India overhauls Export Controls Regime: a step closer to joining Wassenaar Arrangement

On parade: India has been warming up for its annual Republic Day  with a dress rehearsal featuring a Soviet-style showcase of military hardware and carnival-esque floats of dancers. Soldiers from the camel mounted Indian Border Security Force are pictured

On parade: India has been warming up for its annual Republic Day with a dress rehearsal featuring a Soviet-style showcase of military hardware and carnival-esque floats of dancers. Soldiers from the camel mounted Indian Border Security Force are pictured. Photo copyright AP.

On 24 April 2017, India overhauled its export control regime that brings it a step closer to joining the multilateral export controls regime Wassenaar Arrangement.

The overhaul aims to harmonize India’s export control lists to international export control arrangements for both its military equipment and civil dual-use items – officially known as the Special Chemicals, Organisms, Materials, Equipment, and Technologies List (SCOMET).

The issuance of Notification No. 5/2015-2020 dated 24 April 2017 (that entered into force as of May 1) paved the way to comprehensively overhaul India’s main dual-use and military-related control list. This was done in accordance with India’s MTCR and NSG obligations. 

According to the published FAQ’s by the Indian Government, the overhaul also includes a significant number of changes to India’s export controls so that India can align it’s controls with the guidelines and control lists of not only the the Wassenaar Arrangement, but also the Australia Group (another multilateral export control regime that India wishes to join).

Similar to other Wassenaar Arrangement member states, the SCOMET list is divided into different categories of controlled items. The items, i.e. complete list, can be specifically found on Appendix 3 of Schedule 2 of ITC (HS) Classification, which can be found on the DGFT website.

In the list as appearing in Appendix 3 of Schedule 2 of ITC (HS) Classification, SCOMET items are listed under eight (9) categories as follows:

  1. Category 0: Nuclear material, nuclear-related other materials, equipment and technology.
  2. Category 1: Toxic chemical agents and other chemicals
  3. Category 2: Micro-organisms, toxins
  4. Category 3: Material, Materials Processing Equipment, and related technologies
  5. Category 4: Nuclear-related other equipment, assemblies and components; test and production equipment; and related technology, not controlled under Category 0
  6. Category 5: Aerospace systems, equipment including production and test equipment, related technology and specially designed components and accessories thereof.
  7. Category 6: Munitions List
  8. Category 7: Electronics, computers, and information technology including information security.
  9. Category 8: Special Materials and Related Equipment, Material Processing, Electronics, Computers, Telecommunications, Information Security, Sensors and Lasers, Navigation and Avionics, Marine, Aerospace and Propulsion.

A detailed summary of the changes to the SCOMET can be found here

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