“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ processing of applications for the export of defence-related products has become more stringent. Decisions are now based on even more thorough assessments of conditions within potential recipient countries than was the case before,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide.
In 2012, the total value of exports of defence-related products, technology and services for military purposes, production rights, brokering, and dual-use items for military use was almost NOK 4.6 billion. Of this amount, exports of defence-related products accounted for around NOK 3.9 billion.
The main recipients of defence-related products from Norway are Norway’s allies and other European countries.
“Norwegian defence industry companies are dependent on good and predictable conditions. They play an important role in value creation and technology development. The Government intends to facilitate continued exports by having strict and clear regulations,” said Mr Eide.
One area in which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ practice in this area has become more stringent is the risk assessments that are made concerning the use of defence-related products for internal repression in the recipient country concerned. The requirements for documentation identifying the end-user have also been made stricter. Altogether, 18 applications for export licences for defence-related products were refused in 2012.
Updated guidelines for the Ministry’s processing of applications to export defence-related products were published on 16 September. The white paper that is now being presented describes the work to further tighten export control procedures.
“In recent years, the Government has increased transparency on exports of defence-related products. This is important for maintaining confidence in Norwegian export control legislation, and for ensuring support for companies that are vitally important for our national security and defence capability,” said Mr Eide.
The white paper provides detailed information on the types of military goods that have been exported, the countries they have been exported to, and the value of the exports. It also contains information on the export licence applications that have been refused.
The white paper also discusses Norwegian legislation and multilateral cooperation on export control and non-proliferation.
The total value of sales of weapons and ammunition (Category A materiel) was NOK 3.3 billion in 2012, while the value of sales of other goods that have been specifically developed or modified for military purposes (Category B materiel) was NOK 574 million. The value of exports of these goods increased by around 8 % from 2011 to 2012.
The main recipients of defence-related products from Norway are NATO countries, and Sweden and Finland. In 2012, 78 % of Norway’s total exports of Category A materiel and 90 % of Norway’s total exports of Category B materiel were to these countries.