Wassenaar Arrangement

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Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement has been established in order to contribute to regional and international security and stability, by promoting transparency and greater responsibility in transfers of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies. The aim is also to prevent the acquisition of these items by terrorists.

The Wassenaar Arrangement tries to use export controls as a means to combat terrorism. The Wassenaar Arrangement follows “Guidelines and Procedures, including the Initial Elements”. The “Initial Elements” were originally established in 1996 and set out the purposes and scope of the Arrangement.

The Participating States of the Wassenaar Arrangement are:

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

The Wassenaar Arrangement has been established in order to contribute to regional and international security and stability, by promoting transparency and greater responsibility in transfers of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies, thus preventing destabilising accumulations. Participating States seek, through their national policies, to ensure that transfers of these items do not contribute to the development or enhancement of military capabilities which undermine these goals, and are not diverted to support such capabilities. The aim is also to prevent the acquisition of these items by terrorists.

Participating States control all items set forth in the List of Dual-Use Goods and Technologies and Munitions List, with the objective of preventing unauthorized transfers or re-transfers of those items.

In fulfilling the purposes of the Arrangement as described above, Participating States have, inter alia, agreed to a number of guidelines, elements and procedures as a basis for decision-making through the application of their own national legislation and policies.

The decision to transfer or deny the transfer of any item is the sole responsibility of each Participating State. All measures with respect to the Arrangement are taken in accordance with national legislation and policies and are implemented on the basis of national discretion. For specifics on Export Controls in Participating States, contact the National Authorities in each country.

Representatives of Participating States meet regularly in Vienna where the Wassenaar Arrangement has established its headquarters and a small Secretariat.

The Wassenaar Arrangement Plenary is the decision-making body of the Arrangement. It is composed of representatives of all Participating States and normally meets once a year, usually in December. The position of Plenary Chair is subject to annual rotation among Participating States.

History

In light of the end of the Cold War, members of the former COCOM1 export control regime recognised that COCOM’s East-West focus was no longer the appropriate basis for export controls. There was a need to establish a new arrangement to deal with risks to regional and international security and stability related to the spread of conventional weapons and dual-use goods and technologies. Accordingly, on 16 November 1993, in The Hague, at a High Level Meeting (HLM), representatives of the 17 COCOM member states agreed to terminate COCOM, and establish a new multilateral arrangement, temporarily known as the “New Forum”.

This decision was confirmed at a further HLM in Wassenaar, Netherlands on 29-30 March 1994. COCOM ceased to exist on 31 March, 1994. Participating states also agreed to continue the use of the COCOM control lists as a basis for global export controls on a national level until the new arrangement could be established. At this time the former COCOM cooperating countries, namely, Austria, Finland, Ireland, New Zealand, Sweden and Switzerland, were included as participating states in the “New Forum”. With the objective of starting a new arrangement as soon as possible, three Working Groups were established. Working Group 1 was mandated to develop goals, rules and procedures for the new arrangement. Working Group 2 was tasked with developing the lists of goods and technologies that would be controlled, while the third Working Group was tasked to deal with administrative matters.

The Russian Federation, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and the Slovak Republic were welcomed as participating states at the HLM held on 11-12 September 1995 in Wassenaar. With this major milestone accomplished, the Working Groups were urged to expedite their work.

Agreement to establish the “Wassenaar Arrangement” was reached at the HLM held on 19 December 1995, again in Wassenaar, and this was announced with a declaration issued at the Peace Palace in The Hague. At this time there was also agreement to locate the Secretariat in Vienna and establish a Preparatory Committee of the Whole to prepare for the first plenary meeting.

The inaugural Plenary Meeting of the Wassenaar Arrangement was held 2-3 April 1996 in Vienna, Austria. Argentina, the Republic of Korea and Romania were welcomed as additional founding members. Consensus could not be reached on all issues, so the meeting was suspended to provide time to resolve the outstanding issues.

On 11-12 July 1996, the Plenary Meeting resumed, with Bulgaria and Ukraine participating, to make a total of 33 founding members. Final consensus on the “Initial Elements”, the basic document of the WA, was reached and it was established that the new Control Lists and Information Exchange would be implemented from 1 November 1996. The first Plenary Meeting of the now operational Wassenaar Arrangement was held on 12-13 December 1996 in Vienna.

List of Dual-Use Goods and Technologies and Munitions List: Selection Criteria

Criteria for the selection of Dual-Use goods, including Sensitive and Very Sensitive items:

Criteria for the selection of Dual-Use items

Dual-use goods and technologies to be controlled are those which are major or key elements
for the indigenous development, production, use (Use means operation, installation (including on-site installation), maintenance (checking), repair, overhaul and refurbishing)
or enhancement of military capabilities (Controlled by the Munitions List).

