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 You are in: Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security > Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN) > Releases > Fact Sheets > 2004
Fact Sheet
Bureau of Nonproliferation
Washington, DC
August 2, 2004

Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)

There is an updated version of this document dated February 27, 2008, located at http://www.state.gov/t/isn/rls/fs/101472.htm.

[Also: fact sheets on MTCR Questions and Answers and the International Code of Conduct Against Ballistic Missile Proliferation]

In 1987, seven concerned countries created the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) to restrict the proliferation of nuclear-capable missiles and related technology. The original participants in the Regime were Canada, France, West Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In 1993, the focus of the Regime was expanded to include missiles for the delivery of chemical or biological weapons (CBW) as well as nuclear weapons.

The MTCR is not a treaty, but a voluntary arrangement among member countries sharing a common interest in controlling missile proliferation. The Regime’s mandate was expanded in January 2003 to include preventing terrorists from acquiring missiles and missile technology.

The MTCR Partners have committed to apply a common export control policy (MTCR Guidelines) to a common list (MTCR Annex) of controlled items, including virtually all key equipment and technology needed for missile development, production, and operation. The Guidelines and Annex are implemented by each Partner in accordance with its national legislation.

The MTCR Guidelines restrict transfers of “missiles” -- defined as rocket systems (including ballistic missiles, space launch vehicles, and sounding rockets) and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems (including cruise missiles, target drones, and reconnaissance drones) capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction (WMD) -- and their related equipment and technology. The Regime places particular focus on unmanned delivery systems capable of delivering a payload of at least 500 kg to a distance of at least 300 km, so called “Category I” or “MTCR-class” systems.

The MTCR Annex of controlled items is divided into two sections:

  • Category I Annex items include complete rocket and unmanned air vehicle (i.e., “missile”) systems, capable of delivering a payload of at least 500 kg to a range of at least 300 km, and their major complete subsystems, production facilities, and related technology. Exports of Category I items are subject to a strong presumption of denial, except that transfers of specially designed production facilities for Category I items are prohibited.

  • Category II Annex items include propulsion and propellant components, launch and ground support equipment, various other missile-related components, and related technology, as well as certain other missile systems. Exports of Category II items are to be subject to case-by-case review against specified nonproliferation factors, and are subject to a strong presumption of denial if the system is intended for WMD delivery.

The MTCR Guidelines are open to all nations to implement, whether or not they are MTCR Partners; we encourage all governments to unilaterally adhere to the Guidelines.

Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) Membership

As of June 1, 2004

Country Date of Membership
1. Argentina 11/93
2. Australia 07/90
3. Austria 02/91
4. Belgium 04/90
5. Brazil 10/95
6. Bulgaria 06/04
7. Canada 04/87
8. Czech Republic 07/98
9. Denmark 11/90
10. Finland 09/91
11. France 04/87
12. Germany 04/87
13. Greece 06/92
14. Hungary 11/93
15. Iceland 02/93
16. Ireland 06/92
17. Italy 04/87
18. Japan 04/87
19. Luxembourg 04/90
20. Netherlands 04/90
21. New Zealand 01/91
22. Norway 01/91
23. Poland 07/98
24. Portugal 05/92
25. Russia 08/95
26. South Africa 09/95
27. South Korea 04/01
28. Spain 09/89
29. Sweden 09/91
30. Switzerland 05/92
31. Turkey 04/97
32. Ukraine 07/98
33. United Kingdom 04/87
34. United States 04/87
Unilateral Adherents to the MTCR 
1. Israel 01/92
2. Romania 09/92
3. Slovakia 01/94

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