The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)

The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) is an alliance of States with the aim of preventing the proliferation of delivery systems for weapons of mass destruction through internationally coordinated export controls.

What are weapons of mass destruction?

Weapons of mass destruction include nuclear, biological and chemical weapons (NBC weapons).

Objective

The MTCR was founded in 1987 by the G7 industrial nations with the aim of preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapon delivery systems. These include ballistic missiles or unmanned aerial vehicles (cruise missiles and drones) with a payload starting from 500 kilograms and a range of 300 kilometres. Since 1992, the MTCR has also controlled delivery systems suitable for biological and chemical weapons. In 2002, the MTCR also took measures to prevent the transfer of delivery systems and technology to terrorists.

Background

The MTCR is not an international organisation based on a legally binding international treaty but a politically binding export control regime for the participating States, whose decisions are taken by consensus.

The export control measures coordinated by the MTCR are regulated in the guidelines and the annex of goods to be controlled. A distinction is made between Category I and Category II goods, whereby the former may only be exported with great restraint. The control lists are regularly reviewed and adapted to ensure their continued effectiveness.

When assessing export applications, the regime's participating States consider, among other things, whether the recipient state is engaged in a missile programme, whether the item to be exported may contribute to such a programme, and whether the recipient state is developing or possesses weapons of mass destruction.

The MTCR has a special status compared to the other export control regimes because missile programmes are not prohibited and are not regulated by international agreements. In addition to the MTCR, the Hague Code of Conduct (HCoC) was established in 2002 and provides for confidence-building measures regarding ballistic missiles and space launch vehicles, as well as a commitment to responsible behaviour.

MTCR Participating States
 

Karte MTCR

MTCR Key Info

  • Founding: 1987
  • Swiss participation since: 1992
  • Swiss Chairmanship: 1992
  • Participating States: 35

HCoC Key Info

  • Entry into force: 2002
  • Swiss participation since: 2002
  • Swiss Chairmanship: 2020
  • Participating states: 143

Last modification 02.06.2021

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