Arms Trade Bulletin January – February 2021


African countries face an ongoing threat from the consequences of unregulated arms brokering but this cannot be solved by remedial action in Africa alone. Cases show that criminal justice and United Nations Security Council responses to mass atrocities and other serious violations of international law can sometimes ensure accountability and expose the complicity of those involved in international trading, brokering and shipping of arms used by the perpetrators.

However, every state also has a responsibility in the first place to prevent such complicity by strictly regulating the conduct of those involved in the arms trade and cooperating with other states to do so. To be effective, both reactive and proactive approaches require a considerable investment of resources, political will and international cooperation, especially in relation to arms brokering which can involve an opaque and complex network of transnational arrangements. Private arms brokers often operate transnationally, moving themselves, their company registrations and sub-contracting arrangements from one country to another to seek financial advantages and gaps in the law without necessarily taking the arms into their physical possession.

The newly established Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) obligates its 110 state parties to regulate arms brokering but leaves open the choice of specific means of regulation and how to define the term “brokering.” Specific standards and procedures for cooperation to regulate the brokering of firearms, or small arms and light weapons, have been established by states at regional and multilateral levels, but national legislation and actual law enforcement and cooperation amongst most African states still lag far behind those in most other world regions or are absent, exposing African populations to further risks from unregulated arms brokering.

Nevertheless, demand for commercial brokering services has risen over recent decades because of increasingly differentiated markets between exporters and importers for a wider range of products used in the defence and law enforcement sectors. One challenge for state regulation is how to differentiate effectively between “gaining a benefit”, whether financial or otherwise, for a legitimate brokerage service and the “taking of a bribe”. That difference has to be defined in national laws and regulations, as well as in accordance with the State’s international obligations. Active and passive corruption in the private sector is a criminal offence in many States. Controls are more difficult when transnational brokering activities are used by governments and their security agencies for covert operations, leading to the creation of “grey” markets in weapons, ammunition and related goods whereby the transfers are initially ‘authorised’ but nevertheless violate the laws of other states or international law as a consequence.

Problems associated with arms brokering are highlighted in a new chapter published in the Ethiopian Yearbook of International Law (December 2020) entitled “Africa and the Regulation of Transnational Arms Brokering: Challenges to Implement International Standards.” (*) This puts forward the case for preventive measures, and not simply post-facto prosecutions, by African states as well as other states trading with African countries. The chapter first outlines the main treaty obligations that address arms brokering (Sect. 2), then looks at the various interpretations of the term ‘brokering’ as used in the international instruments (Sect. 3, with the aid of an annex). After that, the analysis provides examples of UN arms embargo investigations involving brokering (Sect. 4), and then examines recent cases of criminal prosecution involving transnational arms brokering activities (Sect. 5). Finally, the chapter makes some concluding remarks point to lessons that could be learned regarding the development of national regulations and international cooperation consistent with, but going beyond, the treaty obligations (Sect. 6).

Brian Wood & Peter Danssaert

(*) Wood B., Danssaert P. (2020). “Africa and the Regulation of Transnational Arms Brokering: Challenges to Implement International Standards”. In: Yihdego Z., Desta M.G., Hailu M.B. (eds) Ethiopian Yearbook of International Law 2019. Springer: Cham.


How Does the Government Learn About Export Violations? | 23 February 2021 | WilliamsMullen | JD Supra

One of the most enduring questions of business executives and export professionals is how does the government learn about export violations? If my company has a possible violation, what are the chances that the government will discover it and want to take further action?

Transparency International: Most Defence Companies in The World Do Little to Combat Graft | 10 February 2021 | OCCRP

Transparency International revealed on Tuesday that nearly three quarters of the world’s largest defence companies show minimum or no commitment to tackling corruption, wasting this way huge amounts of the nearly US$2 trillion of public money spent only in 2019 on militaries.

2020 Year-End Sanctions and Export Controls Update | 5 February 2021 | Gibson Dunn LLP

2020 was a uniquely uncertain and perilous year. Within the world of international trade, the steady increase in the use of sanctions and export controls—principally by the United States but also by jurisdictions around the world—proved to be a rare constant. In each of the last four years, our annual year-end Updates have chronicled a sharp rise in the use of sanctions promulgated by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”), as well as growing economic tensions between the United States and other major world powers.

The future of conventional arms control | 15 January 2021 | Policy Forum

A humanitarian approach is needed if policymakers are to control the flow of weapons around the world, Stephanie Koorey and Loren Persi Vicentic write.


Gun violence and human rights: Seeking a comprehensive solution | 22 February 2021 | Washington Magazine

America’s insistence on gun rights is violating its citizens international human rights. Law experts talk about what the United States can do about the gun violence crisis.

Another Year of Impunity in Yemen | 6 January 2021 | Mwatana | ReliefWeb

From January 1 to December 31, 2020, Mwatana for Human Rights documented about 1020 incidents of harm to civilians and civilian objects in Yemen in which more than 900 civilians were killed and injured, Mwatana said today in its annual briefing on the human rights situation in Yemen. The incidents documented across the country were committed by the Ansar Allah (Houthi) group, the Saudi/UAE-led coalition, the forces of the internationally recognized government of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi and armed groups loyal to it, the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council and the UAE-backed Joint Forces on the Western Coast, and Saudi ground forces.

Lethal airstrikes in Yemen ‘left off’ confidential UK record | 3 January 2021 | The Guardian

The government is under pressure to explain why a series of air strikes in Yemen, many involving civilian casualties, have not been recorded in its confidential log of alleged breaches of international humanitarian law (IHL).


How ammunition proliferation fuels insecurity in Nigeria | 24 February 2021 | The Guardian (Nigeria)

Nigerian government can be very touchy when it comes to the performance of the country’s economy. In its effort to project an image of Nigeria as the leading heavyweight on the continent, despite its huge and growing insecurity problems, the Nigerian government is not taking any negative statements about its economic growth lying down.

