Changes to government policy on general transit licences NL007 and NL008

In October 2019 the Dutch government tightened its arms export policy with regard to Turkey. This policy decision follows on from the conclusions of the Foreign Affairs Council of October 2019 in which EU countries jointly agreed to prevent the use of EU military goods in northeastern Syria. In order to prevent ‘less sensitive’ military goods, of the type covered by the Ministerial Order for General Transit Licence NL007 and the Ministerial Order for General Transit Licence NL008, from being exported to Turkey and used in the conflict in northeastern Syria, these ministerial orders will be amended and Turkey will no longer be an allowable country of final destination.

In addition, this amendment of the Ministerial Orders for General Transit Licence NL007 and NL008 seeks to bring monitoring of goods in transit under these general licences more in line with the monitoring of goods in transit under individual licences. For some time now, there has also been heightened monitoring of the export and transit of military goods to Ukraine under individual licences. This monitoring is now being expanded to include the transit of goods under this general licence. In addition to Turkey and Ukraine, the following countries are excluded as final destinations for the NL007 licence: Yemen, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

These changes to general transit licences NL007 and NL008 do not alter the fact that for every transit shipment, including those from the above countries, an application can be submitted for an individual transit licence, including for ‘less sensitive’ military goods. Standing government policy will also be followed in this regard.

This will mean an increased administrative burden for companies that previously made use of a general transit licence for exporting military goods to Turkey and Ukraine. These companies must now apply for an individual transit licence.

The ministerial order setting out these changes was published in the Government Gazette on 27 October 2020 (Dutch).


If you have any questions about Dutch arms export policy, you can email the Ministry of Foreign Affairs