India in MTCR club, can now export arms

NAYANIMA BASU New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018


Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar receives the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) membership papers from French Ambassador-designate, Alexandre Ziegler, Netherlands Ambassador Alphonsus Stoelinga, and Luxembourg's Charge d Affaires, Laure Huberty, in New Delhi on Monday. -- PTI


India on Monday became an official member of the weapons regulatory body – Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) – that will enable it to become a global arms exporter while granting it access to sensitive technology.

India’s membership at the body was confirmed by the Chairman of the joint Netherlands-Luxembourg Chairmanship of the MTCR Ambassador Piet de Klerk, following which Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar was handed over the decision.

“India has joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) … The MTCR Point Contact in Paris has conveyed the decision regarding India’s accession to the regime through the Embassy of France in New Delhi as well as the Embassies of The Netherlands and Luxembourg,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.

The MEA also said India’s entry into the regime as the 35th member of the grouping will be “mutually beneficial in the furtherance of international non-proliferation objectives.”

India formally applied for membership of the group in June 2015 in an effort to integrate itself with the global nuclear energy market. However, the application was rejected by Italy during the MTCR Plenary Meeting in Rotterdam in October last year.

The aim of the MTCR is to restrict the proliferation of missiles, complete rocket systems, unmanned air vehicles, and related technology for those systems capable of carrying a 500 kg payload at least 300 km, as well as systems intended for the delivery of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). It also stipulates common export policy guidelines and a common list of controlled items.

India had been making efforts to be in the grouping since 2008 when it signed the Civil Nuclear Deal with the US. In 2011, America removed India from its previous inclusion in the Entity List of several country groups under the Export Administration Act (EAA), and elevated India out of the categories within the dual use regulations.

Simultaneously, the US government added India to the preferential country group rated A2, which paved the way for India’s MTCR entry.

The MTCR has two categories of items – Category I, the export of which is highly restricted such as UAVs and rockets and Category II, the export of these items is moderately controlled, which includes dual-use technologies such as avionics, propellants and communication systems.

MTCR is one of the four global nuclear export control regimes, including the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the Wassennar Agreement and the Australia Group.

Published on June 27, 2016

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