Proliferation in Parliament
Select Committee Report
Select Committee Report
Scrutiny of Arms Export Controls (2009): UK Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2007, Quarterly Reports for 2008, licensing policy and review of export control legislation, Committees on Arms Export Controls - First Report, HC 178 of 2009-2010, 19 August 2009
UK Brokers operating in Ukraine
Full text of the Scrutiny of Arms Export Controls (2009): UK Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2007 can be found at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmquad.htm
20. During our meeting on Monday 18 May, the Ukrainian Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs gave us a document which we subsequently had translated into English. The document contained a list of UK-registered brokers to whom the Ukrainian State Service for Export Control had licensed the export of collectors items (light arms) from the Soviet stockpile of weapons. We were alarmed to see that the end users on the list included countries for which there are FCO policy restrictions on the export of strategic goods. The list itself did not provide the date that the Ukrainian licence was granted, nor did it specify the type of goods or their value. It is also not possible to ascertain whether the goods were shipped directly from the Ukraine to the end users, or whether the goods were shipped via the UK.
21. We were invited to visit Ukraine because of perceived weaknesses in the parliamentary oversight of its strategic export control system. The UK, amongst other countries, has been greatly interested in the future of the massive stockpile of ex-Soviet weapons since the dissolution of the USSR. Particularly, concerns persist that Ukrainian arms might be ending up in undesirable locations. For example, there were reports as recently as 18 June 2009 that Ukrainian arms were intercepted in Nigeria on the way to Equatorial Guinea. Therefore, we are extremely concerned that the UK Embassy in Kiev, the Export Control Organisation and HM Revenue and Customs were all unaware of the existence of this list of UK brokers who had been granted export licences by the Ukraine State Service for Export Control, particularly as it was provided to us freely by the Ukrainians. We have passed the list onto the FCO, Export Control Organisation and HM Revenue and Customs. We are alarmed at the prospect that UK brokers might be importing ex-Soviet weapons into the UK for onward export, and/or directly exporting from Ukraine, to countries for which there are FCO policy restrictions. We return to the subject of controls on UK brokers later in this Report.
22. We conclude that it is of serious concern that the
UK Government was unaware of the existence of a list of UK brokers granted
licences by the Ukraine, We recommend that, in major arms exporting countries,
such as Ukraine, the FCO should ensure that its embassies and diplomatic
posts engage more effectively with the national export control organisations
to obtain information on UK arms brokers licensed by overseas states.
We further recommend that the Government should instigate an investigation
into the list of UK brokers provided to us by the Ukrainian government
and provide confirmation as soon as possible that the UK brokers on the
list obtained any necessary licences from the Export Control Organisation
and breached no UK legislation in the course of their business in Ukraine.
We intend to return to this issue in our next Report.
© 2009 The Acronym Institute.