On February 7, Taiwan announced the inclusion of 77 additional machine tools on its list of restricted exports to Russia and Belarus. This measure, set to take effect on March 8, aims to prevent the utilization of Taiwan’s advanced technology in the conflict in Ukraine by the Russian military. The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) revealed this decision in a statement.
In 2023, the Taiwanese government had already imposed export controls on certain high-end machine tools bound for Russia and Belarus. The recent expansion of export restrictions is aligned with the heightened sanctions imposed by the European Union, the United States, and Japan. An official from the MOEA’s International Trade Administration provided this information.
The newly added items on the export controls list encompass sophisticated machinery such as CNC machine tools, machining centers, lathes and turning machines, milling machines, and grinding machines.
Last year, Taiwan exported these 77 items to Russia, amounting to US$45 million, representing 1.47 percent of the country’s total exports to Russia, as stated by the official.
In light of the global concerns surrounding weapon proliferation risks, the MOEA emphasized that if Taiwan’s machine tools were identified in the production of military weapons in Russia, it could negatively impact the willingness of German and Japanese key component manufacturers to sell their products to Taiwan. This, in turn, could disrupt the upstream and downstream supply chain in the machine tool industry, the official warned.
The ministry has also urged Taiwanese manufacturers exporting to countries with a perceived high risk of reshipping, such as Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, to commit to not redirecting shipments to Russia and Belarus.
Simultaneously, the Taiwan Machine Tool and Accessory Builder’s Association expressed concerns that the expanded sanctions may affect the entire industry. They hope for government assistance to help businesses in the sector upgrade and transform their techniques and technology. Additionally, the association wishes for the government to pursue free trade agreements with trade partners and join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) to provide Taiwanese businesses with preferential tariffs and support their international expansion.