Wassenaar Members Review Data Exchange

Representatives from the 33 Wassenaar Arrangement member-states met June 212 in Vienna to discuss their March 31 exchange of conventional arms and dual-use technology transfer information. Due to the confidential nature of the exchange, no details were made public. However, U.S. officials report that participation in the exchange has improved greatly since the first data exchange in September 1996, at which time 30 states submitted information on their weapons transfers and only half of the members submitted information on their dual-use technology transfers.

As the post-Cold War export control regime for conventional weapons and dual-use technology, the Wassenaar Arrangement seeks to avoid destabilizing arms transfers and to prevent the acquisition of sensitive technology by countries whose behavior causes concern to its participants. Members include several states previously targeted by the Cold War-era COCOM regime (Committee for Multilateral Export Controls), exchange information on their imports and exports on a semiannual basis. Unlike COCOM, however, Wassenaar Arrangement members have no veto power over each others' transfers.

A June 23 working group session focused on the results of the March 31 confidential data exchange, which covered four categories of transfers to nonmembers since the September data exchange: actual weapons deliveries, license denials for "basic" dual-use items; license approvals for "sensitive" dual-use equipment; and license denials for "very sensitive" dual-use items.