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Implementing the 2021 Recast of the EU Dual-use Regulation: Challenges and Opportunities

Publisher: EUNPDC
EUNPDC, Stockholm:
September, 2021

In 2011, the European Union (EU) launched a review of its regulation establishing controls on exports of dual-use items. This began a process involving the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU that led to a recast of the regulation which enters into force on 9 September 2021. This paper examines the main underlying concerns that drove the review and recast process: exporters’ regulatory burden, uneven national implementation, exports of cybersurveillance items and advances in emerging technologies. It also analyses the key changes introduced by the recast, particularly a mechanism for coordinating enforcement, additional controls on exports of cybersurveillance items, new commitments on public transparency and an expanded mechanism to control unlisted items, including emerging technologies. The paper concludes by outlining the steps needed to ensure both effective implementation of the recast and greater coherence in the EU’s wider efforts in the field of export controls and non-proliferation.


I. Introduction

II. The review and recast of the dual-use regulation

III. Key changes and implementation priorities

IV. Conclusions and recommendations


Dr Mark Bromley is a Senior Researcher with the SIPRI Dual-Use and Arms Trade Control Programme.
Kolja Brockmann is a Senior Researcher in the SIPRI Dual-Use and Arms Trade Control programme.