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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 21 June 2012

Free movement of goods: Commission requests Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Luxemburg, Poland and United Kingdom to implement EU defence product rules

The European Commission has today decided to request Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Luxemburg, Poland, and the United Kingdom to implement EU rules on defence products (Directive 2009/43/EC) into national law. The implementation deadline was 30 June 2011.

Directive 2009/43/EC simplifies the terms and conditions for transfers of defence-related products within the EU. If the Directive is not implemented defence companies will be unable to benefit from the simplified procedures foreseen by the Directive. They will continue to face burdensome licensing procedures and excessive paper work when transferring defence products to other EU Member States. The requests take the form of reasoned opinions under EU infringement procedures. If the Member States concerned do not inform the Commission within two months of measures taken to ensure full compliance with their obligations under the Directive, the Commission may decide to refer them to the Court of Justice of the European Union.


Fragmentation of the European defence market and divergent national approaches has caused many problems for the European defence industry. For example, national systems to control the transfer of defence equipment to another Member State, did not distinguish between exports to third countries and transfers between Member States.

Directive 2009/43/EC on intra-EU transfers of defence products is intended to alleviate these obstacles. It is a further step towards a genuine European market for defence equipment, while preserving Member States' control over their essential security interests.

Denmark has communicated national measures that partially implement the Directive. Belgium, Luxemburg, Poland, Finland and the United Kingdom have not yet communicated the adoption of any implementing legislation.

For more information on the free movement of goods


Contacts :

Carlo Corazza (+32 2 295 17 52)

Sara Tironi (+32 2 299 04 03)

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