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17 September 2014

US adopts updated NSG control list: others should follow suit

The US Department of Commerce has released its ‘final rules’ related to the adoption of changed control lists and guidance by the Nuclear Suppliers Group in 2013.


As the Nuclear Suppliers Group completed its fundamental review of its control lists in 2013, the list of changes in the new rules are significant. Companies should carefully check whether their products are now included in the new version of the control lists.

It is notable that while the US is now implementing the updated version of the NSGs lists, other jurisdictions and authorities have not yet updated their own rules. The EU, for example, has fallen behind in updating its own control lists. The UN also, has thus far, failed to reflect the updated NSG lists in its sanctions on Iran or North Korea.

All authorities should act to ensure that they are implementing the latest lists. As described here, proliferators are taking advantage of new technologies to continue their programmes using technologies that, prior to the NSG update, were not controlled.

It is not just to combat proliferation that the latest versions of the lists should be adopted, however. Inconsistency in this area drives up costs for industry, requiring international companies to invest increased resources in order to understand the different controls in place in different countries. It can also result in some firms finding that the products of overseas competitors, which are directly comparable to their own products, are not subject to export control.

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