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Status: 2024-07-05

Do you export dual-use goods from France?

In France, export controls on dual-use goods are governed by European Regulation 2021/821.


The idea behind controls is first and foremost to define these goods as “products, including software and technology, which are capable of both civilian and military use”. They therefore concern goods likely to contribute to the manufacture of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons, whether explosive or not. Typical examples include 3D printers, 3D simulation software and drone components.


Such regulations are a direct offshoot of the four multilateral export control regimes designed to prevent the uncontrolled spread of weapons and sensitive technologies, in the form of non-legally binding inter-state agreements.


Exports of dual-use goods are governed by the general rules of the World Trade Organization, which recognize the possibility of restrictions to take account of security interests, and constitute an exception to the principle of free trade.


The list of goods subject to export controls is set out in Appendix 1 of the European regulation, and is divided into 10 categories. It is updated annually, in line with changes in the lists of control regimes, to introduce or remove goods from the scope of control, in order to adapt to changes in the context, technologies and associated security risks.


When the item is not on the list, and there is therefore uncertainty as to its classification, the exporter must pay particular attention to Article 4 of the Regulation, which provides for enhanced control of goods, particularly in terms of cyber-surveillance, by allowing the implementation of the so-called “catch-all” clause.


Also, European regulation (EU) 2021/821 allows each member state to establish national controls.


Exporters therefore need to be particularly vigilant when it comes to the formalities involved in exporting goods, in order to take account of all applicable regulations.


For all these reasons, the expertise of a specialized law firm can be more than welcome to correctly determine the classification of a product, and to agree on the procedure to be followed to obtain the corresponding license if necessary.





This article should not be construed as legal, financial, or business advice. Neither smarti nor its guest contributors assume liability for the accuracy, comprehensiveness, or timeliness of the information provided. We strongly recommend seeking professional advice before making business decisions.




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