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17 July 2013

NSG publishes good practice guidance

The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) recently published good practices for corporations to support WMD non-proliferation efforts on its website. These guidelines set out what the private sector must and should do to prevent illicit trade and are thus an example of Antiproliferation in practice. The guidelines were drafted by the British government with input from Project Alpha, from the British Private Sector, and from other NSG member countries. Alpha has operationalized the guidelines through its Partners Against Proliferation initiative, which uses these guidelines as its base. Alpha openly invites companies to become partners by agreeing to work toward implementation of these good practices.


The guidelines are designed to ‘enhance active commercial sector support for non-proliferation by reducing the risk of inadvertent supply of items to illicit programmes’ and include eight ‘practice’ points asking firms to:[1]

1.0 Implement internal systems to ensure due-diligence checks are carried out on potential customers and business partners and on the goods, software and technology that they wish to acquire, utilising public information such as early warning lists, red-flag checklists and questionnaires provided by the United Nations, states and other parties with an interest in supporting the multilateral non-proliferation effort, and to consult with the relevant government authorities as necessary;

2.0 Monitor, collate and vet enquiries within the scope of due-diligence, relating to the acquisition of proliferation sensitive goods, software and technology;

3.0 Consult government export control authorities before having any dealings with entities identified as being of proliferation concern either from public sources, from corporate monitoring systems or from contact with relevant competent authorities in states themselves;

4.0 Implement best efforts to share information about illicit attempts to procure items for Weapons of Mass Destruction programmes with security and other relevant agencies in the state where they are established and with business partners and others in instances where the state judges that broader publicity would be appropriate;

5.0 Promote the adoption of due-diligence and information sharing within the supply chain and with other business partners within the boundaries of legitimate protection of business and company information;

6.0 Incorporate non-proliferation measures and export control compliance into existing corporate social responsibility statements;

7.0 Encourage relevant industry-wide trade and professional bodies to recognise the importance of supporting and encouraging the non-proliferation effort and the measures set out herein; and

8.0 Foster an open and transparent relationship with appropriate government and regulatory authorities.

The Nuclear Suppliers Group is a group of 48 countries which agree to adhere to guidelines on the transfer of sensitive nuclear goods. These 48 countries are home to the majority of the global civil nuclear industry. The NSG also administers the ‘trigger list’ of most sensitive items, and the ‘dual-use list’ of slightly less sensitive technologies, which many states around the world use as the basis of their nuclear export control systems.

The full version of the Guidelines can be found on the NSG website. To learn more about becoming an Alpha Partner, contact the Alpha team: / 02078481342.

[1] Good Practices for Corporate Standards to Support the Efforts of the International Community in the Nonproliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction’, Nuclear Suppliers Group Document, June 2013,, accessed 5 July 2013.