The Wassenaar Arrangement has been established in order to contribute to regional and international security and stability, by promoting transparency and greater responsibility in transfers of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies, thus preventing destabilizing accumulations. Participating States seek, through their national policies, to ensure that transfers of these items do not contribute to the development or enhancement of military capabilities, which undermine these goals, and are not diverted to support such capabilities. The aim is also to prevent the acquisition of these items by terrorists.
The Participating States of the Wassenaar Arrangement are:
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom and United States.
Participating States apply export controls to all items set forth in the List of Dual-Use Goods and Technologies and the Munitions List, with the objective of preventing unauthorized transfers or re-transfers of those items.
To assist in developing common understandings of transfer risks, Participating States regularly exchange information of both a general and a specific nature. Participating States are required to report their arms transfers and transfers/denials of certain dual-use goods and technologies to destinations outside the Arrangement on a six-monthly basis. In some cases, shorter reporting time-frames apply.
In fulfilling the purposes of the Arrangement as described above, Participating States have, inter alia, agreed to a number of guidelines, elements and procedures as a basis for decision-making through the application of their own national legislation and policies.
The decision to transfer or deny the transfer of any item is the sole responsibility of each Participating State. All measures with respect to the Arrangement are taken in accordance with national legislation and policies and are implemented on the basis of national discretion. For specifics on Export Controls in Participating States National Contacts .
Representatives of Participating States meet regularly in Vienna where the Wassenaar Arrangement has established its headquarters and a small Secretariat.
The Wassenaar Arrangement Plenary is the decision-making body of the Arrangement. It is composed of representatives of all Participating States and normally meets once a year, usually in December. The position of Plenary Chair is subject to annual rotation among Participating States. In 2018 the Plenary Chair was held by the United Kingdom, and in 2019 the Chair is held by Greece. All Plenary decisions are taken by consensus.
The Plenary establishes subsidiary bodies for the preparation of recommendations for Plenary decisions and calls ad hoc meetings for consultations on issues related to the functioning of the Wassenaar Arrangement. At present, the main Wassenaar Arrangement subsidiary bodies are: the General Working Group (GWG) dealing with policy-related matters, and the Experts Group (EG) addressing issues related to the lists of controlled items. Once a year, a Licensing and Enforcement Officers Meeting (LEOM) is held.
India formally applied for membership of the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) in October 2016. India joined the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) as its 42nd Participating State on 8 December 2017, through a consensus decision, following the completion of internal procedures for joining the Group. India’s WA membership is expected to facilitate high technology tie-ups with the Indian industry and ease access to high-tech items for our defence and space programmes. India’s entry into the WA would further contribute to international security and non-proliferation objectives.
Indian delegation actively participates in the meetings of Wassenaar Arrangement subsidiary bodies.The last Plenary Meeting of Wassenar Arrangement (WA) was held in December 2019 at Vienna, Austria, which was the Second Plenary meeting attended by India after becoming participating state of Wassenaar arrangement.