Dual Use Goods

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Wassenaar Arrangements

Genesis of the Wassenaar Arrangement

In light of the end of the Cold War, members of the former COCOM 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 the 16 th of 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”.

In July 1996, thirty-four other countries gave final approval to the establishment of a new multilateral export control arrangement called the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies (Wassenaar Arrangement or WA). The Wassenaar Arrangement contributes 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 destabilizing accumulations of such items. Participating states committed to exchange information on exports of dual use goods and technologies to non-participating states for the purposes of enhancing transparency and assisting in developing a common understanding of the risks associated with the transfers of these items.

Best Practices

Guidelines & Procedures, including the Initial Elements as amended and updated in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2011

The following documents are available at the WA site:

  • Initial Elements
  • Elements for Objective Analysis and Advice concerning Potentially Destabilising Accumulations of Conventional Weapons
  • Best Practice Guidelines for Exports of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW)
  • Elements for Export Controls of Man-Portable Air Defence Systems (MANPADS)
  • Elements for Effective Legislation on Arms Brokering
  • Statement of Understanding on Control of Non-Listed Dual-Use Items
  • Best Practices for Implementing Intangible Transfer of Technology Controls
  • Best Practices to Prevent Destabilising Transfers of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) through Air Transport
  • Best Practice Guidelines on Internal Compliance Programmes for Dual-Use Goods and Technologies
  • Best Practice Guidelines on Subsequent Transfer (Re-Export) Controls for Conventional Weapons Systems contained in Appendix 3 to the WA Initial Elements
  • Elements for Controlling Transportatioin of Conventional Arms between Third Countries

Link to aforementioned Guidelines & Procedures

Best Practices 2011

December 21, 2011 – Best Practices Guidelines on Internal Compliance Programmes for Dual-Use Goods and Technologies states that WA Participating states should consider:

  • providing exporters with opportunities to consult on the form and content of their export ICPs;
  • encouraging exporters to to submit their draft ICPs for examination and comment;
  • implementing measures and stimuli that would encourage exporters to introduce ICPs (e.g., taking the development and implementation of an ICP into account when considering applications for licenses and revoking existing licenses, or making an ICP a condition for the granting of a general license for an exporter.);
  • taking steps to assess an exporter’s compliance with domestic export control laws and regulations, as appropriate, which may involve face-to-face consultations and/or inspection visits.

The document also contains a number of basic and additional elements that may be included in an export ECP, depending on the organizations’ structure, size and other circumstances. The WA’s Best Practices Guidelines state that the basic elements of an export internal compliance program for dual-use items include:

  1. Commitment to Compliance
  2. Structure and Responsibility
  3. Export Screening Procedures
  4. Shipment Control
  5. Performance Review
  6. Training
  7. Record Keeping
  8. Reporting and Corrective Action

Making an ICP

The Nunn-Wolfowitz’s Task Force Report on Export Compliance Programs serves as an useful resource with respect to best practices in export compliance programs.

CEEC Introduction

The Coalition for Excellence in Export Compliance (CEEC), a voluntary group of experienced export compliance professionals from various companies, research organizations, law firms, and consulting firms, offers for your consideration these Best Practices standards for export compliance programs.

Best Practices from CEEC:

  • Classification
  • Intangible Exports
  • License (Authorization) Use
  • License (Authorization) Determinations
  • Management Commitment
  • Personnel
  • Screening
  • Training

Participating States

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, 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.

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 decision to transfer or deny 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. Therefore, for specifics on Export Controls in Participating States contact the National Authorities in that country.

  • Category 0 Nuclear materials, Facilities & Equipments
  • Category 1 Advanced Materials
  • 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
  • Sensitive List
  • Very Sensitive List
  • Munitions List

For more information follow the links Wassenaar Arrangements & Participating States


On 23 December 2006, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1737 (2006) (UNSCR 1737 (2006)) deciding that Iran should without further delay suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, as well as work on all heavy water-related projects, and take certain steps required by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors, which the United Nations Security Council deems essential to build confidence in the exclusively peaceful purpose of Iran’s nuclear programme. In order to persuade Iran to comply with this mandatory decision, the United Nations Security Council decided that all Member States of the United Nations should apply a number of restrictive measures. In line with UNSCR 1737 (2006), Common Position 2007/140/CFSP provides for certain restrictive measures against Iran. These measures include restrictions on exports and imports of goods and technology which could contribute to Iran’s enrichment-related, reprocessing, or heavy water-related activities, or to the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems, a ban on the provision of related services, a ban on investment related to such goods and technology, a ban on procurement of relevant goods and technology from Iran, as well as the freezing of funds and economic resources of persons, entities and bodies engaged in, directly associated with or providing support for such activities or development. UNSCR 1737(2006)


COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 428/2009 of 5 May 2009 setting up a Community regime for the control of exports, transfer, brokering and transit of dual-use items EU 428/2009

Under the EU regime, controlled items may not leave the EU customs territory without an export authorization. Additional restrictions are also in place concerning the provision of brokering services with regard to dual-use items and concerning the transit of such items through the EU. There are four types of export authorisations:

  • Community General Export Authorisations (CGEA) – cover exports of most controlled items to USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Norway. There is a proposal to create new CGEAs to simplify the current system with regard to exports of certain items to low-risk destinations.
  • National general export authorisations (NGAs) – may be issued by individual EU countries, provided that they:
    • do not conflict with existing CGEAs
    • do not cover any of the items listed in part 2 of Annex II to Regulation 428/200
    • France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, and the UK currently have these authorisations. NGAs are published in the official journal of the issuing country.
  • Global authorisations – are granted by individual EU countries to one exporter and cover one or more items to one or more countries/end users
  • Individual licenses – are granted by individual EU countries to one exporter and cover exports to one end user.

More information on:

COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 423/2007 of 19 April 2007 concerning restrictive measures against Iran EU 423/2007

Council Regulation (EC) No 1334/2000 of 22 June 2000 setting up a Community regime for the control of exports of dual-use items and technology(1) OJ L 159, 30.6.2000, has been significantly amended on several occasions. Since further amendments are to be made, it should be recast in the interests of clarity. Dual-use items (including software and technology) should be subject to effective control when they are exported from the European Community. An effective common system of export controls on dual-use items is necessary to ensure that the international commitments and responsibilities of the Member States, especially regarding non-proliferation, and of the European Union (EU), are complied with. EU 1334/2000

EU Sanctions Overview


August 24, 2011 – GKV – Dual-Use-Güter – strengere Ahndung von Verstössen – Verordnung über die Aus-, Ein- und Durchfuhr zivil und militärisch verwendbarer Güter sowie besonderer militärischer Güter.

Bern, 24.08.2011 – Der Bundesrat hat am 24. August 2011 entschieden, die Verordnung über die Aus-, Ein- und Durchfuhr von zivil und militärisch verwendbarer Güter sowie besonderer militärischer Güter zu verschärfen. So wird die Verletzung der Meldepflicht oder eines Ausfuhrverbots von Gütern, die nicht von internationalen Exportkontrollmassnahmen erfasst sind aber trotzdem für ein Massenvernichtungsprogramm bestimmt sein könnten, strenger geahndet. Neu wird ein Verstoss gegen die Güterkontrollverordnung mit einer Busse bis zu 100’000 Franken bestraft. Die neuen Bestimmungen treten am 15. September 2011 in Kraft.

Die Schweiz ist Mitglied in allen relevanten internationalen Exportkontrollregimen, die zur Verhinderung der Weiterverbreitung von Massenvernichtungswaffen (ABC-Waffen und deren Trägersysteme) umfangreiche Listen von zu kontrollierenden Gütern erstellt haben. Die Listen beinhalten auch doppelt verwendbare Güter (Dual-Use-Güter), die sowohl für zivile wie auch militärische Zwecke verwendet werden können. Die Schweiz hat die Güterlisten in ihre Gesetzgebung übernommen und die Ausfuhr von doppelt verwendbaren Gütern sowie von besonderen militärischen Gütern wird im Güterkontrollgesetz (GKG) und in der Güterkontrollverordnung (GKV) geregelt.

In den vergangenen Jahren hat sich in allen Mitgliedstaaten der verschiedenen Exportkontrollregime gezeigt, dass der Proliferation verdächtigte Staaten zunehmend versuchen, die Exportkontrollen zu umgehen. Sie beschaffen sich zum Beispiel Güter, die von den internationalen Kontrollen knapp nicht mehr erfasst werden. In der Schweiz war bis anhin die Ausfuhr von nicht bewilligungspflichtigen Gütern gestützt auf Art. 4 GKV untersagt, wenn ein Zusammenhang mit einem Massenvernichtungswaffenprogramm erwiesen oder vermutet wird. Allerdings konnte nach der bisherigen Regelung ein Verstoss dagegen nur als Ordnungswidrigkeit mit maximal 5’000 Franken gebüsst werden. Mit der vom Bundesrat beschlossenen Anpassung der GKV kann nun eine Busse bis 100’000 Franken ausgesprochen werden. Die Verordnungsänderung tritt am 15. September 2011 in Kraft.

