Export Licence: BAFA must accelerate Procedure (VG Frankfurt/Main)

Administrative Court of Frankfurt, judgement of 23 June 2016 – 5 K 3718/15.F.

The court decision deals with the export of weapon parts to Saudi Arabia. The Administrative Court Frankfurt am Main could not decide if the export itself would be lawful. This is because the Federal Agency of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) as the competent authority has a prerogative of assessment and discretion, which the court may not undermine through its own decision on the merits.

However, the Court makes clear that the BAFA – even if politically sensitive issues are unresolved – as any other authority in the administrative procedure is obligated to accelerate the administrative procedure according to section 10 of the Adminstrative Procedure Act. The authority can not justify its inaction with the need for observing a political situation.