asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if, in respect of the export control order he proposes to make to implement the new COCOM agreement, he will make it his policy (a) to provide for blanket exemptions for software exports wherever possible, and (b) to allow at least six weeks after publication for discussion and consultation with the industries affected.
Under the provisions of the new Export of Goods (Control) Order, all exports of embargoed software to the proscribed countries will be controlled according to the COCOM agreement. These controls will also apply to a few other destinations so as to minimise the risk of onward diversion to the proscribed countries. However, most software on the COCOM embargo list will be freely exportable to other countries under the provisions of an open general export licence which will be granted when the new order comes into operation: there will be no need for traders to obtain any individual licence for export of such software to such countries.Only a few categories of embargoed software will require individual licensing for all destinations, for example, software specially written for computers manufactured in the proscribed areas, software for the design of very large scale integrated circuits and software with sensitive military purposes. Full details will be available when the new Export of Goods (Control) Order is published in mid-June.Given the size and complexity of the new Order my right hon. Friend intends to allow a period of six weeks between publication and entry into force.