Arms shipments never inspected
The Dutch are approving weapons transshipments without inspection, according to Campaign against the Arms Trade in a report to be published on Monday.
The organisation claims that 98 percent of all transshipments are never inspected because they originate in, or are destined for, allied nations, which include EU member states, NATO allies, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.
According to CtW, the Dutch authorities want to avoid repeating inspections carried out by allied nations, making the obligatory Dutch inspection of arms transshipments a meaningless formality.
The CtW says many shipments of arms and munitions which would never be eligible for an export licence under Dutch export criteria are being transshipped to controversial destinations without any questions asked.
Data published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute shows that the Netherlands ranked sixth on the list of the world's major arms exporters between 2005-2009. The value of Dutch arms exports reached 1.41 billion euros in 2009, a 12 percent increase compared to 2008.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide