What is Missile Technology Control Regime?

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New Delhi, June 27: India is set to become the 35th member of the MTCR (Missile Technology Control Regime) on Monday (June 27). Though it has failed to get an entry to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) as of now, its admission in the MTCR is being seen a big dioplomatic success. [After failure in NSG bid, India set to be admitted in MTCR]

What is MTCR?

Set up in April 1987, the MTCR is a voluntary union of 34 countries and has four "unilateral adherents"---Israel, Romania, Slovakia and Macedonia that follow its rules. The aim of the MTCR is to curb the spread of missiles and other delivery technology which sould be used for chemical, biological and nuclear attacks. [How MTCR will benefit India]

missile

The MTCR was established by the G7 bloc which includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Great Britain, and the United States.

The MTCR asks its members, who include most of the world's major missile manufacturers, to put a check on exports of missiles and related technologies capable of carrying a 500-kg payload for a distance of at least 300 kilometres or delivering any form of weapon of mass destruction.

Supplemented by Hague Code of Conduct

The MTCR was supplemented by the International Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (ICOC), also known as the Hague Code of Conduct, in 2002. The latter called for restraint and care in the proliferation of ballistic missile systems that are capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction. It has 119 members and works parallel to the MTCR with less specific restrictions. 

How does MTCR work?

Members of the missile club must have policies governing the export of ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial behicles, space launch vehicles, drones, etc etc. The exports are of two categories---Category I, which comprises exports of complete products and major sub-systems and are extremely rare. The guideline instructs members that "there will be strong presumption to deny stransfers".

The second category, on the other hand, includes materials, technologies and components the transfer of which can be made more easily, since they are related with civilian applications. However, these too are done carefully.

What if anybody breaks MTCR rules?

Though the violation of rules can't be punished, but the US law sanctions governments and sanctions that engage in exporting MTCR-controlled items. The sanctioned body will not be able to sign contracts, buy arms or receive aid for two years or more.

India in MTCR

During a state visit to India in November 2010, US President Barack Obama pledged his nation's support for India's entry into the MTCR. India applied for the membership in 2014 and although faced an obstacle for Italy in 2015, succeeded in becoming its member in 2016.

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