Center for Non-proliferation and Export Control
  International Regimes
 

Export Controls

International Regimes

  • Wassenaar Arrangement (WA)
  • Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)
  • Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)
  • Australia Group (AG)

The New Zealand Government does not implement export controls in isolation. New Zealand participates in four informal non-proliferation arrangements which seek to encourage responsible practice in the trade of strategic goods. The four arrangements are the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies, the Australia Group on chemical and biological weapons materials, the Nuclear Suppliers' Group, and the Missile Technology Control Regime. These arrangements seek to control the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their missile delivery systems and the transfer of conventional weapons and dual-use technologies with destabilising implications, through the coordination of national export control policies. This is achieved through the implementation of common export control lists by participating governments.

 

Wassenaar Arrangement (WA)

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual Use Goods and Technologies was established to promote transparency and greater responsibility in transfers of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies with military applications. Member governments seek to ensure that such transfers do not contribute to the development or enhancement of military capabilities which undermine international and regional security and stability, and are not diverted to support such capabilities.

During the Cold War, Western governments implemented controls derived from the Coordinating Committee on Multilateral Strategic Export Controls, or COCOM. When this arrangement became obsolete due to the end of the Cold War, it was realised that there was still a need for an international organisation to coordinate national controls on transfers of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies to regions of instability, and to countries which do not observe international non-proliferation norms in relation to weapons of mass destruction or do not act responsibly in relation to transferring conventional arms. The membership of COCOM therefore initiated negotiations, involving also the former Warsaw Pact countries, to form a new organisation, the Wassenaar Arrangement.

The Wassenaar Arrangement controls consist of two lists: a munitions list; and a dual-use goods and technology list. The munitions list forms the bulk of Part 1 of the Strategic Goods List. The Wassenaar Arrangement dual-use goods and technology list is incorporated in Part 2 of the New Zealand Strategic Goods List. Dual-use items controlled by Wassenaar can be identified by the last three characters of the item numbers in Categories 1 to 9, as they are numbered 000 to 099.

As at May 2009, participating states of the Wassenaar Arrangement are as follows:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Republic of Korea
  • Romania
  • Russian Federation
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America

Exporters should be aware that participating states of the Wassenaar Arrangement are obliged to report the outcomes of certain licence applications for the export of goods under this regime, as follows:

  • participating States should notify licences denied to non-participating states of dual-use goods and technologies on an aggregate basis, where the reasons for denial are relevant to the purposes of the arrangement;
  • for items in the Sensitive List and Very Sensitive List (see end of NZSGL), participating states should notify, on an individual basis, all licences denied, pursuant to the purposes of the arrangement to non-participating states;
  • for items in the Sensitive List and Very Sensitive List (see end of NZSGL), participating states should notify, on an aggregate basis, all licences issued to non-participating states; and
  • participating states should notify deliveries to non-participating states of certain Munitions List goods on an aggregate basis. The categories of goods in this notification process are similar to those notified to the United Nations through the conventional arms register (see para. 3.5).

New Zealand also voluntarily notifies denials of export applications for munitions list items. Notifying denials signals New Zealand's view of what it considers is responsible practice in arms exports. While there is no mechanism to prevent such a notification being undercut, the issuing of a denial may be a discouragement for other participating states of the Wassenaar Arrangement.

The Wassenaar Arrangement website can be found at www.wassenaar.org [external link]

 

Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)

The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) was established in 1987 by the seven major Western suppliers of missile technology (United States, Japan, United Kingdom, West Germany, Italy, France and Canada). Its aim was to limit nuclear weapons proliferation by controlling the transfer of missile or unmanned air vehicle systems which could deliver a 500 kg warhead to a distance of 300 km, as well as equipment and technology able to contribute to the development or production of such missiles. This was intended to stop the transfer of missiles capable of delivering a nuclear warhead.

In 1992, following events in the Gulf War, the MTCR was broadened to cover missile systems capable of carrying smaller chemical and biological payloads. The parameters were then extended to cover the transfer of equipment capable of delivering a payload with zero mass to a range of at least 300 km.

Exports of missile-related goods and technology are prohibited to those end-users having missile programmes or aspirations contrary to agreed non-proliferation guidelines. MTCR export controls complement other non-proliferation controls regulating the exports of military, nuclear, chemical and biological goods.

Controls under the MTCR are not intended to hinder cooperation in civil space projects.

As at May 2009, participating states of the MTCR are as follows:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Republic of Korea
  • Russian Federation
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America

Equipment and technology relevant to the MTCR is listed in full at Parts 1 and 2 of the New Zealand Strategic Goods List.

For more information see the Missile Technology Control Regime [external link]

 

Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)

The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) was first established in 1975, and currently consists of 38 countries. The NSG covers two categories of goods: nuclear material, equipment and technology which are specific to the nuclear industry, and so-called nuclear dual-use items which have both nuclear and non-nuclear applications. Both categories of goods have the potential to make a contribution to a nuclear explosive activity or an unsafeguarded nuclear fuel-cycle activity. The NSG has formulated guidelines for managing exports of these items to ensure that this trade does not contribute to nuclear weapons proliferation.

The NSG periodically reviews its guidelines and control lists to ensure that they reflect technological advances.

As at May 2009, participating states of the NSG are as follows:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • China
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Republic of Korea
  • Romania
  • Russian Federation
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America

The EU Commission has permanent observer status.

For more information see the Nuclear Suppliers Group website [external link]

 

Australia Group (AG)

The Australia Group (AG) first met in 1985 with the aim of harmonising export control measures on chemical weapons (CW) precursor chemicals. Its scope was subsequently extended to include controls on chemical production equipment and technologies which might be misused for CW purposes. The scope of the AG activities was extended again in 1990 to include measures to prevent the proliferation of biological weapons. The lists of materials controlled by AG participating countries are reviewed regularly to ensure the risk is minimised of relevant dual-use materials being diverted to chemical or biological weapons programmes.

As at May 2009, participating states of the AG are as follows:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • European Commission
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Republic of Korea
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America

Controlled precursor chemicals, biological agents and chemical and biological and related technologies are listed in full at Parts 1 and 2 of the New Zealand Strategic Goods List.

For more information see the Australia Group website [external link]

 
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