Directive 2009/43/EC on intra-EU transfers of defence-related products aims at simplifying the terms and conditions for transfers of defence-related products within the EU.
The European defence market being fragmented and differing on national approaches has caused many problems for the European defence industry in general, and for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular. For example, national systems to control the transfer of defence equipment did not distinguish between exports to non-EU countries and transfers between EU countries. Different national licensing regimes also imposed burdensome administrative procedures, while hampering the security of supply between EU countries.
The Transfer Directive 2009/43/EC diminishes these obstacles, progressing towards a genuine European market for defence equipment, without sacrificing EU countries' control over their essential defence and security interests. It introduced a partially new licensing system differentiating between and rationalising the use of general, global, and individual licenses.
Article 9 of the transfer directive lays down the general principles for the certification of defence undertakings in the EU. The certification granted at the national level is designed to testify to the special ability of defence undertakings to receive defence-related products and, where appropriate, to respect all the conditions attached to those products, such as end-use and end-user conditions.
The European Commission provides information about the certified recipients of defence-related products and makes them publicly available through CERTIDER, the central EU register of certified undertakings. As certificates have to be mutually recognised by EU countries, the European Commission also supplied the national authorities with common certification guidelines in January 2011.