Zuma Risks Arrest After Defying South Africa Corruption Inquiry | 15 February 2021 | NYT

The former South African president, tainted by corruption scandals, refused to appear before an inquiry panel. The panel’s leader said he would seek an order to imprison Mr. Zuma for contempt.

Egypt unveils another Temsah APC model | 5 February 2021 | DefenceWeb

Egypt has revealed another version of its Temsah (Crocodile) series of armoured personnel carriers (APCs).

Hensoldt South Africa acquires Tellumat’s air traffic management and defence business units | 5 February 2021 | Hensoldt Optronics | DefenceWeb

Acquisition of business units of South African electronics and solution provider to complement Hensoldt’s portfolio and expand footprint in Africa.

Hensoldt South Africa showcases diverse portfolio with capability demonstration | 5 February 2021 | Hensoldt Optronics | DefenceWeb

Hensoldt South Africa recently treated delegates to a demonstration day with a view. Against the backdrop of South Africa’s capital city, we showcased our vast spectrum dominance, optronics and radar capabilities.

Angola receives final K-8W jets from China | 5 February 2021 | DefenceWeb

The Angolan Air Force has received the last six of 12 K-8W jets from China, which delivered the aircraft for pilot training.

RDM receives aircraft bomb order from Asia as it expands bomb lineup | 4 February 2021 | DefenceWeb

Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) has secured an additional R40 million contract for the supply of aircraft bombs to an Asia-Pacific customer, after receiving a number of contracts over the last several years.

NATO customer awards Rheinmetall multimillion-euro contract for artillery ammunition and propelling charges | 4 February 2021 | Rheinmetall Denel Munition | DefenceWeb

A NATO customer has awarded Rheinmetall an order for modern artillery ammunition. The Group’s South African subsidiary, Rheinmetall Denel Munition, will supply several thousand conventional and extended-range artillery shells of the Assegai family (base bleed and V-LAP) as well as M92 Assegai tactical modular charges. Delivery commenced in December 2020 and is to be complete by May 2021. The order is worth around €25 million.

Rheinmetall Denel Munition – the future system house of mortar | 4 February 2021 | Rheinmetall Denel Munition | DefenceWeb

Rheinmetall Denel Munition received a multi-million rand contract to manufacture and supply various natures of the conventional 60mm and 60mm long-range mortar ammunition to the South African Army. The natures include High Explosives, Practice, Illumination and Smoke Burst Screening Smoke Mortar Cartridges. The delivery will be carried out within 12 months.

RDM awarded multi-million follow on contract for plastic explosives | 4 February 2021 | Rheinmetall Denel Munition | DefenceWeb

On 9 May 2020, the South African based arms manufacturer, Rheinmetall Denel Munition, was awarded a follow on contract worth almost 100 million rand for plastic explosives PE9.

Rheinmetall supplies South African National Defence Force with new 40 mm medium-velocity ammunition | 4 February 2021 | Rheinmetall Denel Munition | DefenceWeb

Rheinmetall is supplying the South African military with new 40mm medium-velocity ammunition, underscoring its role as the world’s leading one-stop-shop for 40mm ammunition systems. In October 2020 Rheinmetall Denel Munition officially completed Project Kamogelo on behalf of the South African Department of Defence, Armscor and the South African Army.

Turkey Enters Tunisia’s Weapons Market With Combat-Proven Arms: A Technical and Strategic Assessment| 29 January 2021 | Terrorism Monitor | The Jamestown Foundation

In late 2020, Turkey finally secured a lucrative arms sale package to Tunisia after a long period of negotiations. The $150 million portfolio, which attracted key players of the Turkish defense technological and industrial base, such as Turkish Aerospace Industries (TUSAS) and British Motor Corporation (BMC), will mean more than only defense revenues for Turkey (TRT Haber, December 24, 2020). It will additionally mark Turkish weaponry’s entrance into the Tunisian market against the backdrop of Ankara’s geopolitical quests in North Africa, which has become a geopolitical flashpoint encompassing various forms of militancy, transnational terrorism, and proxy warfare.

Nigerian Air Force partners with Hungary on training and equipment | 25 January 2021 | DefenceWeb

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has strengthened ties with Hungary, which will help the service with fighter pilot training, the operation and maintenance of Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) cameras and more.

RDM fulfilling another large artillery ammunition contract | 25 January 2021 | DefenceWeb

Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) has been awarded a multi-million euro contract for artillery ammunition and propelling charges from a NATO customer, and began deliveries last month.

KDF to buy 118 top military vehicles to fight al Shabaab | 25 January 2021 | The Star

The Department of Defence is set to procure 118 Armored Personnel Carriers from Turkey.

Le Maroc a doublé ses achats d’armes américaines : de 4 milliards de dollars à 8 milliards en 2020 | 22 January 2021 |

Les ventes d’armes américaines au Maroc ont doublé en 2020, d’après un rapport du gouvernement américain consulté par

Ethiopia operating Chinese mobile bridges | 21 January 2021 | DefenceWeb

Ethiopia’s military appears to have acquired a number of mobile bridges from China.

Nigerian Army operating Isotrex armoured vehicles | 20 January 2021 | DefenceWeb

The Nigerian Army has acquired yet another armoured vehicle type to fight the Boko Harm insurgency, with new images revealing Isotrex Phantom II armoured personnel carriers in service.

As repression in Egypt increases, so does UK cooperation with its regime | 19 January 2021 | Daily Maverick

Ten years on from the Arab Spring, the UK government’s relationship with a brutal regime in Egypt goes from strength to strength, as the country witnesses its worst human rights crisis in modern history, under Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Nigerian Army orders another 52 Ezugwu armoured vehicles | 18 January 2021 | DefenceWeb

The Nigerian Army has ordered another 52 locally produced Ezugwu mine-resistant, ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles from the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), which will produce the vehicles by the third quarter of this year.

