Public Statement


The sixth Plenary meeting of the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) was held in Bratislava, 30 November - 1 December, 2000, under the chairmanship of Ambassador Alojz Nemethy (Slovak Republic).

The Foreign Minister of Slovakia, Mr. Eduard Kukan, as host of the Plenary meeting, welcomed participants to Bratislava. He stressed the importance that Slovakia attached to the Wassenaar Arrangement. He also emphasised that the gradual building of mutual trust and broader transparency, which was crucial in today's world, would ensure achieving the common objectives of the Wassenaar Arrangement Initial Elements.

Participating States took note of work done over the year by the General Working Group to improve the efficiency of the General Information Exchange in accordance with the conclusions reached at the 1999 Plenary.

Participating States reaffirmed their commitment to maintain responsible national policies in the licensing of exports of arms and sensitive dual-use items. They noted with concern illicit arms flows to zones of conflict and areas covered by UNSC embargoes, as well as licit transfers to zones of conflict from states not participating in the Wassenaar Arrangement.

Participating States agreed to continue consideration of practical arms control measures, including of an appropriate collaborative role with ECOWAS member states to respect the provisions of the ECOWAS Moratorium, and of providing advisory and/or technical assistance in the implementation of the Moratorium. They expressed support for the UNSC's efforts to prevent illegal arms transfers to the UNITA forces in Angola.


The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies was established in July 1996 by 33 Participating States on the basis of the Initial Elements.
Meetings are normally held in Vienna, Austria, where the Arrangement is based. The Participating States of the Wassenaar Arrangement are: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Republic of Korea, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom and the United States.

Participating States reaffirmed their concern about the threat posed by the illicit possession and use of Man Portable Air-Defence Systems (MANPADS) and agreed on elements of export controls on such weapons.

The Plenary reaffirmed the importance of responsible export policies towards, and effective export controls over, small arms and light weapons to prevent destabilising accumulations. Participating States would continue to share information and explore practical measures. The Plenary took note positively of other international efforts including the United Nations Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in all its Aspects to be held in July 2001, and the work of the OSCE, including its adoption of a document on small arms and light weapons.

The Plenary agreed on non-binding best practices  regarding: the effective enforcement of national export controls; the disposal of surplus military equipment; and the control of exports of items designated as very sensitive.

The Plenary agreed to a number of control list amendments which will be published shortly. Participating States affirmed the importance they attach to timely updating of the lists to keep pace with technology advances while maintaining security interests. The Plenary took note of an indepth study conducted in 2000 on controls of computers and microprocessors.

The Plenary identified other areas for further consideration, including:

On outreach, Participating States again confirmed that the Wassenaar Arrangement is open, on a global and non-discriminatory basis, to prospective adherents that comply with agreed criteria for participation. Participating States agreed to study the possibility of further contacts with other non-proliferation regimes to avoid duplication of work and to facilitate complementarity.

Members of the Plenary thanked Ambassador Alojz Nemethy for his major contributions as Plenary Chairman to the work of the Wassenaar Arrangement.

The next WA Plenary regular meeting is to be held in Vienna in December 2001. Ambassador H. Aydin Sahinbas (Turkey) will assume the Plenary Chairmanship on 1 January 2001.

Bratislava, December 1st, 2000



(Agreed at the WA Plenary, 1 December 2000)

The following list of "best practices" for disposal of surplus military equipment (items that may or may not have been demilitarised) is drawn from the responses provided by Participating States on this subject. These practices are those actually followed or aspired to by Wassenaar Arrangement Participating States and are illustrative of effective export control over surplus/demilitarised military equipment.

