WASHINGTON -- The Department of Commerce's Bureau of Export Administration (BXA) today published proposed regulations outlining requirements for U.S. industry compliance with the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction, known as the Chemical Weapons Convention, or CWC. The CWC is a disarmament and nonproliferation treaty currently ratified by over 120 countries. The text of the regulation is available at the CWC Web site.
The regulations, which will be open to public comment for 30 days, will implement U.S. obligations under the Convention to monitor activities of U.S. facilities which produce, process, consume and trade in certain toxic chemicals covered by the treaty. The Convention permits activities involving toxic chemicals for industrial, agricultural, research, medical, pharmaceutical, and other peaceful purposes. Under the proposed regulations, U.S. facilities will submit written declarations to BXA about their activities. These declarations will be forwarded to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the international organization established under the Convention.
Certain facilities required to submit declarations will also be subject to periodic on-site inspection by OPCW officials. BXA representatives will accompany the OPCW officials on inspections of U.S. facilities subject to the proposed regulations. The purpose of the inspections is to affirm that U.S. companies are not involved in chemical weapons activities.
The United States ratified the Convention on April 25, 1997 and enacted implementing legislation on October 21, 1998. In addition to its new responsibilities to implement the CWC, the Department of Commerce, though its Bureau of Export Administration, administers and enforces export controls for reasons of national security, foreign policy, nonproliferation and short supply.
In April of 2002 the Bureau of Export Administration (BXA) changed its name to the Bureau of Industry and Security(BIS). For historical purposes we have not changed the references to BXA in the legacy documents found in the Archived Press and Public Information.