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Germany Eases Rules for Dual-Use Goods Exports, Ministry Says

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Cabinet today eased national rules limiting exports of goods that can be used for military purposes after the laws were superseded by European Union directives, the Economy Ministry said.

Fifty-year old export approval procedures that don’t exist in other countries for goods such as machine tools were scrapped because they’ve lost their significance while still placing bureaucratic burdens on companies that hurt their international competitiveness, the Berlin-based ministry said.

Intentional unapproved export of dual-use goods will still be punished the same way as the intentional unapproved export of arms, which constitutes a criminal offense, the ministry said in an e-mailed statement. Any breaches of arms embargoes will be prosecuted as crimes, the ministry said.

The Cabinet’s decision requires a vote in the lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, to become law.

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