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European Commission. 2013 ‘The Need for Action at EU Level - EU Firearms Laws.’ Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament; COM(2013) 716 final. Brussels: 21 October

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The Need for Action at EU Level…

In terms of legislation, the Firearms Directive (Council Directive 91/477/EEC as amended by Directive 2008/51/EC) laid down rules for the acquisition and possession of non-military weapons and created a 'European Firearms Pass' for licenced hunters, sports shooters, collectors and dealers to travel within the EU.

Through Regulation No 258/2012 ('the Firearms Regulation'), the EU requires authorisation of exports of non-military firearms to countries outside the EU in line with the UN Firearms Protocol.

Since 1998, under the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the EU has maintained a Code of Conduct on Arms Exports, replaced in 2008 by a Common Position, including a common list of military arms and minimum standards guiding national licensing policies (22). Directive 2009/43/EC seeks to simplify the licensing procedures for the transfer of such arms within the EU (23). Minimum standards are also in force on brokering of conventional arms between third countries which takes place on a Member State's territory (24).

[EU = European Union; UN = United Nations]


22) The EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports adopted by the Council on 8 June 1998; the Common Military List of the European Union, adopted by the Council on 13 June 2000 is regularly updated; the code of conduct was replaced by Council Common Position 2008/944/CFSP of 8 December 2008 defining common rules governing control of exports of military technology and equipment, OJ L335/99.

23) Directive 2009/43/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 May 2009 on simplifying terms and conditions of transfers of defence-related products within the Community, OJ L146, 10.6.2009.

24) Common Position CFSP/468/2003 on the control of arms brokering, OJ L156/79, 25.5.2003.

ID: Q8315

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