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1.   General

Export control primarily means that the delivery of goods (commodities, software and technology) to other countries may be subject to authorization. Dual-use goods, also known in common parlance as "dual-use goods", are goods that are primarily intended for civilian use but can be used for military purposes.

2.   Legal Basis

The main legal basis for the control of dual-use items is the EC Dual-Use Regulation also known as Council Regulation (EC) No. 428/2009 (and related legislative amendments). This legislation is directly applicable in all member states of the European Union (EU).

In Germany, you must also take into account the national regulations for dual-use goods and military equipment. These regulations can be found in the Foreign Trade and Payments Act (AWG) and the associated Foreign Trade and Payments Ordinance (AWV).

Further export restrictions result from the:


  • Embargo Regulations

  • Anti-Torture-Ordinance

  • Firearms Ordinance and

  • War Weapons Control Act

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3.   Legal Structure of Export Control

Export controls can be broadly divided into the following four areas:


  • Person-related embargoes

  • Country-specific embargoes

  • Critical goods

  • Critical end-use (non-listed goods)

3.1   Person-related embargos

Prohibition of making financial and economic resources available to natural or legal persons, groups of persons, organizations and entities (provision prohibition).


Economic resources are all benefits that can be used to obtain money, goods or services. There is no specific country reference for person-related measures!

Legal basis for person-related embargoes result from:


  • Measures against the Al-Qaida network, Regulation (EC) No. 881/2002 of May 27, 2002.

  • Measures in light of the situation in Afghanistan, Regulation (EU) No. 753/2011 of August 1, 2011.

  • Measures against other suspected terrorists, Regulation (EC) No. 2580/2001 of December 27, 2001.

  • Violations of democracy, human rights, or the rule of law are elements of the embargo regulations

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3.2   Country-specific embargos

The legal basis is the respective embargo regulation against various states, e.g. Russia or Iran. Depending on the scope of the restrictions, three types of embargo can be distinguished:


  • Total embargo: Completely comprehensive trade and delivery ban against a specific country. Exception for humanitarian purposes

  • Partial embargo: Relates only to certain economic sectors and regulations.

  • Arms embargo: Prohibitions or restrictions on the supply of weapons, ammunition, other armaments and paramilitary equipment.


The legal basis for country-specific embargoes is the respective embargo regulation. Embargo regulations can relate to the following areas, among others:


  • Capital and payment bans or payment restrictions.

  • Export bans or export restrictions for certain goods

  • import bans for certain goods

  • Travel restrictions

  • restrictions on air and sea travel

  • ...


A list of which countries are affected by embargo measures can be found on the BAFA page. An overview of the countries currently affected by different embargo measures can be found on the BAFA homepage.

3.3   Critical goods

For listed goods, there are restrictions in the form of licensing requirements. These restrictions also apply to the non-objective transfer of software and technology. If an item is listed, it is subject to a licensing requirement.

In export control law, the term goods stands for:


  • Goods = movable objects and electricity

  • Software = data processing and control programs

  • Technology = specific technical knowledge for the development, production and use of a product




The term goods includes dual-use goods and defense goods. Dual-use goods can be used for both civilian and military purposes, such as valves, flash memory, sensors, pumps, ball bearings ...


Military goods are designed or modified for military purposes, such as weapons, ammunition, military vehicles ...

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Der Güterbegriff umfasst die Dual-Use-Güter und Rüstungsgüter. Dual-Use-Güter können sowohl für zivile als auch militärische Zwecke verwendet werden, wie z.B. Ventile, Flashspeicher, Sensoren, Pumpen, Kugellager …

Rüstungsgüter sind für militärische Zwecke konstruiert oder verändert, wie z.B. Waffen, Munition, militärische Fahrzeuge …

3.4   Critical end-use (non-listed goods)

The export of non-listed items is subject to authorization if there is positive knowledge that the item is intended for one of the following uses:


  • Goods in connection with NBC weapons, incl. carrier technology and notification by BAFA or knowledge (Art. 4 I and IV EC Dual-Use Regulation).

  • Military end-use in an arms embargo country and notification by BAFA or by knowledge

  • Use for already illegally exported military equipment and notification by BAFA or by knowledge

  • Use in the nuclear sector pursuant to Section 9 of the Foreign Trade and Payments Ordinance (AWV) in the designated group of countries and notification by BAFA or by knowledge


If one of the cases applies, then there is a authorization requirement.

4.   Structure of the EC Dual-Use Regulation and the Export List

The list of dual-use items is divided into ten categories from 0 to 9. The subdivision of the ten categories in the EC Dual-Use Regulation of Annex I is as follows:


  • Category 0 Nuclear materials, plant and equipment

  • Category 1 Special materials and materials and related equipment

  • Category 2 Materials processing

  • Category 3 General Electronics

  • Category 4 Computers

  • Category 5 Part 1 - Telecommunications

  • Category 5 Part 2 - Information Security

  • Category 6 Sensor and Laser

  • Category 7 Aeronautical Electronics and Navigation

  • Category 8 Marine

  • Category 9 Aerospace and Propulsion


Each of these categories is assigned five classes A to E for further subdivision of the listed goods. The structure of the classes is identical in both the EC Dual-Use Regulation and the Export List Part 1 Section B and is as follows:


  • A - Systems, equipment and components

  • B - Test, inspection and manufacturing equipment

  • C - Materials and substances

  • D - Data processing programs (software)

  • E - Technology


The genera are assigned the identifier with three digits. The code tells us from which export control regime this control measure originates. The following is a breakdown of the codes:


  • 001 - 099 Wassenaar Arrangement (WA)

  • 101 - 199 Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)

  • 201 - 299 Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)

  • 301 - 399 Australia Group (AG)

  • 401 - 499 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)


In summary, each goods list item must include a code (category), a letter (genus), and three other codes (identifier). Example 6A003 "Cameras, systems or equipment, and components therefor, as follows:"

After the identifier, a goods list item may be subdivided into further structural levels. Example 6A003a3 "electronic streak cameras with a temporal resolution better than 50 ns."


The German provisions of the Foreign Trade and Payments Act (AWG) and the associated Foreign Trade and Payments Ordinance (AWV), as well as the Export List, regulate further national export or transfer items requiring a license. These provisions must be observed and checked in addition to the EC Dual-Use Regulation. The Export List is divided into two parts. Part I of the Export List is again divided into two sections, Section A and Section B (Part II contains goods of plant origin):


  • Section A: Section A of the Export List contains the list for arms, munitions and military equipment. The structure of the list for weapons, ammunition and armaments does not follow the structure described above for dual-use items, but is divided numerically from 0001-0022.

  • Section B: Section B of the Export List contains the list of nationally controlled dual-use items. The structure of the national export list items found in this section differ from those of the goods list items in the EC Dual-Use Regulation, as the identifiers are designated with a 900 designation.

5. Authorization types

If goods are covered by Part I of the Export List or by Annex I of the EC Dual-Use Regulation and no general authorization exists, they may only be exported in accordance with Section 21 AWV and Article 9(2) of the EC Dual-Use Regulation if a authorization has been issued by the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA).

There are the following types of authorization:


  • Individual export authorization (EAG) - (basic form) Approval of delivery of goods of one order to one consignee

  • Maximum amount authorization - (special form of the individual license) authorization of deliveries of several orders to one consignee up to the maximum approved amount

  • Collective export authorization (SAG) - (special form of individual authorization) Authorization the export of a group of goods to different recipients

General Authorization (AGG) - In contrast to the forms of authorization already mentioned, these do not have to be submitted in writing, but are issued ex officio. However, their validity is limited only to a certain group of goods and to certain countries.

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