EU dual-use reform to impact surveillance camera exports

added, and the due diligence obligations of economic operators and the test criteria of competent national authorities have been expanded. Te definition of dual-use items is expanded

David Santorum, at German high-tech industry association Spectaris, updates on new EU dual-use regulation for export control, legislation that will affect companies exporting goods for civilian and military purposes, surveillance cameras being one likely candidate


n 28 September 2016, the European Commission presented a proposal for a new EU dual-use regulation, which

is meant to replace the regulation from 2009 on the community regime for the control of exports, transfer, brokering and transit of dual- use items. Tis provision is the most significant legislative text on European export control and absolutely all European companies that manage goods or technologies that may be used for civilian, as well as military purposes, i.e. dual- use items, need to pay attention to it. Te most outstanding novelty of this legal

proposal is probably the new ‘human security approach’. According to the explanatory memorandum, the European Commission is committed to pursuing a value-based trade policy. To do justice to this goal, the Commission introduced the concept of ‘human security approach’ to the regulation’s proposal. Tis new value approach is noticeable at various points. For example, the definition of dual-use items has been redefined, new catch-all controls

12 Imaging and Machine Vision Europe • June/July 2017 @imveurope

to include cyber-surveillance technology, which can be used for the commission of serious violations of human rights or international humanitarian law. Te reason for this expansion lies in the events that took place during the Arab Spring. When the unrest occurred, the authoritarian regimes used cyber-surveillance technology to locate and eliminate their opponents. Later it became known that this technology also had European origin. With this new legislative proposal, the Commission wants to prevent such abuse in the future. Te question must be raised as to whether

these surveillance cameras may be seized by authoritarian regimes and used to track down and arrest government critics, or opposition members. Special attention must be given to the new

Absolutely all European

companies that manage… dual- use items need to pay attention to [the new EU regulation proposal]

the pursued goal can actually be reached by expanding this definition. In practice, situations oſten arise in which one cannot determine beforehand whether the technology will be used for civilian purposes or misused to violate human rights. A clear example of this is surveillance cameras. Te footage taken by these devices is per se legitimate. However,

catch-all controls. In the current EC dual-use regulation, the catch-all clause only applies if non-listed goods could be used in terms of ABC weaponry, missile/carrier technology or other defence technologies, and a weapons embargo has been imposed on the final destination country. Te new regulation proposal distances itself from this approach and introduces two new catch-all rules: a human rights catch-all rule and a terrorism catch-all rule. Te human rights catch- all rule describes ‘serious

violations of human rights or the international humanitarian law’. While the term ‘international humanitarian law’ – for example, based on the Geneva Convention – can be delimited, the general reference to human rights is quite imprecise and will lead to ambiguities in practice, as a clear and uniform-codified legal source is missing. It is unclear whether the regulation proposal refers to the Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations, the

Ivan Smuk/

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