Rules for Defense Exports Liberalized

israel defense
A view of the UVID (Unmanned Vehicles Israel Defense) 2015 Conference, held at the Israel Conference Center in Tel Aviv. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

The Israeli Ministry of Defense has announced a loosening of restrictions on the export of defense industry products, no longer requiring special licenses for weapons systems listed as “unclassified,” Globes reported on Wednesday.

Defense companies will be allowed to sell arms to almost any country under the new protocols to be administered by the Israeli Defense Export Control Agency (DECA), resulting in a reduction of red tape. The length of time currently needed to obtain a marketing license is 120 days.

The reform will affect thousands of defense items made in Israel.

DECA stipulated, though, that while the special permits may be waived, official approval must still be obtained for the execution of defense contracts, and advises exporters to include release clauses in their agreements with foreign customers in the event the state prohibits a sale.

DECA director Racheli Chen told Globes, “An Israeli company will be able to speak with customers around the world for unclassified weapons systems and offer a price for them, but will not be allowed to commit to going through with a deal before obtaining final approval from the Ministry of Defense … In any case, details of all unclassified products now appear on the internet and are available to everyone.”

The new guidelines will not apply to negotiations between Israeli defense exporters and representatives of countries on the list of enemy countries, such as Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran.

Amid allegations that Israeli defense companies were clandestinely marketing to countries listed as human rights violators, DECA has produced figures showing that it has maintained responsible oversight over foreign deals. The agency started over 100 enforcement proceedings over the past year following suspicions that defense companies or weapons traders had violated the law. The Ministry of Defense conducted more than 10 hearings in these matters. The concerns involved were fined in five of these cases.

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