The cooperation between customs and export control authorities for arms and dual-use items is essential to ensure the practical implementation of decisions taken at national, European and UN level. However, the two institutions have different visions related to their respective purposes and do not use the same definitions and product identification codes. This note examines the attempts of cooperation between customs and export control authorities in the context of arms trade. It proposes paths for reflection in order to analyse the key challenges related to the linkage between the two main classification systems for war materials and dual-use goods, the Harmonized System used by customs and the Export Control Classification System.
Photo credit: Customs and Excise: protection of exterior borders (2107.be)