On 9 September 2020, EU Regulation 2021/821 of 20 May 2021 setting up a regime for the control of exports, brokering and technical assistance related to items which can be used for both civil and military purposes (so-called dual-use items, Annex I of the Regulation) entered into force.

The task and aims of the Regulation are to monitor the circulation outside the EU borders of those items that are produced for civil purposes, but are also suitable to be employed in the military industry, so becoming an instrument for human rights violations, especially in some countries at risk.

For this purpose, the Regulation established a system of authorizations to be issued in order to export dual use items outside the EU territory.

Exporters, brokers or those subjects providing technical assistance with regard to dual-use items (but even those subjects dealing with software and other dual-use technologies to be sent outside the EU territory) are therefore subject to the authorizations set forth by the Regulation and are required to cooperate with national and international institutions in order to guarantee the highest safety standards for their products.

It is possible for exporters to adopt internal compliance programs ensuring compliance with the Regulation and thus mitigating exporters’ liability and allowing the application of less restrictive authorizations.

The Regulation represents an important instrument for the protection of international balances: those entities operating in international markets become main players also in the peace building and human rights protection path.