Uganda revealed as Hizir APC customer | 14 January 2021 | DefenceWeb

Uganda is the previously undisclosed customer for Hizir armoured personnel carriers (APCs) from Turkey’s Katmerciler, which shipped the vehicles last year.

Mali receives additional Mi-35 attack helicopters | 14 January 2021 | DefenceWeb

Mali’s Air Force has taken delivery of another two Mi-35 attack helicopters from Russia, as part of a 2016 order for four.

How the West supports Egypt’s military dictatorship | 8 January 2021 | OpenDemocracy

While human rights groups condemn President al-Sisi’s regime, he receives European arms deals, American aid, and even France’s greatest honour.


US sells $200m in weapons to Egypt despite human rights abuses | 17 February 2021 | al Jazeera

The United States approved an arms sale worth nearly $200m to Egypt but vowed to press human rights issues after an American activist reported his family had been harassed.

BIS Amends the EAR to Enhance Certain End-Use and End-User Controls as well as Controls on Certain Activities of US Persons | 16 February 2021 | Baker McKenzie

On January 15, 2021, the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) published an interim final rule (“Rule”) amending various provisions of the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”) to implement certain provisions of the Export Control Reform Act of 2018 (“ECRA”). Among other things further outlined below, the Rule imposes new restrictions on specific activities of US persons.

Iconic Colt Becomes Key for Czech Gunmaker’s U.S. Expansion | 15 February 2021 | Bloomberg

Czech firearms producer Ceska Zbrojovka Group SE said the acquisition of rival Colt Holding Company LLC will help it meet rapidly growing demand in the key North American market.

Le projet de loi sur les armes d’assaut serait déposé mardi | 13 February 2021 | Radio Canada

Le gouvernement libéral devrait déposer mardi prochain un projet de loi visant à renforcer le contrôle des armes à feu dites « d’assaut », comprenant un programme de rachat, qui serait volontaire.

U.S. Army receives Next Generation Squad Weapon System from Sig Sauer | 7 February 2021 | Defence-blog

The final delivery of the Sig Sauer’s prototypes of Next Generation Squad Weapons systems, or NGSW, designed to replace M249 and M4A1, has been delivered to the U. S. Army.

A Primer on Canadian Sanctions Legislation | 26 January 2021 | Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP | JD Supra

Canada, like other major jurisdictions, has a broad range of economic and financial sanctions targeting foreign states and their nationals, as well as various terrorist organizations.

One Administration to the Next: Changes Affecting U.S. Sanctions and Export Controls | 25 January 2021 | Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

While the Trump Administration ended with a continuing flurry of activity affecting U.S. sanctions and export controls, with several actions affecting parties in China and Hong Kong, the Biden Administration is taking a slower approach to changes regarding a range of export control and economic sanctions measures.

Protesters block trucks at Hamilton company, want Canada to stop selling arms used in Yemen | 25 January 2021 | CBC

A group of Hamilton anti-war demonstrators blocked trucks this morning at a Stoney Creek transportation firm in protest of what they say is trade that’s fuelling the war in Yemen.

Two Malaysian Nationals Plead Guilty to Illegally Exporting Firearm Parts to Hong Kong | 22 January 2021 | U.S. Department of Justice

Two Malaysian nationals pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston to conspiring to illegally export firearm parts from the United States to Hong Kong.

U.S. Arms Sales to Middle East Ballooned During Yemen War | 20 January 2021 | DefenseWorld

Aircraft, missiles & munitions dominate U.S. arms sales to the Middle East which ballooned during 2015-20, coinciding with the war in Yemen. Sales of military aircraft overwhelmingly dominate U.S. arms sales to Middle Eastern countries followed by missiles and munitions for the 2015-2020 periods.

Toward A More Responsible US Arms Trade Policy: Recommendations for the Biden-Harris Administration| 19 January 2021 | Just Security

In recent years, U.S. arms sold and transferred abroad have been used to commit gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law (IHL) and fueled widespread civilian harm, corruption, and humanitarian crises in countries from Yemen and Egypt to Nigeria and the Philippines. The Trump administration has made U.S. complicity in such harm the norm, regularly promoting arms transfers to corrupt, rights-abusing, authoritarian governments in a militarized approach to foreign policy that has undermined human rights and that few Americans believe makes the country any safer.

Sanctions américaines contre la Syrie : le Département du Trésor américain (OFAC) impose une amende civile de 8,57 millions de dollars à l’UBAF | 18 January 2021 | Le monde du droit

L’Union de banques arabes et françaises (UBAF) dont le Crédit Agricole CIB est l’actionnaire principal à hauteur de 47% s’est engagée à payer plus de 8 millions de dollars au bureau Département du Trésor américain (OFAC) pour mettre un terme à 5 ans d’enquêtes sur des violations d’embargos contre la Syrie.

BIS Lifts Anti-Terrorism Export Controls on Sudan | 18 January 2021 | Kelley Drye & Warren LLP | JD Supra

Effective January 14, 2021, the Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) announced amendments to Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”) to implement the rescission of Sudan as a State Sponsor of Terrorism. The U.S. Department of State removed Sudan’s designation effective December 14, 2020.

U.S. Government Sanctions Chinese and Russian Entities and Creates New Military End User List | 14 January 2021 | Dorsey & Whitney LLP | JD Supra

US Commerce Department issues “Military End User” List | 8 January 2021 | White & Case LLP | JD Supra

Rounding out an already-intense 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) issued three notices in December that expanded export sanctions and restrictions against Chinese, Russian, and other enterprises and institutions accused of engaging in activities contrary to U.S. interests.

Lawsuit threatens $23B weapons sale to UAE | 13 January 2021 | DefenseNews

NYCFPA Files Complaint in US District Court Against US Department of State to Block Sale of F-35 Aircraft to the United Arab Emirates | 30 December 2020 | NYCFPA

NYCFPA vs US Department of State (pdf) | 30 December 2020

A small, 2-year-old nonprofit think tank has taken a step that most advocacy organizations never dare try: It has sued the U.S. State Department to derail a $23 billion arms sale to the United Arab Emirates.