  1. Items of surplus military equipment (including small arms and light weapons), i.e., items designed for military use but no longer needed, remain subject to the same export controls as new equipment.
  2. Safeguards are in place to prevent illicit resale and export of items of surplus military equipment that have been sold or otherwise transferred domestically.
  3. Physical security measures and inventory controls are sufficient to prevent theft/diversion of items in storage.
  4. Demilitarised equipment capable of being re-militarised is also subject to stringent export controls, in almost all cases identical to those controls applied to new military equipment.
  5. The "Best Practices for Effective Enforcement", including preventive enforcement, investigation, effective penalties, and international cooperation, are applied to ensure effective control of surplus/demilitarised military equipment.
Extreme Vigilance: Sub-set of Tier 2 (VSL) items

"Best Practices"

(Agreed at the WA Plenary, 1 December 2000)


The Initial Elements (IE) called on Participating States to discuss and compare national practices concerning their commitment to exercise extreme vigilance for items included in the sub-set of Tier 2 (Very Sensitive List) by applying to those exports national conditions and criteria (IE V.5).

There follows a non-binding list of "best practices' with respect to export controls on VSL items.

"Best practices" does not necessarily imply "common practices." Therefore, not all of the practices are presently followed by all Participating States. The list does represent, however, an amalgam of the export control practices followed with respect to VSL items by WA Participating States, consistent with national legislation and international law.

Extreme Vigilance for Sub-set of Tier 2 (VSL) items: "Best Practices"

  1. Licences are granted on a case-by-case basis. Documentation required for the licence includes information concerning:
    1. Identification/Description (type, quantity, value, weight)/ Specifications of item/Performance characteristics;
    2. Applicant;
    3. Purchaser; and
    4. End-user (if different from purchaser) and end-use.

    2.    Consultations occur among relevant government agencies within the exporting country with respect to licence applications to export VSL items. During
            these consultations, the appropriateness of the quantity and technological level of the item to the stated end-use, and the bona fides of the end-user are
            among the criteria considered.

    3.     In order to determine, inter alia, the risk of diversion or unauthorized use, additional information on end-users may be gathered, as necessary, using
            appropriate means ranging from documentation to visitation (with the consent of the recipient country) prior to the licensing decision.

    4.    As a condition of any licence to export a VSL item, the following may be required:

    1. Import Certification or end-user statement;
    2. Assurance of no re-export without authorisation; and
    3. Delivery Verification or other acknowledgement of delivery from the receiving Government.



    5.    As necessary, post-shipment verification may be carried out through appropriate means by the exporter, supplier or officials of the exporting



(Agreed at the WA Plenary, 1 December 2000)

The following list of "best practices" for effective export control enforcement were adopted by the Wassenaar Plenary as a non-binding amalgam of the enforcement practices followed by different Wassenaar Arrangement Participating States which are illustrative of an effective enforcement programme.


1. Use threat assessment techniques and procedures for evaluating parties involved in a proposed export transaction, paying particular attention to those considered to be suspicious, unreliable, or presenting a high risk of diversion.

2. Maintain a list of problem end-users to identify license applications deserving closer scrutiny.

3. Confirm the stated end-user and end-use of items to be exported prior to issuing an export license. As appropriate, this can be accomplished by several means, ranging from documentation to on-premise checks of the end-user and end-use.

4. Obtain assurances regarding the end-use and non re-export of licensed items, as appropriate.

5. Examine goods and the documentation required to be presented at point of export, using risk assessment techniques to aid selection. Detain suspect shipments and seize unauthorised or illegal exports, which may include those that are passing in-transit.

6. As necessary, confirm that exported goods have reached their intended destinations using appropriate means, ranging from documentation to on-site verification.

7. Conduct industry awareness programs to improve exporters' understandings of the objectives and coverage of export controls, including controls on software and technology.

8. Seek voluntary compliance by industry. As appropriate, encourage development by industry of internal compliance programs.

9. Keep industry and the general public apprised of penalties for failure to comply, using, as appropriate, cases of successful prosecution as examples.


10. Designate law enforcement responsibilities for detection, prevention, and punishment of violations of export control laws.

11. Provide adequate resources and training for enforcement officers.

12. Ensure that national laws and regulations have statutes of limitations sufficiently long to permit the detection and prosecution of export control violations.

13. Consistent with national laws, policies and regulations and on a mutually-agreed basis, including international agreements for legal and customs assistance, and mutually respecting national sovereignty, governments may cooperate in the investigation and prosecution of violations of export controls cases, by:

a. Furnishing relevant documents and items relating to violations;

b. Facilitating the availability of witnesses; and

c. Providing for the extradition of violators, consistent with treaty obligations.


14. Establish effective penalties (including, as appropriate, criminal sanctions, civil fines, publicity and restriction or denial of export privileges) sufficient to punish and deter violations of export controls.


15. Consistent with national laws, policies and regulations and on a mutually-agreed basis, including international agreements for legal and customs assistance, governments may, as appropriate, share information bilaterally on persons and companies considered to present a high risk of diversion. Examples of information to share include:

a. Information obtained in the course of pre-license and post-shipment verifications; and

b. Information about export control prosecutions, convictions, and restrictions or denials of export privileges.

16. Consistent with national laws, policies and regulations, governments may, as appropriate, share information in the context of multilateral export control arrangements. Examples of information to share include: a. General information on risks associated with destinations of concern;

b. Information on license denials;

c. Information on networks, agents, brokers and end-users of concern.

17. Senior enforcement officials may maintain, as appropriate, formal and informal information exchanges with their counterparts in member country governments.

18. Licensing and enforcement officials should respect the confidentiality of information received and should ensure that access to it is restricted to those officials who have been duly authorised.

Elements for Export Controls

of Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS)

(Agreed at the WA Plenary, 1 December 2000)

Recognizing the threats posed by unauthorized proliferation and use of Man-Portable Air Defense Systems, especially to civil aviation, peace-keeping, crisis management and anti-terrorist operations, Participating States affirm that they apply strict national controls on the export of MANPADS.

1. Definitions and Scope.

1.1    MANPADS are herein defined as surface-to-air missile systems designed to be carried by an individual or by individuals, including complete
           systems, components, spare parts, models, training systems, and simulators. They include, but are not limited to, all man-portable variants of the
            Blowpipe, Hamlet, Javelin, Keiko, Mistral, RBS-70, RBS-70 Mk-2, Redeye, SA-7, SA-14, SA-16, SA-18, Starburst, Starstreak, Stinger,
            and Vanguard.

1.2    National export controls apply to the international transfer or retransfer of MANPADS, for any purpose, by any means, including licensed
           export, sale, grant, loan, lease, co-production or licensing arrangement for production (hereafter "export"). The scope of export regulation and
            associated controls includes research, design, development, engineering, manufacture, production, assembly, testing, repair, maintenance,
            servicing, modification, upgrade, modernization, operation, use, replacement or refurbishment, demilitarization, and destruction of MANPADS;
            technical data, software, technical assistance, demonstration, and training associated with these functions; and secure transportation, storage,
            and use.

1.3     Any activity related to MANPADS within the territory of the producing country is subject to national laws and regulations.   2. Export Control Evaluation Criteria. 2. 1. Decisions to permit MANPADS exports will be made by competent authorities of the exporting government, only to foreign governments or to agents
        authorized by the government.

2.2    MANPADS exports will be evaluated in light of Wassenaar Arrangement Initial Elements and Wassenaar document "Elements for Objective Analysis
         and Advice Concerning Potentially Destabilizing Accumulations of Conventional Weapons" and any subsequent amendments thereto.

2.3. Decisions to authorize MANPADS exports will take into account:   2.4. Prior to authorizing MANPADS exports, the exporting government will assure itself of the recipient government's guarantees:   2.5.     In addition, the exporting government will satisfy itself of the recipient government's willingness and ability to implement effective measures for secure
        storage, handling, transportation, and use of MANPADS material, to prevent unauthorized access and use. The recipient government's national
        procedure designed to attain the requisite security include, but are not limited to, the following set of practices, or others that will achieve comparable
        levels of  protection and accountability: