Weapons, ammunition and military equipment - Intra-Community transfer licence

This page was last modified on 16-01-2018

On 1 July 2012, the licences for the import of weapons, ammunition and military equipment between EU Member States were replaced by transfer licences. However, certain national legislation still sets out the need for import licences.

In order to transfer weapons, ammunition or military equipment (known as 'defence-related products') within the European Union (EU), suppliers established in Luxembourg must have a transfer licence, which may be:

  • either a general transfer licence for certain specific recipients or transactions;
  • or a transfer licence which may be:
    • global, if the supplier is able to comply with the requirements for transfers;
    • individual in other cases.

Recipients of defence-related products may request a certification to enable their suppliers to transfer defence-related products to them under a general transfer licence (LGTF2).

In Luxembourg, these licences/certifications are issued by the Licensing Office (Office des Licences).

Forms / Online services

Carry out your procedure:

Who is concerned

Every supplier established in Luxembourg must apply for a permit/licence from the Licensing Office before transferring weapons, ammunition and/or military equipment featuring on the Common military list of the European Union (EU CML) from Luxembourg to another EU Member State (intra-EU trade).

Recipients of defence-related products who have already proven their general capacity to comply with the prohibitions and limitations of exports of military equipment may apply for a certification in order to make use of the simplified intra-Community transfer procedures (LGTF2).

Exceptions:

A transfer licence is not required when:

  • weapons, ammunition and/or military equipment are being transferred between Benelux countries (intra-Benelux);
  • the temporary transfer of civil firearms is covered by a European firearms pass;
  • the supplier and the recipient are public institutions or are part of the armed forces;
  • the deliveries are made by the European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the International Atomic Energy Agency, or other intergovernmental organisations in order to carry out their missions;
  • the transfer is necessary to implement an armament cooperation programme between EU Member States;
  • the transfer is related to humanitarian aid in the case of a disaster, or is a donation in an emergency situation.

Preliminary steps

CN Code

Before applying for a licence, the applicant has to know the precise tariff classification (CN, TARIC) of the goods concerned. The operator can find this information:

ML code

As well as the CN code, the applicant must also know the ML code of the goods in question. The operator can find this information in the Common military list of the European Union ("EU CML" list annexed to the most recent EU directive in force and published in the Official Journal A [Mémorial A]).

Duration and deadlines

The holder of a general transfer licence (LGTF) must register with the Licensing Office at least 30 working days prior to the first transfer.

He may use the LGTF following receipt of the written notification of registration from the Licensing Office.

In principle, global or individual transfer licences for weapons, ammunition and/or military equipment will be issued:

  • within 5 working days, provided the application is complete and contains all the necessary supporting documents, and the destination country is not classified as a particularly sensitive destination;
  • and 45 days, if the application is not complete or in the event that the opinion of another Luxembourg or foreign authority has been requested.

How to proceed

General transfer licence (LGTF)

Applying for a general transfer licence

In order to transfer certain defence-related goods to particular recipients or for a particular purpose, companies may apply for a general transfer licence (LGTF).

Companies established in Luxembourg must register with the Licensing Office to obtain an LGTF.

The registration/licence application form to be used depends on the type of licence required, according to the recipient or the transaction concerned (see explanations on each form):

  • the general transfer licence LGTF 1 enables the transfer of defence-related products to recipients with a contracting authority in the defence field and making purchases solely for use by the armed forces;
  • the general transfer licence LGTF 2 enables the transfer of defence-related products to recipients who hold a certification for recipients of defence-related products issued by a Member State;
  • the general transfer licence LGTF 3 enables the transfer of defence-related products for demonstration, assessment or exhibition purposes;
  • the general transfer licence LGTF 4 enables the temporary transfer of defence-related products to their original supplier in another EU Member State for maintenance or repair.

General transfer licences cannot be used if, at the time of the definitive transfer of the products, it is established that the end user/use of these products is outside the EU.

They can however be used if the final destination country is Australia, Canada, the United States of America, Japan, Iceland, Norway, New Zealand, Switzerland or Liechtenstein.

Validity of general transfer licences

General transfer licences are granted:

  • for an indefinite period;
  • for one or more categories of recipient located in another EU Member State;
  • and for use in compliance with the conditions and restrictions stated on the licence.

The licence may set certain specific conditions for use, in particular when the transfer involves sensitive equipment/components.

The relevant Minister may, at any time, withdraw, suspend or restrict the use of this type of licence.

Global or individual transfer licences

Applying for a global or individual transfer licence

The supplier must submit a request for a transfer licence for defence-related products to the Licensing Office.

The request must be accompanied, depending on the circumstances, by the following documents:

  • an explanatory letter;
  • a copy of the commercial contract;
  • a copy of the original invoice or the proforma invoice;
  • a non re-export undertaking/clause, by which the final recipient undertakes not to re-export the military products without the express authorisation of the relevant Luxembourg authorities;
  • an end-use certificate;
  • on the request of the Licensing Office, an undertaking from the supplier (form to be requested from the Licensing Office);

A global transfer licence may be granted when the supplier has:

  • sufficient resources to comply with the specific conditions of use of the licence;
  • a reliable internal programme of compliance with export controls.

An individual transfer licence may be granted when:

  • the licence request only covers one single transfer;
  • the protection of the essential security interests of Luxembourg or reasons of law and order so require;
  • this licence is necessary for compliance with Luxembourg's international obligations and commitments;
  • or when there are serious reasons to believe that the supplier will not be able to fulfil all the conditions for the granting of a global transfer licence.

Validity of global licences

Global licences are granted:

  • to an individual supplier established in Luxembourg;
  • to recipients established in one or more other EU Member States;
  • for several transfers;
  • specifying the defence-related products or categories of defence-related products and recipients or categories of recipients authorised.

They are valid for 3 years and may be renewed.

Validity of individual licences

Individual licences are granted:

  • to an individual supplier established in Luxembourg;
  • to a recipient established in another EU Member State;
  • for one single transfer (carried out via one or more deliveries);
  • specifying the quantity of the defence-related products stipulated.

They are valid for 1 year and may be renewed once.

The licence may set certain specific conditions for use, in particular:

  • for security or stability reasons;
  • when the transfer involves sensitive equipment/components;
  • or if the products are to be subsequently exported to natural persons or legal entities in countries outside the EU.

The relevant Minister may, at any time, withdraw, suspend or restrict the use of this type of licence.

Use of transfer licences

A supplier of defence-related products must respect the conditions and restrictions stated on the licence.

Prior to the first transfer of defence-related products, he must inform the recipient, in writing, of any conditions or restrictions stated on the licence. He must keep written proof of this on file.

He must also keep on file all commercial documents (invoices, sales contracts, dispatch notes, etc.) and transport documents related to the transfers.

The Licensing Office may request any other relevant document or additional data relating to the transfers.

Certification for recipients of defence-related products

Request for certification

Recipient companies for transfers of defence-related products may request a certification from the authorities in their country of establishment so that their suppliers may use a general transfer licence LGTF2.

Companies established in Luxembourg may request certification for recipients of defence-related products from the Licensing Office.

The certification confirms the general capacity of the recipient company to comply with the prohibitions and limitations on exports of military equipment stated on the transfer licences.

The reliability of the recipient company is assessed on the basis of the following criteria:

  • proven experience in defence activities;
  • compliance with export restrictions;
  • any authorisation concerning the production or marketing of defence-related products;
  • relevant industrial activity in the field of defence-related products in the EU;
  • ability to integrate systems or sub-systems;
  • designation of a member of senior management, member of the company's management body as an administrator personally responsible for transfers and exports;
  • written undertaking from the company, signed by the administrator responsible, to take all the necessary measures to respect and apply the conditions for end use and export of all specific components or products;
  • description of the internal compliance programme or management system for transfers and exports implemented within the company;
  • keeping of records concerning defence-related products received.

Validity of the certification

The certification for recipients of defence-related products is valid for a maximum of 5 years.

The relevant Minister verifies every 3 years whether Luxembourgish recipients of defence-related products still comply with the criteria for award of the certificate. He may apply corrective measures and, under certain conditions, suspend or revoke the certificate.

Companies certified in Luxembourg for the transfer of defence-related products in the European Union:

  • none as at 01/08/2013

Transfer records

Suppliers of defence-related products must keep complete and detailed records of the transfers made under general, global or individual transfer licences.

These records must contain documents providing, in particular, the following information:

  • description of the goods and their references in the Common military list of the European Union;
  • the quantity, weight and value of the goods;
  • the dates of transfer;
  • the names and addresses of the supplier and the recipients;
  • where applicable, the international import certificates, sales contracts, end-use certificates or any other document enabling identification of the end use and end user of the defence-related products transferred.

These records must be kept for a period of 10 years as from the end of the calendar year in which the transfer took place.

They must be presented upon request to any person authorised to carry out the controls.

Should the company cease to carry out such activities, these records are to be submitted immediately to the Licensing Office.

Who to contact

Ministry of the Economy
19-21, boulevard Royal
L-2449 - Luxembourg
Postal box BP 113 / L-2011 Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Phone: (+352) 22 61 62
Fax: (+352) 46 61 38
Email office.licences@eco.etat.lu