Firearms company Colt may be sold to CZ, a Czech firearms company with a long history | 12 January 2021 | War is Boring

Czech firearms legends Česká Zbrojovka (CZ) may be buying the venerable Colt name and rollmark, following decades of decline and mismanagement from within the American arms company.

Congress Continues to Push for Key US Export Controls Authorization for Israel | 11 January 2021 | Steptoe International Compliance blog

In a little-noticed provision of the annual US military authorization law, which took effect on January 1, 2021, the US Congress issued yet another push for the US Commerce Department to grant eligibility to Israel for a key authorization under US export controls. Israeli companies in the tech, aerospace/defense, and other sectors that are regulated under military and “dual-use” (i.e., military/commercial) export controls should watch these developments closely and consider engaging with the US government and/or the Israeli government regarding the implementation of this regulatory change.

Congress Makes Sweeping Changes to Money Laundering Enforcement | 5 January 2021 | Buchalter | JD Supra

On New Year’s Day 2021, Congress passed—over President Trump’s veto—a defense appropriations law containing the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 (“AML Act”) and the Corporate Transparency Act, as part of a sweeping new set of anti-money laundering reforms that create important new beneficial ownership disclosure obligations for a wide range of small companies, and contain both good and bad news for financial institutions.

US Export Controls: Business as Usual? | 5 January 2021 | Arent Fox | JD Supra

The Trump Administration has used export controls as part of its aggressive anti-China policy, notably by expanding the military end-use/user rules, revoking license exceptions, and by placing Chinese tech company Huawei and its affiliates and many more Chinese companies on the US Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security’s (BIS) Entity List. This prohibits most exports and reexports to those entities without a license. While a dramatic policy change is not expected, the Biden Administration is likely to work more closely with allies to pursue its foreign policy goals vis-à-vis China.

New Guidance Clarifies OFAC’s Broad Interpretation of Recent Sanctions Against Communist Chinese Military Companies | 4 January 2021 | Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP

On December 28, 2020, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) issued eagerly anticipated guidance clarifying the application of President Trump’s November 12, 2020, Executive Order “Addressing the Threat from Securities Investments that Finance Communist Chinese Military Companies” (the “Order”). The guidance consists of five Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) defining key terms and explaining the scope of the Order’s prohibitions. Despite earlier press reports suggesting that OFAC would, over the objection of the U.S. Department of Defense (“DoD”) and the U.S. Department of State, “water down” the Order, the FAQs clarify that OFAC will interpret the Order’s prohibitions broadly.

Canadian military to receive new pistols: Bids to be requested in February | 2 January 2021 | The Chronicle Herald

The Second World War-era pistols used by the Canadian military will soon be replaced as the federal government plans to request bids for a new handgun in February. A contract is expected to be awarded by September with initial deliveries beginning in the summer of 2022, Department of National Defence spokesperson Jessica Lamirande said.

BIS issues new Military End-User List and removes Hong Kong as a Separate Destination Under the EAR | 31 December 2020 | Hogan Lovells | JD Supra

On 23 December 2020, BIS created a new Military End User List, naming more than 100 Chinese and Russian companies subject to the enhanced licensing requirements of section 744.21 of the EAR. BIS also removed Hong Kong as a separate destination under the EAR.


Paramount and Bharat Forge agreement secures Indian Army vehicle order | 24 February 2021 | DefenceWeb

Bharat Forge Limited, part of the Kalyani Group, which has partnered with Paramount Group to produce Mbombe 4/Kalyani M4 4×4 armoured vehicles in India, has received a contract from the Indian Ministry of Defence.

Turkey to help build naval vessels at Vizag shipyard | 23 February 2021 | Hindustan Times

The project, estimated to cost between $1.5 billion and $2 billion, will involve transfer of technology from Anadolu Shipyard, part of the TAIS consortium of Turkey, with which HSL signed an agreement for technical collaboration last year.

UAE weapons maker EDGE wants in on F-35 supply chain | 23 February 2021 | Reuters

United Arab Emirates’ state-owned weapons maker EDGE expects to be involved in the supply chain of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 war plane if the sale of U.S. planes to the Gulf Arab state goes ahead, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

UAE unveils $1.36bn in arms deals at Abu Dhabi weapons show | 22 February 2021 | al Jazeera

Major arms makers are attending a weapons show in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, hoping to seal deals with militaries across the Middle East.

Saudi Arms Producer in Defense Venture With Lockheed Martin | 22 February 2021 | The Defense Post

Saudi Arabia’s state arms producer signed an agreement Sunday with US contractor Lockheed Martin to form a joint venture, a statement said, as Washington reviews weapons sales to the kingdom.

Chinese Companies Supplying Arms, Military Equipment to Myanmar | 18 February 2021 | Radio Free Asia

Chinese state-owned enterprises are among the biggest suppliers of arms and military equipment to the Myanmar military, according to an advocacy group Justice For Myanmar and public domain information.

Russia’s Kalashnikov eyes production in India | 18 February 2021 | Reuters

Russian arms manufacturer Kalashnikov plans to start making its AK-203 assault rifle in India this year and wants to attract a wider audience with a hi-tech shotgun, chief executive Dmitry Tarasov said.

China targets rare earth export curbs to hobble US defence industry | 17 February 2021 | FT | The News (pk)

Pentagon awards $30 million contract to boost processing of rare earth elements | 1 February 2021 | C4ISRNet

China is exploring limiting the export of rare earth minerals that are crucial for the manufacture of American F-35 fighter jets and other sophisticated weaponry, according to people involved in a government consultation.

