Dutch restrictions on the export of technology for the manufacture of electronic chips, decided in March under pressure from the United States and criticized by China, will begin in September, the government announced on Friday June 30.
Companies exporting advanced production equipment for semiconductors will need to obtain a license before exporting, the executive said in a statement. “Semiconductors can make a crucial contribution to some advanced military applications”he justified.
“We have taken this step in the interest of our national security”said Dutch Foreign Trade Minister Liesje Schreinemacher, quoted in the statement. THE “Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment Regulations” will come into force on 1er September 2023. The Minister expects twenty permit applications on an annual basis. These components can “be used for the development of systems [d’armes] high quality military and weapons of mass destruction »recalls the text.
The Netherlands is the European leader in machines for the manufacture of chips, these electronic components essential to the operation of smartphones, connected cars, but also military equipment. The export restrictions are expected to affect the Dutch group ASML, Europe’s largest manufacturer of machines that produce semiconductors.
The Dutch government had indicated in March that the measures would concern machines called DUV (Deep Ultraviolet), or deep ultraviolet lithography, a technology used in the printing of miniature circuits on microprocessors in which ASML is a specialist.
The Netherlands was under pressure from the United States to adopt restrictions similar to those decreed in 2022 by the American government. China in March sharply criticized the Dutch decision to impose new restrictions on its semiconductor exports, a result, according to it, of the “harassment and hegemony” of the West.
ASML also manufactures EUV (Extreme Ultraviolet) machines which make it possible to manufacture even more sophisticated electronic chips. These machines are already listed in a multilateral agreement signed by some forty countries, including the United States and the Netherlands, governing the control of exports of dual-use civilian and military technologies.
Despite the new export restrictions, the group expects strong growth for the year as a whole.