Today, the annual white paper on Norwegian exports of defence materiel, export control and international non-proliferation cooperation is being submitted to the Storting. The total value of exports in 2011 was just under NOK 3.9 billion, of which sales accounted for around NOK 3.6 billion.
“Norway has stringent and comprehensive guidelines for the export of defence materiel. For this reason, the vast majority of our exports are to our allies and other European countries. It is important that our legislation in this area is improved on an ongoing basis, in order to take into account changes at the international level and to give the industry predictable framework conditions,” Mr Eide said.
In this year’s white paper, new measures are presented for improving the processing of applications to export defence materiel to authoritarian regimes. A new evaluation tool is to be introduced to ensure that assessments of, for example, the human rights situation in countries that wish to buy Norwegian defence materiel, are made in as consistent and coherent a way as possible. In addition, the threshold for intervening and stopping exports if the situation in the country of destination changes significantly is to be lowered. More stringent practices are also to be introduced for ensuring that defence materiel that is exported cannot be used for internal repression in the country of destination.
The Government attaches importance to transparency on Norwegian exports of defence materiel. A number of steps have been taken since 2005 to ensure the greatest possible access to information. The white paper presents detailed information on which types of military goods have been exported, which countries they have been exported to, and the value of the exports. Furthermore, information is provided on applications that have been refused. The white paper also provides an introduction to the Norwegian legislation relating to control of the export of strategic goods, as well as to the international cooperation on export control and non-proliferation.
“The Government places great emphasis on contributing to the greatest possible degree of openness on exports of defence materiel, and on the importance of having stringent and comprehensive legislation. These things are crucial if we are to be able to have a broad and well-informed debate on this aspect of Norwegian security policy. By being transparent about our trade in defence materiel, we also send an important signal to the international community,” Mr Eide said.
The total value of sales of Category A materiel (weapons and ammunition) was NOK 2.9 billion in 2011. For Category B materiel (other military materiel), this figure was NOK 720 million. Compared with 2010, there was a slight decline in the value of exports (-1.7 %). In 2011, 14 export licence applications for defence materiel were refused. Around 91 % of exports of Category A materiel and 97 % of exports of Category B materiel were to NATO countries and other European countries.