Can the UAE emerge as a leading global defense supplier? | 15 February 2021 | IISS | DefenseNews

Proceeding with the IDEX and NAVDEX 2021 defense trade exhibitions despite the coronavirus pandemic underlines the defense-industrial intent of the United Arab Emirates. The CEO of Abu Dhabi-based technology and defense group Edge, Faisal Al Bannai, suggested these shows will be used to portray the Emirates’ “consolidated sovereign capability” with an expectation to exhibit newly developed equipment including several UAVs. The government of the UAE for its part is set to continue to push its plan to diversify its source of arms imports and build up its defense-industrial base.

MFAT approved exports for military equipment to Saudi Arabia’s forces | 15 February 2021 | RNZ

New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Ministry granted export permits for military equipment that was sent to Saudi Arabia’s forces in 2016 and 2018, raising concerns the government may have breached its human rights obligations.

Government approved military equipment exports to Saudi Arabia | 14 February 2021 | New Zealand Herald

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade granted export permits for military equipment that was sent to Saudi Arabia’s forces in 2016 and 2018, raising concerns the Government may have breached its human rights obligations.

Belgian NGO proves Saudi involvement in Yemen conflict | 11 February 2021 | Anadolu Agency

Belgian NGO Vredesactie presented new evidence Wednesday that arms produced in the country were being used by Saudi forces in Yemen.

Australia will not ban arms sales to countries involved in Yemeni civil war | 10 February 2021 | The Guardian

Defence department says it will weigh risks of sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, despite calls from human rights groups to follow Joe Biden’s lead.

SAMI’s first Saudi-U.S. partnership begins operations | 10 February 2021 | Arabian Aerospace

Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) has successfully launched a new joint venture with L3Harris Technologies, one of the world’s largest aerospace and defence systems manufacturers.

Elbit Systems awarded $82 Million contract, NL protection systems | 7 February 2021 | The Jerusalem Post

Elbit Systems on Sunday said it was awarded an approximately $82 million contract from BAE Systems Hägglunds to supply the Royal Netherlands Army (RNLA) with Active Protection Systems (APS) and electro-optical commander sights.

Un Israélien accusé d’avoir vendu des fusils à air comprimé transformés en armes | 5 February 2021 | The Times of Israel

Un résident de Sderot aurait vendu des armes non létales à des Palestiniens de Hébron, en sachant qu’elles seraient converties en vraies armes, selon le Shin Bet

The Bombing of Civilians in Yemen’s Civil War Involves Many Actors, Including Defense Contractors at Raytheon | 4 February 2021 | Common Dreams

The villagers of Arhab were in a celebratory mood before the bomb exploded. The small Yemeni town had just struck water on a new well when a precision-guided munition crashed into the site, killing 31 and maiming many more.

U.S. Ceasing Arms Sales Fueling Saudi-led War in Yemen, Biden Says | 4 February 2021 | Haaretz

UAE confident F-35 jets sale will go through, says ambassador | 2 February 2021 | Reuters

The United Arab Emirates’ ambassador to Washington said he was confident the sale of F-35 jets to his country would go through after a review by President Joe Biden’s administration of some pending arms sales to U.S. allies.

France is arming India to teeth | 1 February 2021 | The Nation (Pakistan)

France‘s defense industry may have benefited from its weapons export to the world’s volatile regions but South Asia, in particular, is witnessing the worst ramification of French weapons export to India.

Elbit signs tank, armored vehicle contract with Asia-Pacific country | 29 January 2021 | DefenseNews

Elbit Systems will supply tracked light tanks and wheeled fire-support vehicles to an army in the Asia-Pacific region under an approximately $172 million deal, the Israeli company announced Tuesday.

Turkey unveils new Leopard 2A4 main battle tank upgrade fitted with Altay tank turret | 26 January 2021 | ArmyRecognition

During a live demonstration of combat vehicles that was held at the Turkish company BMC factory on January 23, 2021, Turkey has unveiled a new modernized version of Leopard 2A4 German-made main battle tank (MBT) fitted with an Altay MBT turret.

Japan’s Arms Exports: A Prudent Possibility Amid Enduring Challenges | 26 January 2021 | The Diplomat

Japan needs to urgently address key structural problems in order to build an export-driven defense industry.

An Inoffensive Quest: Can Japan’s Defense Exports Take Off? | 26 January 2021 | The Diplomat

Japan’s quest for an arms manufacturing industry is intimately linked with its self-perception as a “normal” power. How has it fared so far?

Elbit System secures $172 million contract for light tanks | 26 January 2021 | Defence-blog

Israeli defense contractor Elbit System has announced on Tuesday that it was awarded a contract valued at approximately $172 million to supply light tanks to the Army of a country in Asia-Pacific.

Final report of the Panel of Experts on Yemen (S/2021/79) | 25 January 2021 | UN Security Council

UN Report Accuses Yemen’s Warring Sides of Corruption | 28 January 2021 | OCCRP

The situation in Yemen has continued to deteriorate, with devastating consequences for the civilian population. Three main factors are contributing to the catastrophe: (a) economic profiteering by all Yemeni parties, affecting human security; (b) continuous and widespread human rights and international humanitarian law violations, with impunity; and (c) escalations in fighting and its impact on civilians, including displacement.

Approval of Australian military exports to Saudi Arabia and UAE condemned by human rights groups | 18 January 2021 | The Guardian

Australia has approved at least 14 permits for the export of military goods to Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates over the last year and a half, despite their involvement in the Yemen conflict which has created a humanitarian crisis.

Qatar Financial Centre Issues New Tax Exemption for Defense and Security Companies | 15 January 2021 | Miller Canfield

The Qatar Financial Centre Authority (“QFCA”) Tax Department have issued a Concessionary Statement of Practice (the “Statement”) providing for an exemption to Qatar Financial Centre (“QFC”) companies performing contracts in the defense and security sector in the State of Qatar.

