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Participating States of the Wassenaar Arrangement.

The Wassenaar Arrangement (full name: The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies) is a multilateral export control regime (MECR) with 41 participating states including many former COMECON (Warsaw Pact) countries.

It is the successor to the Cold war-era Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM), and was established on 12 July 1996, in the Dutch town of Wassenaar, near The Hague. The Wassenaar Arrangement is considerably less strict than COCOM, focusing primarily on the transparency of national export control regimes and not granting veto power to individual members over organizational decisions. A Secretariat for administering the agreement is located in Vienna, Austria. Like COCOM, however, it is not a treaty, and therefore has no legally binding aspect to it.

Every six months member countries exchange information on deliveries of conventional arms to non-Wassenaar members that fall under eight broad weapons categories: battle tanks, armored combat vehicles (ACVs), large-caliber artillery, military aircraft, military helicopters, warships, missiles or missile systems, and small arms and light weapons.

Control lists

The outline of the arrangement is set out in a document entitled "Guidelines & Procedures, including the Initial Elements."[1] The list of restricted technologies is broken into two parts, the "List of Dual-Use Goods and Technologies" (also known as the Basic List) and the "Munitions List". The Basic List is composed of ten Categories based on increasing levels of sophistication. The Categories are:

  • Category 1 – Special Materials and Related Equipment
  • Category 2 – Materials Processing
  • Category 3 – Electronics
  • Category 4 – Computers
  • Category 5 – Part 1 – Telecommunications
  • Category 5 – Part 2 – "Information Security"
  • Category 6 – Sensors and "Lasers"
  • Category 7 – Navigation and Avionics
  • Category 8 – Marine
  • Category 9 – Aerospace and Propulsion

Basic List has two nested subsections: a Sensitive List and a Very Sensitive List. Items of the Very Sensitive List include materials for stealth technology, equipment that can be used for submarine detection, advanced radar, and jet engine technologies.

The Munitions List has 22 categories, which are not labeled.

In order for an item to be placed on the lists, Member States must take into account the following criteria:


As of January 2014, the 41 participating states are:[2] 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 Arrangement is open on a global and non-discriminatory basis to prospective adherents that comply with the agreed criteria. Admission of new members requires the consensus of all members.

To be admitted, a state must: be a producer/exporter of arms or sensitive industrial equipment; maintain non-proliferation policies and appropriate national policies including: adherence to non-proliferation policies, control list and, where applicable, guidelines of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Missile Technology Control Regime and the Australia Group; and adherence to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Biological Weapons Convention, the Chemical Weapons Convention and, where applicable, START I, including the Lisbon Protocol; and maintain fully effective export controls.

Future memberships

During a state visit to India in November 2010, US president Barack Obama announced US support for India's bid for permanent membership to UN Security Council[3] as well as India's entry to Nuclear Suppliers Group, Wassenaar Arrangement, Australia Group and Missile Technology Control Regime.[4][5]

See also


External links

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