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Strategic trade control is ensured due to security risks, and means the control of individual trade activities such as exports, transfers, brokering, provision of technical assistance and the like.

In addition to lawful use, such items, software or technology may also be used for military purposes or may be used to violate human rights. According to international rules, they are therefore excluded from free trade and require control. The area of strategic trade control, which is also regulated separately under the EU common trade policy, is divided into control of exports of dual-use items with an added regulation in the event of restrictive measures on a wider range of dual-use items, and control of trade in goods that could be intended for torture, the death penalty or other cruel or inhuman treatment. It also covers the trade in so-called conflict diamonds and minerals.

Control of Exports of Dual-Use Items

Dual-use items are goods, software and technology that can be used for both civilian and military applications. Dual-use items are not military goods or defence products; due to their general or technical properties, however, they can also be used for military purposes and can pose a security risk to sensitive end-users, and are therefore subject to control. The control applies especially to exports from the European Union, partly also to transfers within the European Union, the transfers of such items between two third countries, technical assistance related to them and the transit of dual-use items through the European Union.

Control System

The control system is based on international commitments, treaties and conventions; it reflects the commitments of international export regimes for dual-use items and is based on binding European Union regulations. At the EU level, there are common rules for the control of activities, types of authorisations, evaluation criteria, a list of dual-use items and a so-called catch-all measure which also controls dual-use items not listed in special circumstances. The measures to be taken by exporters, brokers and persons in charge of technical assistance are also set out, while further implementation arrangements are left to the Member States. The European Union is also introducing cooperation and the exchange of information between the competent authorities of the Member States. 

The European Union also offers the use of a Union General Export Authorisation, which applies to certain types of dual-use items and to exports to certain countries of destination. A Union General Export Authorisation may be used by any exporter established in Slovenia, provided that it meets the conditions set out in the published license and other rules of the European Union and national legislation.

Authorisation for Exports of Dual-Use Items

There are eight Union General Export Authorisations (UGEAs):

  1. EU001 – exports to Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland (including Liechtenstein) and the United States of America;
  2. EU002 – exports of certain dual-use items to some countries;
  3. EU003 – export after repair/replacement;
  4. EU004 – Temporary Export for Exhibition or Fair;
  5. EU005 – Telecommunications;
  6. EU006 – Chemicals;
  7. EU007 – Intra-group export of software and technology;
  8. EU008 - Encryption.

In addition to a Union General Export Authorisation, the Ministry may also grant an individual export authorisation, which means an authorisation issued to a specific exporter for a single end-user or consignee in a third country covering one or more types of dual-use items. Brokers and persons providing technical assistance for dual-use items may apply for an individual authorisation in the case of an intended action. However, under special conditions and in compliance with the control system, exporters may also apply for a global authorisation.

Based on the use of any authorisation for dual-use items, a report must be submitted after the transaction has been completed partially or in full.

International Import Certificate for Dual-Use Items

The International Import Certificate is issued by the Ministry in accordance with good practice in international export regimes. An exporter seeking the certificate must apply to the Ministry. The International Import Certificate confirms that the importer has undertaken to import the said items into Slovenia or not to divert or re-export them elsewhere without the permission of the competent authority of the Republic of Slovenia. 

Delivery Verification Certificate for Dual-Use items

In accordance with good practice in international export regimes, the Ministry also issues a Delivery Verification Certificate. When, after the import of dual-use goods, the country that issued the export permit requires a certificate that the goods have been delivered to the end user in Slovenia, the Ministry may issue such certificate to the importer on the basis of an application based on confirmatory verification of customs authorities. 

Restrictive Measures for Dual-Use Items

The Republic of Slovenia introduces or implements restrictive measures (sanctions) in accordance with legal acts and decisions adopted within the United Nations, the European Union or other international organisation, with the aim of establishing or maintaining international peace and security, ensuring respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, development or consolidation of democracy and the rule of law and other goals consistent with international law. 

Some restrictive measures also apply to dual-use items in the broader sense (with regard to their use) and to the following countries of destination:

  • Iran,
  • North Korea,
  • Syria, 
  • Russia,
  • Belarus.

Control of Trade in Goods That could be Used for Torture

As an EU member State, Slovenia is bound to respect and implement European Union legislation concerning trade in certain goods which could be used for capital punishment, torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The imports and exports and the provision of technical assistance for goods useful only for carrying out the death penalty or for torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment are, in principle, prohibited. The exception applies only to goods that, due to their historical significance, will be used exclusively for the purposes of a public exhibition in a museum. To this end, authorisation must be requested from the Ministry. The prohibition also applies to transit, brokerage services, training, trade fairs and advertising.

Exports of items that could be used for torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, but will be used for other, legitimate purposes, must be granted authorisation by the Ministry. These are items that are basically used for law enforcement and items that, given their form and technical characteristics, pose a serious risk of being used for torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The same applies to brokerage services and technical assistance for such items. The transit of such items is prohibited. For certain medicinal products, items that could be used for carrying out the death penalty and which have been authorised or actually used for carrying out the death penalty in one or more third countries which have not abolished the death penalty, an export authorisation, authorisation for brokerage services or technical assistance must be obtained from the Ministry. Another European Union regulation for these items is a Union General Export Authorisation for exports to certain countries of destination under certain conditions.

Control of trade in rough diamonds, Kimberley Process

In the last decade of the previous century and at the beginning of this millennium, there has been horrific violence against the civilian population and massive human rights violations through what is called the trade in conflict or blood diamonds. This trade financed various rebel groups and civil wars that took place in some African countries. The international community, together with the diamond industry and civil society, developed an international certification system launched in Kimberley in 2000. This has grown into the Kimberley Process.

The system was designed by the countries participating in the Kimberley Process for the effective implementation of United Nations Security Council resolutions, in particular Resolutions no. 1173 (1998), 1295 (2000), 1306 (2000) and 1304 (2000), which aim to prevent the use of these diamonds to finance the activities of rebel movements in certain countries and to ensure the peace and security of the population in those countries. The Kimberley Process currently has 54 members, with the European Union counting as a single member. The field is also regulated by the European Union through a regulation in which it allows the exports and imports of rough diamonds and provides a list of participants in the certification. The European Union is represented by the European Commission. Member States have provided for administrative sanctions for infringements of the European Union regulation at national level.

Conflict Minerals

At the European Union level, controls are in place on imports of certain minerals, namely tin, tantalum, tungsten, gold and metals containing minerals originating from conflict and high-risk areas. This ensures that importers of the minerals in question and smelters in the European Union involved in the supply chain comply with international standards for the responsible supply of these minerals or metals. These standards are laid down in guidelines of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Companies in the European Union involved in the supply chain are required to ensure that these minerals or metals are imported only from responsible and non-conflict areas, thus limiting the opportunities for armed groups and security forces to trade in these minerals in what are termed conflict zones and high-risk areas. This also limits the illegal exploitation of local communities, including miners, and thus encourages the development of these areas.

Importers of minerals or metals are exempted from controls when their annual volume of imports of individual minerals or metals does not exceed the quantitative threshold set out in Regulation 2017/821/EU.