Bureau of Export Administration
U. S. Department of Commerce

For Immediate Release
December 3, 1999

Commerce Dept. Welcomes International Initiative on Enforcement of Export Controls


WASHINGTON -- The Wassenaar Arrangement, a 33-country group which promotes transparency, responsibility, and restraint in transfers of conventional arms and dual-use technology, today affirmed the importance of export control enforcement in halting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced.

Today’s agreement results from work initiated by the Export Enforcement arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce and was agreed-to unanimously by all 33 member countries.

The participating states affirmed that the elements of export control enforcement include a preventive program; an investigatory process; penalties for violations; and international cooperation. They also affirmed that enforcement be strong, effective, transparent and national law-based.

"The United States continues to work with all of its trading partners to ensure that U.S. strategic commodities are not used in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. I applaud today’s action on enforcement by Wassenaar which the Clinton Administration worked hard for," said Commerce Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement F. Amanda DeBusk.

"This demonstrates that other countries share the U.S. view that enforcement is a key element of an effective export control system," she added.

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies was established in July 1996. Meetings are held in Vienna, Austria, where the Arrangement is based.