Germany’s Rheinische Post reports that the country’s Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (‘BAFA’) has started monitoring the end use of the country’s arms exports. It cites BAFA chief Andreas Obersteller as saying: ‘We are assessing whether the weapons delivered are still held by the final user named.’
A first assessment began with the review of a sale of 30 high-precision rifles to an Indian government buyer, with the first phase of the scheme focused on small and light weapons (‘SALW’).
This is thought to be the first such scheme in Europe. In the United States, the Blue Lantern Scheme End-Use Monitoring Program, administered by the US Department of State and Department of Commerce, conducts checks in up to 100 countries each year.
In 2016, a report on ‘Containing Diversion’ published by the Small Arms Survey concluded that: ‘Post-delivery verification, end-use monitoring and exchange of relevant information cannot guarantee that no more arms will be diverted from legal exports. It will remain inherently difficult to evaluate to what extent the instruments discourage diversion schemes and effectively prevent authorised arms transfers from becoming available to unauthorised users. Violations of non-re-export clauses and other modes of illegal arms transfers are not usually advertised. Such re-exports are unlikely to be reported – especially in open sources – and evidence that they happened is rarely ever collated in statistics.’
The report adds that end-use monitoring instruments ‘could create the illusion of control and forge some sort of assurance that leads arms export licensing authorities to OK end-users [where they would previously have had concerns].’
WorldECR has contacted BAFA and hopes to report shortly on the details of the scheme.
The Small Arms Survey report is at: http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/fileadmin/docs/L-External-publications/2016/GRIP-2016-Containing-diversion.pdf