Anti-Torture Regulation

The abolition of the death penalty and the prevention of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment are fundamental political objectives of the European Union (EU).

These objectives have been enshrined in a legal framework that places the EU at the forefront of international human rights law.

Anti-Torture Regulation establishes a system for prohibiting imports and exports of goods which could be used for capital punishment, torture or other forms of punishment, subject to exceptions.Prohibited goods are set out in three annexes:

  • Goods designed for torture or capital punishment (Annex II)
  • Goods that could be diverted and used for torture (Annex III)
  • Goods that could be diverted and used for capital punishment (Annex IV)

The Regulation also covers the provision of certain services in relation to such goods, including brokerage services, technical assistance, training and advertising.

Since 1 July 2020, the competent authority responsible for receiving and processing applications from economic operators subject to the provisions of Regulation 2019/125, classifying goods, and granting or refusing import/export authorisations is the Dual-Use Goods Department (SBDU) of the Ministry for the Economy, Finance and the Recovery (formerly the responsibility of Customs).

France’s control system and procedures are defined by the following instruments (available in French only):

  • Decree 2020-831 of 1 July 2020 relating to the trade in certain goods regulated by Regulation (EU) 2019/125 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 January 2019
  • Order of 20 November 2020 relating to the formalities to be completed by operators pursuant to Decree 2020-831 of 1 July 2020
  • Technical guidance note for economic operators (available in French only)

Economic operators should refer to these instruments before contacting the SBDU. The technical guidance note, in particular, is a practical document designed to supplement the regulatory texts and explain the obligations of economic operators.

Forms for making applications under the Regulation can be downloaded under “Links and downloads” below (available in French only).

Edited on 16/03/2021