India orders 83 Tejas Mk-1A fighters | 15 January 2021 | Flight Global

New Delhi has signed off on an order for 83 Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) Tejas Mk-1A Light Combat Aircraft. The order covers 73 single-seat Tejas Mk-1As and 10 two-seat trainers, and is worth Rs457 billion ($6.4 billion), says India’s defence ministry.

China Promulgates Blocking Regulation Against Extra-Territorial Laws and Executive Actions | 12 January 2021 | Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP | JD Supra

China Issues Blocking Rules | 11 January 2021 | Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

China’s New Blocking Statutes – MNCs Beware! | 15 January 2021 | Morgan Lewis | JD Supra

China Adopts Rules to Counteract Extraterritorial Applications of Foreign Sanctions | January 2021 | Squire Patton Boggs

On January 9, 2021, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (the “MOFCOM”) promulgated a new regulation, titled the Rules on Counteracting Unjustified Extra-territorial Application of Foreign Legislation and Other Measures (the “Counteracting Rules”), which came into effect immediately. As elaborated below, this regulation will likely have major impacts on multinational companies that conduct or used to conduct business with Chinese companies that are subject to various sanctions and/or export control programs.

Turkey paying high price for Erdoğan’s ‘Russian romance’ | 10 January 2021 | Ahval

The Russian S-400 missile systems have come at a high price for Turkey and the move is set to further push Ankara into the Moscow orbit, wrote Burak Bekdil, fellow at the Middle East forum, Burak Bekdil, wrote for the Begin Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies (BESA).

French firm Dassault wants to start making Rafale jets in India | 9 January 2021 | The Federal

While the Indian Air Force wants to buy 114 more jets, the government is focused on getting the promised 36 Rafale planes first.

Suppressed auditor general’s report warned $1.3bn Australian defence deal not value for money | 9 January 2021 | The Guardian

Guardian Australia has previously reported the auditor found the government could have spent half the amount to buy a new combat vehicle fleet.

Chinese arms company delivers 50th made-for-export Wing Loong II drone | 6 January 2021 | Global Times

The 50th Chinese-made Wing Loong II drone was delivered at the end of 2020, showing China’s high-end drone products are fully suitable for the international market, analysts said on Tuesday.

Not Just Careless: Australian weapons part turns up on Armenian battlefield | 5 January 2021 | Michael West Media

How did an Australian-made transponder, a key part of drone technology, end up in the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan where human rights abuses are prolific? Michelle Fahy investigates the murky trail of the drone bit and the cagey response of the Defence establishment from DFAT to DoD to Minister Marise Payne.

Israel’s Civilian Dual-Use Export Control List for 2021 | 3 January 2021 | Herzog Fox & Neeman | Lexology

On December 31, 2020, the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry (MOE) updated the Israeli community of controlled (civilian) exporters that no changes will be implemented to its dual use export control list for the year 2021. This update was in line with the Wassenaar Arrangement’s 2020 Plenary decision (a statement was issued in this regard by the Plenary Chair in December 2020).

How Does China’s New Export Control Law Shape The Future Of Business? | January 2021 | Zhong Lun Law Firm | Lexology

China Enacts Export Control Law Following Its Announcement of the Unreliable Entities List | 15 January 2021 | White & Case LLP | JD Supra

To Which Points Of The Export Control Law Should We Pay Attention? | 18 January 2021 | Winston & Strawn LLP | Mondaq

The Export Control Law of the People’s Republic of China (“ECL”) was approved by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on 17 October 2020 and took effect on 1 December 2020. Being the first comprehensive and unified export control law in China, ECL not only brings awareness to the widely defined control list of exported items and the temporary control regime which used to be stipulated by scattered regulations and policies in the past, but also brings in remarkable regulative measures such as licensing system and reporting obligations to enhance the state’s systematic control on export activities.

Revised Catalogue of Technologies Prohibited and Restricted from Export covering Beidou Satellite Navigation System | January 2021 | Bird & Bird LLP

On August 28, 2020, the Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM”) and the Ministry of Science and Technology (“MOST”) published the amended China’s Catalogue of Technologies Prohibited and Restricted from Export (“Catalogue”). The Catalogue took effective on the same day. As a general note, the Catalogue lists technologies that are completely “prohibited” from being exported, and those that are “restricted” from being exported subject to a licensing regime. For each technology being prohibited or restricted, further “control points” describe the technological content that is prohibited or restricted.


Heckler & Koch soll doch zum Zuge kommen: Bundeswehr will C.G. Haenel den Sturmgewehr-Auftrag entziehen | 20 February 2021 | Business Insider

Die Bundeswehr will nach Informationen von Business Insider nächste Woche offiziell bekannt geben, dass sie der Firma C.G. Haenel den umstrittenen Auftrag zum Bau neuer Sturmgewehre für die Truppe entzieht.

Georgian Army receives M2 machine guns, MK19 grenade launchers | 12 February 2021 | Defence-blog

The Ministry of Defense of Georgia has announced that units of the Georgian Defence Forces received modern M2А1 machine guns, MK19 grenade launchers and an additional batch of M249 light machine guns.

US lawmakers urge UK to help end complicity in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen | 12 February 2021 | The Guardian

Senior US lawmakers have called on the UK to live up to its “moral responsibility” and help end both countries “complicity” in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, in a sign of the pressure the UK will face in Washington to join the Biden administration and end weapons sales to the kingdom.

Bundesgerichtshof überprüft Urteil zu Waffenexporten von Heckler & Koch | 11 February 2021 | Zeit Online

Bundesgerichtshof verhandelt illegale Waffenexporte | 11 February 2021 | Neues Deutschland

Blutige Geschäfte | 11 February 2021 | TAZ

Unzulässige Waffenlieferungen aus Deutschland in mexikanische Unruheprovinzen beschäftigenheute den Bundesgerichtshof (BGH). Es geht um rund 4200 Sturmgewehre mit Zubehör, die die Rüstungsfirma Heckler & Koch von 2006 bis 2009 nach Mexiko verkauft hatte.

Wallonia faces new challenge to arms sales used by Saudi Arabia in Yemen | 10 February 2021 | Brussels Times

The government of the Walloon region appears ready to sell new arms to Saudi Arabia, despite new proof that the arms are being used in the kingdom’s illegal war in Yemen, an NGO has alleged.

Strategic export controls commentary: 1 July to 30 September 2020 | 9 February 2021 | UK Department for International Trade

Between 1 July and 30 September 2020, there were a total of 2,847 licensing decisions for Standard Individual Export Licences (SIELs), up 1.6% from 2,803 in the previous quarter.

UK authorised £1.4bn of arms sales to Saudi Arabia after exports resumed | 9 February 2021 | The Guardian

British officials authorised the export of almost £1.4bn of weapons to Saudi Arabia in the quarter after the UK resumed sales of weapons that could be used in the war in Yemen.

Signalwirkung für Rüstungsbranche: Heckler & Koch scheitert mit Rüge zu Export vor Gericht | 7 February 2021 | Handelsblatt

Heckler & Koch ist gegen die Genehmigungspraxis von Waffenexporten der Bundesregierung vor Gericht gezogen. Dort musste das Unternehmen eine erhebliche Niederlage einstecken.

UK urged to follow US in restricting arms sales to Saudi Arabia | 5 February 2021 | The Guardian

Britain is under increasing pressure to restrict arms sales to Saudi Arabia after Joe Biden said the US would no longer sell munitions that could be used in Riyadh’s “offensive operations” in Yemen.

Hensoldt receives order from Thuringia State Police for ARGOS II observation system | 5 February 2021 | Hensoldt Optronics | DefenceWeb

Hensoldt delivers two ARGOS II Electro-Optical Systems (EOS) to the police helicopter squadron of Thuringia.

An Overview of Post-Brexit UK Export Controls and Economic Sanctions | 1 February 2021 | Covington & Burling LLP

Following the United Kingdom’s formal departure from the European Union regulatory regime on 31 December 2020, the UK now implements a unilateral export controls and economic sanctions framework. The post-Brexit UK trade controls regime is the product of a series of transitional statutory measures implemented by the UK Government, beginning in 2018 with the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 (which creates a general framework for implementing UK trade controls measures), and continuing up to the end of December 2020 with a series of final implementing regulations.

Streit um Bundeswehr-Auftrag: Suhler Waffenhersteller Haenel erwägt Klage | 31 January 2021 | Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk

Der Waffenhersteller Haenel aus Suhl ist zuversichtlich, Sturmgewehre an die Bundeswehr liefern zu dürfen. Ein Ausschluss vom Verfahren sei nicht gerechtfertigt, sagte Geschäftsführer Olaf Sauer in einem Zeitungsinterview.

Italy blocks arms exports to Saudi Arabia and UAE | 29 January 2021 | Middle East Eye

Italy has stopped arms exports to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates after concerns were raised that Italian weapons could be used to kill civilians in Yemen.

Rheinmetall, MBDA building high-energy lasers for Germany’s Navy | 28 January 2021 | Defense News

Rheinmetall and MBDA Deutschland have officially been tasked to build, test and field a high-energy laser weapon system for the German Navy over the next year.

MBDA fires new anti-tank missile from unmanned turret on 4×4 vehicle | 27 January 2021 | Defense News

MBDA has successfully tested its medium-range MMP missile from the remotely-operated IMPACT turret, mounted on a 4×4 vehicle, as part of the weapon’s test trials being undertaken with the French Army and the DGA procurement agency.

UK sells arms to nearly 80% of countries under restrictions, says report | 26 January 2021 | The Guardian

British ministers and officials have approved the sale of arms to nearly four-fifths of countries subject to arms embargos, trade sanctions or other restrictions over the past five years, according to analysis.

Elbit Systems’ UK Subsidiary Awarded $137M Contract to Supply Future Target Acquisition Solution | 22 January 2021 |

Elbit Systems Ltd. announced that its UK subsidiary, Elbit Systems UK Ltd., was awarded an approximately $137 million (approximately £100 million) contract by the UK Ministry of Defence to provide the British Armed Forces with the future target acquisition solution for Joint Terminal Attack Controllers and Fire Support Teams under the Dismounted Joint Fires Integrators (D-JFI) program. The contract will be performed over a five-year period.

Belarus will receive new Mi-35 attack helicopters from Russia | 19 January 2021 | Defence-blog

Four Russian-made Mi-35 attack helicopters will arrive for the Air Force and Air Defence Forces of the Republic of Belarus in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to sources in the Belarusian Defense Ministry.

Coopération franco-allemande en matière d’armement : un terrain d’entente impossible ? (2) | 18 January 2021 | IFRI | Boulevard extérieur

Coopération franco-allemande en matière d’armement : un terrain d’entente impossible ? (1) | 11 January 2021 | IFRI | Boulevard extérieur

Dans le traité d’Aix-la-Chapelle en 2019, l’Allemagne et la France s’engagent à approfondir leur « programme commun en matière de défense » et à poursuivre une vision commune en matière d’exportations d’armes. C’est ainsi qu’une culture commune des forces armées, des missions communes et une industrie de la défense européenne doivent être renforcées. Notre collaborateur Detlef Puhl, ancien conseiller spécial auprès du secrétaire général adjoint de l’OTAN, fait le point, dans une note de l’Ifri (Institut français des relations internationales), sur la difficile coopération entre les deux pays en matière d’armement.

Arms exports control: Council establishes a EU approach on end-user certificates | 18 January 2021 | Council of the EU

The EU will soon have a more uniform approach to the export of small arms and light weapons (SALW) and their ammunition. The Council adopted a decision establishing a set of common features that end-user certificates for the export of SALW and their ammunition will have to respect.

Iveco liefert weitere GTF Trakker 8×8 | 18 January 2021 | Eurotransport

Iveco Defence Vehicles und das Bundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr haben einen Rahmenvertrag über die Lieferung von bis zu 1.048 geschützten Transportfahrzeugen der Zuladungsklasse 15 Tonnen geschlossen.

The UK sold weapons to police in Brazil as killings soared | 18 january 2021 | VICE

The UK government facilitated the sales after Jair Bolsonaro came to power, in a year that the force killed twice as many people as all police in the US.

UK must not do trade deals with rights abusers, foreign minister says | 17 January 2021 | Reuters

Will the UK really refuse trade deals over human rights? | 19 January 2021 | BBC

Britain should not engage in free trade with countries that abuse human rights, but proposals that the country’s courts should decide whether genocide has been committed by trade partners is flawed, foreign minister Dominic Raab said.

UK trained military of 15 countries with poor human rights records | 17 January 2021 | The Guardian

The UK government has trained the armies of two-thirds of the world’s countries, including 15 it has rebuked for human rights violations. An anti-arms trade organisation has called for an investigation into the use of UK military training by other countries to determine whether it has been used to perpetrate human rights abuses.

Plusieurs militaires et retraités de la défense interpellés dans le cadre d’un vaste trafic d’armes | 14 January 2021 | Le Monde

Des militaires français écroués pour trafic d’armes | 17 January 2021 | Le Journal du Dimanche

C’est un très gros coup de filet qu’a réalisé la brigade de répression du banditisme de la police judiciaire parisienne dans les cercles discrets des passionnés d’armes. Dix personnes ont été interpellées dans plusieurs régions de France et placées en garde à vue, mardi 12 janvier, dans le cadre d’une information judiciaire ouverte en juin 2020 notamment des chefs d’acquisition, de détention, de transport d’armes et d’association de malfaiteurs. Selon nos informations, six de ces interpellés sont des militaires en activité ou de jeunes retraités du ministère de la défense.

Regulatory Outlook – Export Control: Regulation after Brexit | 14 January 2021 | Osborne Clarke

What do UK businesses trading in the EU need to do now that the Brexit transition period has ended?

Turkish and Israeli military tech in the Nagorno-Karabakh war | 12 January 2021 |

While drones will never take and hold territory, something a modern ground force will always be necessary for, Ankara and Tel Aviv now have a formidable showcase of what their technology is capable of.

Norwegian Army taps Saab for Carl-Gustaf M4 anti-tank recoilless rifles | 12 January 2021 | Defence-blog

The Norwegian Armed Forces have ordered a batch of Swedish Carl-Gustaf M4 anti-tank recoilless rifles, according to Saab news release.

Silence, on arme ! L’omerta de la France sur les ventes d’armes | Amnesty International France

Silence, on arme ! #1 : récit d’une mobilisation mondiale pour le contrôle des armes | 9 January 2021 | Amnesty International France

Silence, on arme ! #2 : Ventes d’armes, une omerta française | 15 January 2021 | Amnesty International France

La France est le 3ème exportateur d’armes au monde. Un commerce, considéré comme un fleuron industriel, dont nous ne savons que peu de choses. Les autorités cultivent en effet la plus grande opacité sur les ventes d’armes françaises. Ce manque de transparence est un obstacle majeur au contrôle d’un commerce dangereux et meurtrier. Il est à ce jour impossible de garantir que des armes françaises ne sont et ne seront pas utilisées pour commettre des violations graves des droits humains et du droit international humanitaire.

The EU adopts a new global human rights sanctions regime | 6 January 2021 | Allen & Overy LLP | JD Supra

In a much-anticipated move, on 7 December 2020, the Council of the European Union adopted a Council Decision and a Council Regulation establishing the EU’s global human rights sanctions regime (the GHRSR).

Rheinmetall erhält Bundeswehr-Großauftrag | 6 January 2021 | NTV

Erst kürzlich sichert sich der Rüstungskonzern Rheinmetall einen umfassenden Auftrag der Bundeswehr, nun folgt der nächste Millionen-Deal. Bereits in diesem Jahr sollen Hunderte neue Militär-Lkw vom Band rollen. Das Unternehmen profitiert damit vom Konjunkturpaket der Bundesregierung.

German Arms Continued Flowing to Countries Bombing Yemen Despite Saudi Embargo | 6 January 2021 | BylineTimes

When the world was left in shock over news that Washington Post journalist and Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi had been butchered by Saudi agents inside an embassy in Istanbul, many countries promised repercussions including freezing arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Important Brexit-Related Changes to UK Export Control and Sanctions Laws | 5 January 2021 | Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP | JD Supra

Following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, effective 11 pm UK time on 31 December 2020, the UK (with the exception of Northern Ireland in some cases) no longer automatically implements EU laws. This has brought about significant and important changes to UK export control and sanctions laws of which those doing business connected to the UK need to be aware.

Israel and Greece sign biggest defense agreement | 5 January 2021 | Defence-blog

Following an international tender, the Greek Government approved the Israel MoD’s bidding win to establish a flight academy for the Hellenic Air Force, which will be built and operated by Elbit Systems Ltd.

Germany approves over €1 billion in arms deals to Middle East | 3 January 2021 | DW

Last year, the German government signed off on weapons exports to countries involved in the deadly conflicts in Yemen and Libya. Germany is among the world’s top five weapons exporters.

Global Britain’ is willing to trade away everything. Including scruples | 3 January 2021 | The Guardian

The UK’s new trade agreement with Turkey, signed last week, ignores the Turkish government’s continuing human rights abuses, boosts its dangerous president, and undermines ministerial pledges that “global Britain” will uphold international laws and values. The deal took effect on 1 January without even rudimentary parliamentary scrutiny. Here, stripped of lies and bombast, is the dawning reality of Boris Johnson’s scruple-free post-Brexit world.