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Strategic Trade Controls


Effective border, export, transit and transhipment controls

Strategic trade controls play an important role in preventing illicit proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) parts and components. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004), which was adopted to prevent the illicit trafficking and use of WMD and their means of delivery, and related items, focuses on the need to develop and maintain appropriate and effective border, export, transit and transhipment controls.

Despite a concerted effort from the non-proliferation community to combat this trade, it remains a formidable challenge for customs and licensing officials to overcome. Proliferators’ strategies evolve and adapt, so that export control evasion can only be prevented by tackling additional issues such as foreign direct investment screening, intangible technology transfers, visa policy and cybersecurity.  

CSSS contributes to these efforts by supporting the implementation of Resolution 1540 and other export control capacity-building efforts worldwide, from a practitioner and academic perspective. Notably, the Centre is an implementing partner in the EU Partner-to-Partner (P2P) programme on dual-use export controls, and member of the Network of Universities on Strategic Trade Controls. It also conducts outreach in the UK, other European countries, and worldwide in collaboration with the relevant national export control organisations and departments, including through tailored trainings for government, industry and academia. 

Latest Publications

An edited volume of research published on strategic trade controls looks at the future  contribution of Resolution 1540 to the non-proliferation regime. Other publications explore the role of foreign direct investment screening in aiding the underlying goals of export controls, and the implications of Brexit for dual-use export controls in Europe. Continuing research is being carried out on intangible technology transfers and export control compliance in academia. 


Preventing Illicit Technology Transfers from Universities and Research Institutes

This research aims to understand ways in which proliferators target research environments, as well as ways in which researchers can unwittingly aid states’ Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) proliferation programmes.


Explore Strategic Trade and Proliferation Finance

Maritime Trade

Maritime Trade

Educating about the risks in maritime trade implementation

Proliferation Finance

Proliferation Finance

Training governments and private sector about financial sanctions for weapons of mass destruction



Building effective sanction regimes against nuclear proliferation

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