SECO Verordnung über die Aus-, Ein- und Durchfuhr zivil und militärisch verwendbarer Güter sowie besonderer militärischer Güter & Nachricht

November 21, 2001 – Verordnung über die Aus-, Ein- und Durchfuhr zivil und militärisch verwendbarer Güter sowie besonderer militärischer Güter (Güterkontrollverordnung, GKV) Änderung vom 21. November 2001

SECO Güterkontrollverordnung Änderung vom 21 November 2001

August 25, 1999 – Verordnung über die Aus-, Ein- und Durchfuhr zivil und militärisch verwendbarer Güter sowie besonderer militärischer Güter (Güterkontrollverordnung, GKV) Änderung vom 25. August 1999

SECO Güterkontrollverordnung Änderung vom 25 August 1999

June 25, 1997 – Verordnung über die Aus-, Ein- und Durchfuhr zivil und militärisch verwendbarer Güter sowie besonderer militärischer Güter (Güterkontrollverordnung, GKV) vom 25. Juni 1997 (Stand am 1. Januar 2010)


  • Diese Verordnung regelt die Ausfuhr, Einfuhr und Durchfuhr zivil und militärisch verwendbarer Güter und besonderer militärischer Güter, die Gegenstand völkerrechtlich nicht verbindlicher internationaler Kontrollmassnahmen sind.
  • Die zivil und militärisch verwendbaren Güter der Industrieliste der Vereinbarung von Wassenaar (WA), des Raketentechnologie-Kontrollregimes (MTCR), der Dualuse- Güterliste der Gruppe der Nuklearlieferländer (NSG) und der Australiengruppe (AG) sind in Anhang 2 aufgeführt.
  • Die besonderen militärischen Güter der Munitionsliste der Vereinbarung von Wassenaar sind in Anhang 3 aufgeführt.
  • Die Verordnung gilt für das schweizerische Zollgebiet, die schweizerischen offenen Zolllager, Lager für Massengüter und Zollfreilager sowie die schweizerischen Zollausschlussgebiete

SECO Güterkontrollverordnung vom 25 June 1997



May 20, 2011 – Wassenaar Arrangement 2010 Plenary Agreements Implementation: Commerce Control List, Definitions, Reports

Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 98 / Friday, May 20, 2011 / Rules and Regulations Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 98

The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) maintains, as part of the agency’s Export Administration Regulations (EAR), the Commerce Control List (CCL), which identifies items subject to Department of Commerce export controls. This final rule revises the CCL to implement changes made to the Wassenaar Arrangement’s List of Dual-Use Goods and Technologies (Wassenaar List) maintained and agreed to by governments participating in the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies (Wassenaar Arrangement, or WA) at the December 2010 WA Plenary Meeting (the Plenary). The Wassenaar Arrangement advocates implementation of effective export controls on strategic items with the objective of improving regional and international security and stability. To harmonize the CCL with the changes made to the Wassenaar List at the Plenary, this rule amends entries on the CCL that are controlled for national security reasons in Categories 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Parts I & II, 6, 7, 8, and 9, revises reporting requirements, and adds and amends definitions in the EAR. Publication of Rule

BIS – Export Management and Compliance Program (EMCP) The requirements described in the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) may seem overwhelming without a system to capture analysis, decisions, accountability and implementing procedures. An EMCP takes individual decisions and pieces of information and builds them into an organized, integrated system. It is a program which can be established to manage export-related decisions and transactions to ensure compliance with the EAR and license conditions.

An EMCP can:

  • Reinforce senior management commitment to comply with U.S. export laws and regulations to all parties within the company.
  • Provide management structure and organization for the processing of export transactions.
  • Enhance accountability for export control tasks by identifying who is responsible for performing each part of the process and who is responsible for overall effectiveness of the EMCP.
  • Provide compliance safeguards throughout a company’s supply chain to ensure order processing due diligence checks produce consistent export decisions.
  • Provide written instructions for employees to blend into their daily responsibilities to “screen” export transactions against general prohibitions of exports, re-exports and selected transfers to certain end-uses and end-users.
  • Serve as a vehicle to communicate red flag indicators that raise questions about the legitimacy of a customer or transaction.
  • Provide personnel with tools to help them ensure they are performing their export control functions accurately and consistently.
  • Identify transactions that could normally be exported without a license, but because of the end-use or end-user, require a license.
  • Streamline the process and reduce time spent on compliance activities when employees have written instructions, tools and on-going training.
  • Protect employees through training and awareness programs from inadvertently violating the EAR.

More EMCP information

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