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Document 32012R0258

Firearms — combating illicit manufacture and trafficking

Firearms — combating illicit manufacture and trafficking

SUMMARY OF:

Regulation (EU) No 258/2012: implementing the United Nations’ Protocol against the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms

SUMMARY

WHAT DOES THIS REGULATION DO?

KEY POINTS

  • Annex I to this regulation contains a list of the firearms, their parts and ammunition that require export authorisation. The European Commission has the power to amend this list.
  • The relevant authority of the EU country where a prospective exporter is based may grant export authorisation upon receiving an export authorisation form from that exporter.
  • When exporting firearms, their parts and ammunition outside the EU, an exporter must provide the relevant authority in its own EU country with authorisation from the non-EU country receiving the shipment, and from any non-EU countries through which the shipment will pass. The authority must then process the export authorisation application within 60 days.
  • For traceability purposes, export and import authorisations and their accompanying documentation must contain information including, for example:
    • the place and date of issue,
    • the expiry date,
    • both the country of export and import,
    • transit countries,
    • the final recipient, and
    • a description of and quantity of the firearms, their parts and ammunition.
  • Simplified procedures exist for firearms, their parts and ammunition used for hunting and sports shooting.
  • When deciding whether to grant an export authorisation, EU countries must take into account considerations such as:
    • international treaties and
    • national foreign and security policy.
  • EU countries also need to take account of considerations covered by Council Common Position 2008/994/CFSP which defines EU rules on the control of exports of military technology and equipment. These include aspects such as:
    • risk that the intended recipient would use the military technology or equipment to be exported aggressively against another country or to assert by force a territorial claim, or
    • risk that the military technology or equipment would be diverted within the buyer country or re-exported under undesirable conditions.
  • EU countries must refuse to grant export authorisation if the applicant has a criminal record. In addition, they must annul, suspend, modify or revoke the authorisation if the conditions are no longer met.
  • The regulation does not apply to antique or deactivated firearms, or to firearms intended for military or police use.

FROM WHEN DOES THE REGULATION APPLY?

It has applied since 30 September 2013.

BACKGROUND

The UN’s Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, their Parts and Components and Ammunition is the only legally binding instrument on small arms at global level. It establishes a set of rules for countries to control and regulate illicit firearms and arms trafficking, prevent their diversion into crime, and facilitate the investigation and prosecution of related offences without hampering legitimate trade.

The Protocol supplements the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime.

For more information, see ‘Trafficking in firearms’ on the European Commission’s website

ACT

Regulation (EU) No 258/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 March 2012 implementing Article 10 of the United Nations’ Protocol against the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, their parts and components and ammunition, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (UN Firearms Protocol), and establishing export authorisation, and import and transit measures for firearms, their parts and components and ammunition (OJ L 94, 30.3.2012, pp. 1–15)

RELATED ACTS

Council Common Position 2008/944/CFSP of 8 December 2008 defining common rules governing control of exports of military technology and equipment (OJ L 335, 13.12.2008, p. 99–103)

last update 21.04.2016

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