The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies, is one of four multilateral export control regimes in which the United States participates. The Arrangement's purpose is to contribute to regional and international security and stability by promoting transparency and greater responsibility in transfers of conventional arms and dual-use (i.e. those having civil and military uses) goods and technologies to prevent destabilizing accumulations of those items. The Wassenaar Arrangement establishes lists of items for which member countries are to apply export controls. Member governments implement these controls to ensure that transfers of the controlled items do not contribute to the development or enhancement of military capabilities that undermine the goals of the Arrangement, and are not diverted to support such capabilities. In addition, the Wassenaar Arrangement imposes some reporting requirements on its member governments.
The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is a group of 40 member countries established in 1992 and focused on stemming the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
The formation of the Australia Group (AG) in 1985 was prompted by Iraq’s use of chemical weapons during the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988). Australia, concerned with Iraq’s development of chemical weapons, recommended harmonization of international export controls on chemical weapons precursor chemicals. As the AG membership grew, it expanded its focus to include chemical production equipment and technologies and measures to prevent the proliferation of biological weapons. Today the AG is composed of 34 member countries.
The United States has been a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) since the regime’s inception in 1987. The focus of the MTCR is to limit the proliferation of missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction. Initially, the MTCR consisted of only seven members. By the end of Fiscal Year 2002, the MTCR has grown to include 33 member countries that have agreed to coordinate their national export controls to stem missile proliferation.
Technical Advisory Committees (TACs) advise the Department of Commerce on the technical parameters for export controls applicable to dual-use commodities and technology and on the administration of those controls. The TACs are composed of representatives from industry and Government representing diverse points of view on the concerns of the exporting community. Industry representatives are selected from firms producing a broad range of goods, technologies, and software presently controlled for national security, foreign policy, nonproliferation, and short supply reasons or that are proposed for such controls, balanced to the extent possible among large and small firms.