Facts for Prelims (FFP)
Context: The Director General of Foreign Trade emphasized the government’s commitment to enhanced export control of dual-use items to prevent them from falling into the hands of non-state actors and terrorists.
What are Dual-use items?
They are products, technologies, materials, or equipment that can have both civilian and military or non-military applications. These items are designed or intended primarily for civilian purposes but can also be used for military or other prohibited purposes.
- Examples: precursor chemicals like sarin gas; Components like centrifuges
Currently, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) prepares a specialized SCOMET (speciality chemicals, organisms, materials, equipment, and technologies) list of dual-use items and these items are regulated as per India’s Foreign Trade Policy.
The new foreign trade policy emphasizes expediting the SCOMET licensing process to ensure that sensitive and dual-use goods are traded in compliance with international regimes, including the Missile Technology Control Regime.
What is MECR (Missile and Dual-Use Export Control Regimes)?
They are voluntary agreements among major supplier countries aimed at preventing the proliferation of certain military and dual-use technologies, particularly those related to Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).
These agreements are independent of the United Nations and apply only to their member countries, with no obligation for others to join.
India is a member of three out of the four MECRs, excluding the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
The four MECRs include:
- Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) for nuclear technology control
- Australia Group (AG) for chemical and biological technology control
- Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) for rockets and aerial vehicles related to WMD delivery,
- Wassenaar Arrangement for conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies.