Background

According to a statement released at its 21st plenary meeting held Dec. 2-3, the work of the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies in 2015 included the following.

- added new export controls in a number of areas, including on an additional explosive material

- further clarified existing controls regarding biological agent protection and detection equipment, electronic devices for military helmets, and equipment that performs analog-to-digital conversion

- relaxed some controls, such as for specific types of machine tools and computers, technologies used in consumer industries (e.g., car production, domestic medical devices), optical mirrors for solar power installations, battery cells, underwater still cameras, and equipment incorporating information security

- adopted new best practice guidelines for transit or transshipment

- issued elements for the effective fulfilment of national reporting requirements to assist all countries in meeting their international reporting obligations related to conventional arms transfers

- worked to ensure the detection and denial of undesirable exports

- made further progress on a comprehensive and systematic review of the existing control lists to make them more readily understood and user-friendly for licensing authorities and exporters

- exchanged information on transfers of arms and dual-use goods and assessed the risks associated with illicit arms flows to specific geographic regions of concern

- underlined the importance of further strengthening export controls and intensifying cooperation to prevent arms trafficking and the acquisition of conventional arms, including small arms and light weapons, and dual-use goods and technologies by terrorists

- discussed how to strengthen national export control implementation in areas such as arms trade risk assessment, reexport, brokering, controls on intangible transfers of technology, and catch-all provisions

- exchanged information on industry/academia engagement and internal compliance programs

- maintained informal contacts with the Nuclear Suppliers Group on control list issues

The group adds that in 2016 it will conduct further work on addressing new challenges, including emerging technologies of concern.

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