Outline of the system
Georgian licensing system is applied to the military products, software and technology thereof that are defined by the Ordinance of Government of Georgia No. 394 (13 June 2014) on "Approval of Lists of Military and Dual Use Items"; also, to the weapons and ammunition for the civilian usage.
There are clearly identified authorities obliged for licensing, implementation and enforcement of the law. Responsible for licensing in military products transfers is the Ministry of Defense, which represents a leading agency in implementation of control of military and civilian weaponry and also coordinates interagency cooperation and information sharing among designated ministries, that are involved in the decision-making process as consultative bodies responsible to review each case from their respective jurisdiction and through the spectrum of their competency:
• Ministry of Finance/customs department;
• State Security Service;
• Ministry of Justice;
• Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
• LEPL Agency for Nuclear and Radioactive Safety;
• LEPL Technical and Construction Supervision Agency.
The Ministry of Defense is responsible for granting permits on import, export, transit, brokering services and technical assistance of weapons and military products and activity licenses on trade, repair and manufacture of such goods.
Civil weapons and military goods
Nature of licensing
If Automatic, administrative purpose
If Non-Automatic, description of the notified Non-Automatic Licensing regime
Products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports
The licensing (permit) requirements do not include any quantitative or value restrictions. The main objective of licensing is prevention of the illicit spread of weapons and military products and reduce the risk of their diversion to the unauthorized end users and end uses thus maintaining the national and international security.
Questions for products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports
Please see Answers 6.1-6.11.
The system applies to products originating from which country?
The system applies to abovementioned goods regardless their origin and countries they are coming from.
Expected duration of licensing procedure
Is the licensing statutorily required?
Import licensing system for civilian weapons and military products is regulated by the following normative acts:
- Law of Georgia on "Licenses and Permits" (24 June 2005);
- Law of Georgia on "Licenses and permissions fees" (14 August 2003).
- Law of Georgia "of Arms" (8 May 2003);
- Law of Georgia "On Control of Military and Dual Use Items" (29 November 2013);
- Ordinance of Government of Georgia No. 372 (9 June 2014) on "Determination of Control measures for Military and Dual Use Items";
- Ordinance of Government of Georgia No. 394 (13 June 2014) on "Approval of Lists of Military and Dual Use Items";
Order of Minister of Defense No. 68 (4 August 2020) on "Approval of the Statute of Standing Commission of Military-technical Issues of Ministry of Defense of Georgia".
Law of Georgia "On Arms" Article 22 defines that Import of Civilian Weapons and their main elements, ammunition and their main elements shall be carried out on the basis of permit issued by the Ministry of Defense of Georgia.
Law of Georgia "On the Control of Military and Dual Use Items" Article 5 and Article 9 defines that:
Importation of items provided for in the control lists (Governmental Ordinance No. 394 on "Approval of Lists of Military and Dual Use Items" Attachment No. 1) shall be carried out on the basis of the permit issued by the Ministry of Defense of Georgia.
The licensing is a statutory requirement.
Does the legislation leave designation of products to be subject to licensing to administrative discretion?
The legislation does not leave designation of products to be subjected to licensing to administrative discretion.
Is it possible for the government to abolish the system without legislative approval?
Ministry of Defense cannot suspend or abolish the system without legislative approval.
Eligibility of applicants
Is there a system of registration of persons or firms permitted to engage in importation?
What persons or firms are eligible to apply for a licence?
Under non-restrictive licensing system - the eligibility to apply for permission on importation of weapon or military items have only legal entities registered in Georgian state registers and possessing activity license for trade of these products, granted by the Ministry of Defense.
Is there a registration fee?
Fee for license on trade of civilian weapons is 100 Lari and 2,000 Lari for license on trade of Military products.
Is there a published list of authorized importers?
Contact point for information on eligibility
Submission of an application
Administrative body(ies) for submission of an application
Ministry of Defense
What information is required in applications?
The application should be made in written form which includes the following:
- Name of administrative organ, the applicant addresses to;
- Name and address of applicant;
- Date of submission and signature;
- List of attached documents if any;
- Note from the State Register for legal entities of Private Law and individual entrepreneurs;
- The document on payment of permission fees;
What documents is the importer required to supply with the application?
The following documentation should be submitted together with the application:
- document certifying the transaction under consideration (agreement).
- Technical specifications of the products;
- positive recommendation of the Commission;
- Certificate of Origin;
- Export permit issued by the exporting country.
Window of submission of an application
How far in advance of importation must application for a licence be made?
Are there any limitations as to the period of the year during which application for licence can be made? If so, explain
There are no limitations for the period of the year during which applications for import permission may be made.
Issuing the license
Can a licence be granted immediately on request?
The permits can be granted in approximately four-five days after request if all required documents and provisions defined by the relevant normative acts are submitted and fulfilled by the applicant.
Can licences be obtained within a shorter time-limit or for goods arriving at the port without a licence
Importers should take into account that according to the relevant normative act, proceeding of granting of recommendations by the Standing Commission on Military-technical Issues of Ministry of Defense can be exceeded within the period of nine months. After obtaining the recommendation, within 12 months period, importers can apply to the Ministry of Defense for import permit, which shall be issued by Ministry of Defense within 20 days after submission of required documents. There is no defined shorter time-limit.
Which administrative body is responsible for approving application of licences?
Application for recommendation can be considered by the interagency experts group of the Standing Commission on Military-technical Issues of Ministry of Defense composed of experts from various agencies designated by the Standing Commission. Though importer approaches only one administrative body – Ministry of Defense.
Must the applications be passed on to other organs for visa, note or approval?
Are there any other conditions attached to the issue of a licence?
There are no other conditions attached to the issue of a permit.
Fees and other administrative charges
Is there any licensing fee or administrative charge?
There is a one-time mandatory fee for obtaining the permissions aiming to cover the administrative expenses. The amount for the permission fees is determined in accordance to the Law of Georgia on "Licensing and Permission Fees".
What is the amount of the fee or charge?
In case of weapons and military items import fee is 0.5% of the weapons and military equipment with the total value between 500 GEL to 10,000,000 GEL and 0.1% for the products above 10,000,000 GEL, but the maximum amount of fee must not exceed 120 000 GEL. A bill on payment of the fee should be submitted to the Ministry of Defense along with other documents while applying for the permit.
Is there any deposit or advance payment required associated with the issue of licences?
There is no deposit or advance payment associated with the issue of recommendation of Military-technical Issues Commission of Ministry of Defense. But for the obtaining of import permission of Ministry of Defense on the basis of abovementioned recommendation, together with other required documents importer shall submit the bill of payment, stipulated by the Law of Georgia on "Licenses and permissions fees".
Amount or rate?
Is it refundable?
What is the period of retention?
What is the purpose of this requirement?
Refusal of an application
Under what circumstances may an application for a licence be refused other than failure to meet the ordinary criteria?
Standing Commission of Military-technical Issues of Ministry of Defense is authorized to terminate the proceeding of application or deny to grant it:
- on Request of applicant;
- if the applicant is an ineligible to conduct this activity;
- if the applicant cannot submit all the documents that are prescribed by the relevant normative act and/or requested by the Military-technical Commission.
The Ministry of Defense can deny to grant import permission or terminate a granted permission:
- in cases stipulated by the Georgian "Law on Licenses and Permits", or
- in cases stipulated by Governmental ordinance No. 372 on "Determination of Control measures for Military and Dual Use Items";
- in consideration of national security interests of Georgia.
Are the reasons for any refusal given to applicants?
Have applicants a right of appeal in the event of refusal to issue a licence?
The applicant has the right to appeal for refusal in the upper administrative organ or the court.
If so, to what bodies and under what procedures?
Are there any limitations as to the period of year during which importation may be made?
What documents are required upon actual importation?
Import permit of Ministry of Defense is the main document on the basis of which the actual import can be conducted. Other documents that should be submitted are the prerogative of Customs department of Revenue Service of Ministry of Finance according to the relevant normative act.
Are there any other administrative procedures, apart from import licensing and similar administrative procedures, required prior to importation?
There are no other administrative procedures for obtaining a permit.
Conditions of licensing
What is the period of validity of a licence? Can the validity be extended? How?
Permits are valid during the validity period as indicated. If no validity period is indicated, than the validity is 12 months since its issuance. The validity of a permit cannot be extended. Importer shall obtain the new one.
Is there any penalty for the non-utilization of a licence or a portion of a licence?
There are no penalties for the non-use of permission.
