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Export Licences

Volume 449: debated on Wednesday 19 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many applications for a standard individual export licence were referred to her Department by the Export Licensing Organisation (ELO) in 2005; how many of these applications were considered by the Human Rights, Democracy and Good Governance Group; in how many of these applications the Group initially advised against the granting of a licence; how many were the subject of written submissions from the Group; and in how many cases where an initial recommendation for refusal was issued by the Human Rights, Democracy and Good Governance Group her Department recommended to the ELO refusing that licence. (86519)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office received 7,381 standard individual export licence applications in 2005. It is not possible to give a further breakdown of departmental assessment of applications since this information is not recorded. All applications are assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Export Licensing Criteria, including against criterion 2, which deals with human rights concerns. Should there be a clear risk that the equipment on the application is a risk to human rights in the recipient country, the licence will not be issued. Human Rights, Democracy and Governance Group are asked to advise on applications where specific human rights concerns arise. Ministerial decisions are sought for finely balanced cases.