BRUSSELS — The European Defence Agency (EDA) on June 14 launched e-Quip, an online government-to-government surplus equipment information exchange tool. Through e-Quip, national governments from 13 of the EDA’s participating member states are able to post information about equipment they are buying or selling.
The tool is open for the other 13 EDA member states to join, as well as countries with an administrative agreement with the EDA.
For now, the marketplace is dominated by bilateral point-to-point contacts between governments.
“This is an unclear marketplace in terms of who is selling and who wants to buy,” said EDA e-Quip project manager Daniel Klein. “It is cost free and brings together buyers and sellers,” said Klein, who stressed that “you can’t order anything on e-Quip.”
The equipment could be land, air, space or naval equipment and may cover areas such as logistics and maintenance, too. Examples are helicopters, combat aircraft, small arms, assault rifles and ammunition.
Users can run detailed searches and find information about the unit price of the item (or it may say “to be negotiated”), the number of items available, a description and pictures of the item. They can then send a message to the government that is selling the equipment either publicly or anonymously. National procedures then kick in as regards the buying process.
“We’re open to looking at the [searchable] categories. The tool can be adapted to member states’ needs,” said Klein. The portal is protected with encryption and security codes.
“I am sure that e-Quip will be a helpful tool for both pooling and sharing and for a better functioning market. We welcome and support EDA’s initiative and will certainly make use of e-Quip from a national perspective,” said Ulf Hammarström, director general of Sweden’s Defence and Security Export Agency.
“With national armed forces across Europe undergoing changes, a surplus of in-service or new military equipment is expected. This trend might increase as European nations gradually withdraw from operations around the globe over the coming years. In the current financial climate, European nations need to make best use of military surplus equipment,” said an EDA press release.
In a separate but related development, the EDA will open a new section on its website on June 28, which will be dedicated to procurement for the defense community. The new section will serve as a one-shop gateway for users looking for procurement-related information (at EU, EDA and national level) and business opportunities. Besides access to a wide variety of information, industry will be able to register in the new and unique European Defence Directory, a Yellow Page-like section of the gateway.
To appear in the directory, European companies need to send in a completed “Yellow page registration request form” to yellowpage.gateway(a)eda.europa.eu.