For selection purposes the dual-use items should also be evaluated against the following criteria:

  • Foreign availability outside Participating States.
  • The ability to control effectively the export of the goods.
  • The ability to make a clear and objective specification of the item.
  • Controlled by another regime (An item which is controlled by another regime should not normally qualify to be controlled by the Wassenaar Arrangement unless additional coverage proves to be necessary according to the purposes of the Wassenaar Arrangement, or when concerns and objectives are not identical).

This criteria was agreed in 1994 and amended at the 2005 Plenary. The initial version of the Criteria for the Selection of Dual-Use Items was approved in 1994 at the High Level Meeting
in the course of the “New Forum” negotiations (see document “Genesis of the Wassenaar Arrangement”.

Criteria for the selection of Dual-Use goods and Technologies for the Sensitive List

Note: These criteria should not be construed as preventing Participating States from
considering, in special circumstances, that controlled items warrant transparency for
reasons associated with the objectives of the Wassenaar Arrangement.

(Agreed in 1998 and amended at the 2000 and 2004 Plenaries)

Those items from the Dual-use List which are key elements directly related to the indigenous
development, production, use or enhancement of advanced conventional military capabilities
whose proliferation would significantly undermine the objectives of the Wassenaar
Arrangement.

N.B.:
1. General commercially applied materials or components should not be included.
2. As appropriate, the relevant threshold parameters should be developed on a caseby-case
basis.

Criteria for the selection of Dual-Use goods and Techhnologies for the Very Sensitive List

Note: These criteria should not be construed as preventing Participating States from
considering, in special circumstances, that controlled items warrant extreme vigilance for
reasons associated with the objectives of the Wassenaar Arrangement.

(Agreed in 2000 and amended at the 2004 Plenary)

Those items from the Sensitive List which are key elements essential for the indigenous
development, production, use or enhancement of the most advanced conventional military
capabilities whose proliferation would significantly undermine the objectives of the
Wassenaar Arrangement.

N.B. As appropriate, the relevant threshold parameters should be developed on a case-bycase
basis.

Wassenaar Arrangement in 2011

United States views on international law (based on the document “Digest of U.S. Practice in International Law”): On May 20, 2011, the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”), issued a final rule amending the EAR to implement certain changes that governments participating in the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies agreed in 2010 to make to the Wassenaar Arrangement’s List of Dual-Use Goods and Technologies (“Wassenaar List”). 76 Fed. Reg. 29,610 (May 20, 2011) (corrected at 76 Fed. Reg. 34,577 (June 14, 2011). On June 24, 2011, BIS issued a final rule amending the EAR to implement certain changes to the Wassenaar List that were agreed on by participating governments in 2009. 76 Fed. Reg. 36,986 (June 24, 2011). For background on the Wassenaar Arrangement, see II Cumulative World Encyclopedia of Law 1991–99 at 2265–66.

Wassenaar Arrangement

In relation to the international law practice and Wassenaar Arrangement in this world legal Encyclopedia, please see the following section:

Sanctions, Export Controls, International Restrictions

About this subject:

Export Controls

Under this topic, in the Encyclopedia, find out information on Nonproliferation-related Changes. Note: there is detailed information and resources, in relation with these topics during the year 2011, covered by the entry, in this law Encyclopedia, about Wassenaar Arrangement

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See Also

  • Sanctions
  • Export Controls
  • International Restrictions
  • Export Controls
  • Nonproliferation

Hierarchical Display of Wassenaar arrangement

International Organisations > World organisations > World organisation
Production, Technology And Research > Technology and technical regulations > Technology > New technology
Trade > Trade policy > Export policy > Export monitoring
Production, Technology And Research > Technology and technical regulations > Technology > Dual-use technology
Production, Technology And Research > Technology and technical regulations > Technology > Dual-use technology > Dual-use good
International Relations > Defence > Military equipment > Conventional weapon
International Relations > International affairs > International affairs > East-West relations

Wassenaar arrangement

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Thesaurus of Wassenaar arrangement

International Organisations > World organisations > World organisation > Wassenaar arrangement
Production, Technology And Research > Technology and technical regulations > Technology > New technology > Wassenaar arrangement
Trade > Trade policy > Export policy > Export monitoring > Wassenaar arrangement
Production, Technology And Research > Technology and technical regulations > Technology > Dual-use technology > Wassenaar arrangement
Production, Technology And Research > Technology and technical regulations > Technology > Dual-use technology > Dual-use good > Wassenaar arrangement
International Relations > Defence > Military equipment > Conventional weapon > Wassenaar arrangement
International Relations > International affairs > International affairs > East-West relations > Wassenaar arrangement

See also

  • COCOM
  • Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls
  • Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies

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