Are licences transferable between importers? If so, are any limitations or conditions attached to such transfer?
Permits are not transferable between importers.
Is foreign exchange automatically provided by the banking authorities for goods to be imported?
The imported commodities are automatically provided with foreign exchange by banking authorities.
Is a licence required as a condition to obtaining foreign exchange?
The permit is not required as a condition of obtaining foreign exchange.
Is foreign exchange always available to cover licences issued?
Foreign exchange is always available to cover a permit.
What formalities must be fulfilled for obtaining the foreign exchange?
There are no formalities for obtaining foreign exchange.
The following questions are only for products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports (whether applicable globally or to a limited number of countries or whether established bilaterally or unilaterally)
Where is information on allocation and formalities for licences published? Is the overall amount published? The amount allocated to goods from each country? The maximum amount allocated to each importer? How to request any exceptions or derogations from the licensing requirement?
Licensing authority provides availability of public information on issued licenses (permits) for interested bodies.
Is the size of the quota determined: on yearly, six-monthly or quarterly basis? Are there cases where the size of quota is determined on a yearly basis but licences are issued for imports on a six-monthly or quarterly basis? In the latter case, is it necessary for importers to apply for a fresh licence on a six-monthly or quarterly basis?
The size of quotas on weapons and military products may be determined by the Standing Commission of Military-technical Issues of Ministry of Defense of Georgia, which is authorized to issue the recommendations on import of weapons and military products. Granting recommendations is the first step and compulsory for issuing than the import permits on weapons and military products by the Ministry of Defense of Georgia.
Are licences allocated for certain goods partly or only to domestic producers of like goods? What steps are taken to ensure that licences allocated are actually used for imports? Are unused allocations added to quotas for a succeeding period? Are names of importers to whom licences have been allocated made known to governments and export promotion bodies of exporting countries upon request? If not, for what reason? (Indicate products to which replies relate)
Import permit shall be granted by the Ministry of Defense only to legal entities registered in Georgia that are possessed the license of activity on trade of weapon and military products.
From the time of announcing the opening of quotas, as indicated in I above, what is the period of time allowed for the submission of applications for licences?
Georgian legislation regulating control of weapon and military items does not define any quotas for permits. Importers possessing appropriate activity license can apply to the Ministry of Defense whenever they need to obtain the import permit.
What are the minimum and maximum lengths of time for processing applications?
The time of processing applications and granting the recommendation on import of weapons and military products shall be defined by the Standing Commission of Military-Technical Issues of Ministry of Defense of Georgia but it could not exceed 9 months. Import permit that should be issued on the basis of recommendation is made within 20 days after receiving application if all the required documents are submitted.
How much time remains, at a minimum, between the granting of licences and the date of opening of the period of importation?
Importers are able to import products as soon as they receive the permission. The validity of recommendation is 12 months. Permits are valid during the validity period as indicated. If no validity period is indicated, than the validity is 12 months since its issuance.
Is consideration of licence applications effected by a single administrative organ? Or must the application be passed on to other organs for visa, note or approval? If so, which? Does the importer have to approach more than one administrative organ?
For obtaining the import permission for weapons and military products, importer approaches only one administrative body - Ministry of Defence.
If the demand for licences cannot be fully satisfied, on what basis is the allocation to applicants made? First come, first served? Past performance? Is there a maximum amount to be allocated per applicant and if so, on what basis is it determined? What provision is made for new importers? Are applications examined simultaneously or on receipt?
New importers first should obtain the activity license on trade of weapons or military items. Applications are examined on receipt.
In the case of bilateral quotas or export restraint arrangements where export permits are issued by exporting countries, are import licences also required? If so, are licences issued automatically?
The import permission of weapon and military products is required in any case.
In cases where imports are allocated on the basis of export permits only, how is the importing country informed of the effect given by the exporting countries to the understanding between the two countries?
Military-technical issues department of the Ministry of Defence (provides the organizational-technical support to Military-technical Issues Commission and drafting the activity licenses and permits on import, export and transit of weapon and military products) has very close cooperation with relevant authorities of EU member states and countries in region. It gives the opportunity for direct contact with representatives of such authorities in case of any questions regarding their exports to Georgia.
Are there products for which licences are issued on condition that goods should be exported and not sold in the domestic market?
No permit is issued on condition that goods should be exported and not sold or used in the domestic market.