India has moved a step closer to joining an international arms trade arrangement which is expected to boost military trade, having updated its guidelines for export of dual use items that have both military and civil applications.
The SCOMET (special chemicals, organisms, materials, equipment and technologies) List of items has been amended, bringing in details that align it with the international norm. This paves the way for India to join the international treaties, Wassenaar Arrangement and the Australia Group, within a few months.
The updated list, which includes 16 broad categories of products that can be exported after clearance, is likely to boost military trade and make clearances easier for private companies pursuing export orders.
“This amendment will ease the process for Indian companies to gain the necessary approvals for exports and be an enabling measure for India to achieve its ambitious targets for defence exports,” said Ankur Gupta, vice president at EY.
As reported by ET, the government first made changes in August 2015 to draw up a formal list of defence items that can be exported as military stores. The list included warships, tanks, armoured vehicles, ammunition, rifles and small arms, military training equipment, electronic warfare devices, software, bombs and torpedoes.
The defence ministry relaxed earlier export control laws that required multiple end user certificates by Indian companies wishing to export components and parts of larger systems. The two things combined, experts said, will go a long way in boosting foreign trade for India’s private companies.
After the Missile Technology Control Regiment, India is looking to join the Wassenaar arrangement to give exports a boost.
The state run Defence Research and Development Organisation has already drawn up a list of products that it wishes to sell abroad.
These include the Akash surface-to-air missile system, Sonar systems, underwater communication systems, the Tejas fighter aircraft, Airborne Early Warning and Control systems, the Nishant UAV and a series of radars.