Exports of arms and munitions accounted for around NOK 2.9 billion of this amount, and other defence-related products for NOK 650 million.In addition, there were exports of dual-use items, in other words civilian products with military uses, with a total value of aroundNOK 300 million. A total of 34 applications for licences to export defence-related products were refused in 2016, according to the white paper on exports of defence-related products, which Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide presented today.
Other NATO and Nordic countries are still the main importers of these products.
‘In order to ensure that Norway has a viable defence industry, we need to help enable defence companies to take part in international cooperation, and we need to continue our long-term approach and ensure predictable export control. The defence industry is a driver of technology development, including in the civilian sector, and it is important for innovation and value creation all over the country.
‘Norway is is at the forefront internationally when it comes to transparency about exports of arms and military equipment. The Government considers it important to maintain this level of transparency,’ said Ms Eriksen Søreide.
There are strict and clear regulations in place for exports of defence-related products. Within this framework, the Government’s aim is to give the industry the long-term perspective and predictability it needs. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs guidelines for processing export licence applications for defence-related products include an overview of the political principles and the criteria that are to form the basis for considering individual applications. This promotes transparency and predictability in this area.
‘At the same time, it is clear that armed conflicts and other global threats raise difficult questions in this context. It is therefore crucial that all applications for export licences to high-risk areas are carefully considered on an individual basis,’ said Ms Eriksen Søreide.
The white paper also describes the extensive international cooperation on export control and non-proliferation. Norway takes active part in this cooperation, and is engaged both in the technical work on lists of conventional defence-related products and dual-use goods, and in the efforts to reach agreement on high international standards for control of exports of strategic goods and technology.
‘In next year’s white paper, the Government will discuss some of the challenges that are arising as more defence systems and products are developed through cooperation between manufacturers in different countries, at a time when emerging and ‘new’ markets are gaining importance. These developments, and possible differences between the rules in the individual countries, raise important questions for Norwegian export control and highlight the need for an international regime in this area,’ Ms Eriksen Søreide said.
A white paper on Norwegian exports of defence-related products, export control and international non-proliferation efforts has been presented every year since 1996.
The whole white paper (Norwegian only) can be read here.