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Controlling the export of weapons

North Korean Vehicles line up for inspection by Chinese customs officials. © Cancan Chu/Getty ImagesIt is vital to control the movement of materials, technology and expertise connected with weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

The UK is a strong supporter of effective control regimes and we're working to raise the standard of export controls around the world.

The UK is also a member of various international export control regimes, including:

We work with other government departments here to ensure that UK export controls are rigorously maintained, including: 

During 2008/09 the Foreign Office's Licensing Team handled over 14,000 licence recommendations. Each licence is assessed case-by-case against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria.

We also advise the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), which oversees the approval of licences.

Strategic export control reports

Quarterly reports are produced on export licensing decisions by the UK Government.

These include details of export licences issued, refused or revoked for the transfer of tangible and/or intangible items, and trade control export licences issued, refused or revoked for the source countries.

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