Bureau of Nonproliferation
September 10, 2003
[This fact sheet is no longer current. Please see updated version.]
The purpose of the 35-nation Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Exporters (Zangger) Committee (ZC) is to harmonize implementation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty's requirement to apply International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards to nuclear exports. Article III.2 of the Treaty requires parties to ensure that IAEA safeguards are applied to exports to non-nuclear weapon states of (a) source or special fissionable material, or (b) equipment or material especially designed or prepared for the processing, use or production of special fissionable material. The Committee maintains and updates a list of equipment that may only be exported if safeguards are applied to the recipient facility, called the "Trigger List" because such exports trigger the requirement for safeguards.
The ZC is informal and that its decisions are not legally binding upon its members. The relative informality of the ZC has enabled it to take the lead on certain nonproliferation issues that would be more difficult to resolve in the Nuclear Suppliers Group. (NSG). The latest such action is agreement to add plutonium separation technology to the Trigger List. The ZC, because of its link to the NPT, is also in a unique position to engage NPT-party non-member critics of the nonproliferation regimes and to present supplier government views to NPT meetings.
All of the nuclear weapon states, including China, are members of the ZC. However, China is the only ZC member that is not a member of the NSG, which requires full-scope safeguards (FSS) as a condition of nuclear supply to non-nuclear weapon states. China has not as yet been willing to accept the FSS policy, but its export control lists are comparable, if not virtually identical, to those of the NSG.
At the April 10, 2003, ZC meeting, members 1) welcomed the inauguration of the ZC website hosted by the Austrian Government; 2) discussed updating the Understandings (Guidelines), including physical protection and the IAEA Additional Protocol; and 3) continued discussion of possible outreach activities with non-member NPT Party states, particularly Non-Aligned Movement countries. The ZC again considered Belarus’ application for membership. The United States is still not prepared to join in a consensus for Belarus membership because of questions regarding that government’s commitment to nonproliferation.
Zangger Committee Members: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and United States.