1. The control over the export and import of military goods is regulated by Law No.185 of 9 July 1990 “New regulations on controlling the exports, imports and transit of military goods”.
The legislation was amended by Legislative Decree No. 105 of June 22, 2012, so as to transpose the “Directive of the European Parliament and Council 2009/43/EC of May 6, simplifying terms and conditions for the transfer of defence-related products within the EU”.
Law 185/90 and subsequent amendments were later supplemented with the Implementing Regulation, Ministerial Decree No. 19 of January 7, 2013.
The dedicated National Authority – UAMA (Unit for the Authorizations of Armament Materials) was established in 2012 to ensure the implementation of the Italian legislation, supplemented with that of the EU and of the International Community.
2. The operations referred to in the Law must be in accordance with Italian foreign and defence policies. They are therefore authorized pursuant to Government and Parliament directives.
3. The progressive Europeanisation of national control procedures on the handling of military goods is also based on the political commitments made within the framework of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), in particular of the 2008/944/CFSP Common Position of the EU Council of December 8, 2008, that replaced and strengthened the European Code of Conduct on Arms and Military Technology Exports.
4. With respect to the policy for the handling of military goods, Italy acts in close coordination with the other EU Member States through regular operational consultations in Brussels, and also in coordination with its major allies. Italy continues to spearhead the effort to strengthen the progressive Europeanisation of national procedures to control the handling of military goods.
5. The requests of companies to the National Authority – UAMA to obtain licenses for the export of military goods are thoroughly and rigorously vetted, on a case by case basis, in compliance with national and international regulations.
The evaluation of any authorizations to countries outside the EU-NATO entails the preliminary involvement of various Italian Ministries and Agencies:
a) in examining the merits of every single operation, starting with the company’s notification of the start of trade negotiations, to be addressed to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and also to the Defence Ministry;
b) in preliminarily providing opinions prior to the final authorization for export/import, following the negotiating phase and the signing of the contract, to be submitted to the Inter-Ministerial Advisory Committee comprising the Ministries for Foreign Affairs, Defence, Internal Affairs, Economic Development, Economy and Finance – Customs and Monopolies Agency and the Ministry of the Environment. In the presence of classified information, the Authority avails itself of the binding opinions of the Prime Minister’s Office – Security Information Department/DIS – Central Secrecy Office/UCSe.
6. The complex national control procedures under Italian and European legislations are supplemented by regulatory, orientation and harmonization provisions applicable within the framework of the UN, EU, OSCE and the Wassenaar Arrangement; by the results of periodic consultations among Member States in the EU Council’s Common Foreign and Security Policy Working Party on conventional arms export (COARM); and by the provisions of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), in respect of which the EU, within the context of the European Security Strategy, supports its full implementation and universalization with funds and activities.
7. On a multilateral level, the National Authority – UAMA follows the work of COARM within the EEAS; of the European Commission on the implementation of the 43/2009/EC Directive; of the Wassenaar Arrangement (on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies), signed on December 19, 1995 by the 17 Member States of the former Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM), including Italy; of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), the international arms trade treaty that Italy joined in 2013, by drafting national reports and developing the related policies.
8. The different types of authorizations and licences are subdivided as follows:
a) individual authorizations, which concern the transfer (EU/EEA) or export (outside the EU) of a specific quantity and value of given military goods (tangible and intangible, such as software and technology; the provision of services) to a predetermined recipient;
b) global transfer authorizations (EU/EEA), which cover the transfer of specific military goods, without quantity and value restrictions, to authorized recipients located in one or more Member States;
c) global licences of project for programmes (EU/EEA and non-EU), covering exports and imports of military goods to be carried out under joint inter-governmental programmes with companies of EU or NATO Member States that have signed specific agreements with Italy;
d) global industrial licences of project (EU/EEA and non-EU), covering exports and imports of military goods to be carried out in the framework of industrial research, development and production programmes with companies from EU/EEA or NATO Member States that have signed specific agreements with Italy;
e) general transfer authorizations (EU/EEA): Decrees by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, who authorizes suppliers in the national territory who fulfil the terms and conditions of said authorizations to make transfers of predetermined military goods to recipients located in one or more Member States;
f) brokering activities, defined as the totality of activities exclusively carried out by persons registered in the National Trade Register (RNI), referred to in Article 3 of Law No. 185/90 and subsequent amendments, who:
(f1) negotiate or organize transactions that may entail the transfer of military goods listed in the common list of military goods from a Member State (EU/EEA) or from a Third country to any other Country;
f2) buy, sell or arrange the transfer of military goods in their possession from a Member State or Third country to any other Member State or Third country.
9. The National Authority – UAMA sits in the Coordination Group of the Prime Minister’s Office for the exercise of special powers, the so-called “golden power” (Decree Law No. 21/2012 converted into Law No. 56/2012, amended by enacting Law No. 172 / 2017, Decree of the Prime Minister, DPCM, of August 6, 2014), exclusively for the strategic defence sector, to ensure compliance with Law No. 185/90 and subsequent amendments, and to ensure, where necessary, the enforceability of the sectoral provisions of the DPCM.
10. As a result of the attribution to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the competences in the field of international trade and internationalization of Italian companies (See Decree Law No. 104 of September 21, 2019, converted by Law No. 104 of November 18, 2019), the National Authority – UAMA performs the tasks of competent Authority responsible for implementing the provisions of Legislative Decree No. 221 of December 15, 2017.
11. The National Authority – UAMA issues the authorizations for the export, transfer, brokering, technical assistance and transit of dual-use items; it issues the authorizations for the trade of goods subject to the anti-torture regulation; it issues the authorizations for direct and indirect trade of items listed as a result of EU restrictive measures.
12. The Director of the National Authority – UAMA chairs the Inter-Ministerial Advisory Committee, which is called upon to give mandatory, but not binding, opinions on the export transactions referred to in point 11. In addition to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI) and the Customs and Monopolies Agency, the following Ministries are represented in this Committee: Interior, Defence, Economy and Finance, Economic Development, Cultural Heritage, Health. The Head of the Dual-Use Materials Division shall act as Secretary.