For All Defence Aspirants Multilateral Export Control Regimes

For All Defence Aspirants Multilateral Export Control Regimes

Multilateral export control regimes

The four export ,control regimes- nuclear suppliers group(NSG),missile technology control regime (MTCR), Australia group (AG) and wassenaar arrangement (WA) constitute the multilateral export control regime.

These regimes are informal mechanisms wherein participating governments or members, coordinate their national export controls to ensure that there is no proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).there are currently four such regimes:

Nuclear suppliers group

The nuclear suppliers group (NSG) is a group of nuclear supplier countries that seeks to contribute to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons through the implementation of guidelines for nuclear exports and nuclear related exports.

The NSG was set up as a response to India’s nuclear tests conducted in 1974.

The aim of the NSG is to ensure that nuclear trade for peaceful purposes does not contribute to the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

The grouping has 48 participating governments and the Europeans commission acts as an observer.

Since 2008, india has sought membership in the NSG. The same year ,the NSG granted india a clean waiver from its existing rules, which forbids nuclear trade with a country which has not signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

The waiver paved the way for India to engage in nuclear trade and led to the indo –US  civil nuclear cooperation agreements with U.S,U.K,FRANCE,CANADA,ARGENTINA,AUSTRALIA,RUSSIA,KAZAKHSTAN,MONGOLIA,NAMIBIA ,AND SOUTH KOREA.

the drive for India’s membership got a decisive boost when America declared support for India joining the quartet of multilateral export control regimes.

America proposed for a country-specific rather than a criteria based approach which rested on the argument that India’s nuclear record and commitment to non-proliferation norms qualified it as a like minded country to join the NSG.

Impediments to India’s NSG bid

NSG operates by consensus and all its current members are signatories to the nuclear non- proliferation treaty.

China has relied on an obstructionist argument claiming that a compulsory requirement for NSG membership is that they must be signatories to the NPT.

China equates India and Pakistan-which has an established history of nuclear proliferation further complicating the scenario.

Significance of NSG membership for India

Membership of NSG will increase India’s access to state of the art nuclear technology from members of the group.

As per India’s commitment under the Paris climate agreement .it has to ensure that 40 % of its energy is sourced from renewable and clean sources by 2030. In order to achieve this target India needs to scale up nuclear power production. This can only happen if India gains access to NSG.

some nations are restricted by regional treaties to provide access to nuclear fuel and  technology to India. Joins the NSG, such restrictions are expected to be done away with.

Missile technology control regime

The missile technology control regime (MTCR) was established in 1987 as an informal political understanding among states that seek to limit the proliferation of missiles and missile technology.

The regime currently has 35 members, and India was admitted in june 2016.howevermchina is not a member.

MTCR’s initial aim of controlling proliferation of nuclear missiles was expanded in 1992 to include delivery systems for chemical and biological weapons as well.

MTCR is a voluntary regime,and places no legal obligations on its members ,and has no enforcement mechanism.


India’s space and missile programmers are expected to gain from the members as it well offer unfettered access to world class technology.

India is the only one of the four unrecognized nuclear powers(the others are Pakistan,isarel and north korea) that is a member MTCR.

The pelindaba treaty

It  establishes a nuclear –weapon free zone in Africa.

The treaty was signed in 1996 and came into effect in july 2009.

It aims at preventing nuclear proliferation and preventing strategic minerals of Africa from being exported freely.

This treaty prohibits members parties to come into bilateral agreement with countries who are no signatories of NPT. In 2016,Namibia decried the treaty of palindaba for disallowing Namibia to trade uranium to India because India is not a member of the NPT.

Nuclear suppliers group(NSG) 1974

Preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Australia group (AG) 1985 identifying those exports which can be used to develop chemical and biological weapons.

missile technology control regime (MTCR) 1987

wasaenaar arrangement (WA) 1996

Controlling the export of conventional arms and dual –use goods and technology.

for more information on the ways to join defence go on the following  links

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