or their means of delivery.
NATO Headquarters in Brussels. Photo: NATO
The export control system is based on the Export Control Act and Export Control Regulations, as well as the Guidelines for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs when dealing with applications concerning the export of arms, military equipment and components, and technology and services for military use (“defence materiel”). The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for administering the Export Control Act and drawing up regulations and guidelines to ensure the effective implementation of controls.
Under the export control system, certain goods, technology and services may not be exported without an export licence from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This applies to defence materiel on Ministry of Foreign Affairs List I (Arms, ammunition, other military equipment and components and related technology). It is also the case for strategic goods and related technology not included in List I that may also have military applications (dual-use goods), as described in Ministry of Foreign Affairs List II. List I is a national list (of arms and military equipment, while List II covers dual-use goods included in the multilateral export control regimes, in which Norway participates.
Lists I and II form part of the regulations, and they are updated regularly. The export control regulations also include a number of general, “catch-all” clauses, which means that an export licence may be required for any goods, technology and services under certain circumstances.
Adequate documentation of end use must be provided before an export licence may be issued. The Ministry may also lay down other conditions for granting licences.
The Section for Export Control is responsible for administering and implementing the export control system, for example as regards determining the policy framework, developing legislation, and processing export licence applications.
The details of Norwegian exports of weapons, ammunition and other defence materiel are published every year in a white paper, which also describes the basis for Norway’s export control system. These white papers include more information on the background for the export control system, and statistics for countries that received defence materiel from Norway in the year in question.