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Armament : Morocco publishes legal framework for its military industry

Morocco aims to have a local military industry. It thus intends to demand from its weapon suppliers an «industrial compensation». The legal framework to promote this strategic activity has just been finalized and published in the Kingdom’s Official Bulletin.

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The Council of Ministers, chaired on July 7 by King Mohammed VI, approved a bill on defense and security materials and equipment, arms and ammunition. After it was approved by the two chambers of the Parliament in record time and unanimously, Law 10.20 has just been published on the Official Bulletin on August 4.

The text indeed introduces a legal framework with a series of measures and sanctions regarding «the activities of manufacture, trade, import, export, transport and transit of these materials and equipment, through the creation of an authorization system for the practice of these activities and a device for traceability and document control by immediately verifying the holders of authorizations in this area», indicated the spokesperson for the Royal Palace in a statement.

Law 10.20 aims to promote the conditions for the creation of a Moroccan military industry. To this end, a «National Commission for material, defense and security equipment, arms and ammunition» is created. It is responsible for issuing and withdrawing authorizations for armament companies. The body will be supported by a «Control Committee». An organic law will relate primarily to the compositions of the two committees and their prerogatives, specifies article 32 of the law.

What is the nature of the weapons that can be manufactured in Morocco ?

Article 1 of the text refers to the nature of weapons authorized to be manufactured in the Kingdom. The legislator has classified them into three categories. The first entitled «defense material, equipment, arms and ammunition» includes in particular «war material and all defense ammunition, computer programs, detection, surveillance and communication radars devoted exclusively to land and sea military operations or air and space».

The second category entitled «security materials, equipment, weapons and ammunition» covers «weapons and ammunition, its components, sections and parts, any computer program and equipment for vision, surveillance, communication, transport or protection which may serve to preserve general security and order or for military use».

The third category dedicated to «weapons and ammunition reserved for various uses» particularly includes «hunting and sport hunting weapons».

All national armament production in the three categories is sold in Morocco exclusively to «services responsible for national defense», «to services responsible for the preservation of national security and order» for categories 1 and 2 and to «duly authorized arms dealers» for the 3rd category of weapons, cited in article 1.

In addition, Law 10.20 devoted an entire chapter to punishing offenders. They vary from 10 to 20 years in prison and a fine between 2.5 and 5 million dirhams for any producer or exporter of arms without authorization, as stated in article 37 of the same law.

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