- Defence Materiel Organisation
In addition to purchase and maintenance, the sale of materiel is also one of the tasks of the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO). The disposal of materiel requires the same amount of care as the purchase. The DMO’s Directorate of Projects & Procurement conducts the disposal activities.
Materiel which is no longer required by the Defence organisation is usually sold. A distinction is made between strategic goods (roughly speaking: warships, tanks and fighter jets) and non-strategic goods (clothing, cupboards, vehicles etc.). Surplus non-strategic goods are handed over to the State Property Department to be sold, generally at public auctions.
For security reasons, strategic defence materiel is not transferred to the State Property Department. The materiel is not sold to the public, but on the basis of negotiations with other governments. In view of the nature of the materiel and the required expertise, this is done in close cooperation between the State Property Department and the Defence organisation. The materiel can only be sold to countries which meet the criteria of the Arms Export Policy. An export licence is also required.
The sale begins with finding customers. The Netherlands embassies and defence attachés abroad have a part to play in this process. Then negotiations take place and contracts are signed. Every planned sales transaction is discussed in advance by the Sale of Defence Equipment Committee, in which the ministries of Finance, Foreign Affairs, Economic Affairs and Defence are represented.
The Defence organisation regularly receives requests from the public and from organisations to donate surplus goods. Although the Defence organisation certainly appreciates these initiatives, in view of the workload it is impossible to grant all these requests. Defence policy is, therefore, that donations are, in principle, only considered if either the recipient is an international humanitarian aid organisation or the donation serves the interests of the Defence organisation.