Exporters sign up to anti-WMD proliferation trade controls

Exporters sign up to anti-WMD proliferation trade controls

A total of eighty-two companies and individuals are interested in setting up an internal compliance programme (ICP) scheme to prevent trade activities pertaining to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) under the Trade Controls on Weapons of Mass Destruction Related Items Act (TCWMD Act).

The ICP scheme is a voluntary system operated by the private sector to monitor dual-use items (DUI) and DUI-related items to monitor users/end-users of the goods, and have it certified and evaluated by the Department of Foreign Trade (DFT) to make sure their ICP conforms to internationally accepted standards.

Dhadchyarbhon Abhimontejchbud, deputy director-general of the DFT, said those companies and individuals are likely to officially submit their applications to the department next month.

The department is expected to finish appraising and evaluating applicants’ qualifications and be able to announce qualified applicants this year, he said.

Those applicants include Thai Yamaha Motor Co, Epson Precision (Thailand) Co, Toyota Tsusho (Thailand) Co, Isuzu Motors Co, Ericsson (Thailand) Co, SCG Chemical Co, and Hitachi Metal (Thailand) Co.

The TCWMD Act came into full force in early 2020. The new act is in compliance with UN Security Council Resolution No.1540 from April 28, 2004, and related resolutions requesting member states establish domestic controls to prevent the proliferation of WMD, including the control of related materials, such as DUIs, that could be assembled, developed, enhanced and/or treated by any other means in relation to WMD.

The law also establishes controls on end-users of such items.

Mr Dhadchyarbhon said his department recently issued a notification on the criteria for ICP certification, adding that the department was encouraging the private sector to set up the ICP scheme under international standards and joining the ICP network in order to collaborate with government agencies to control the export, re-export, transit, transhipment and technology and software transfer of DUI and DUI-related items.

The ICP scheme implementation will benefit the exporters in that they will have information regarding users and end-users to clarify their unrelatedness to the proliferation of WMD with the authority once their goods/trade activities are suspected to be related to WMD. Without the ICP scheme, their goods may be halted or held back by the government’s order.

Mr Dhadchyarbhon said Thailand has now referred to the EU lists in 2019 which feature 1,831 items for industrial products such as electronics, electrical appliances, computers, plastic, mechanical machinery, and chemicals with high specifications.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the coronavirus variants are also included in the export control lists as they can be used for vaccines or turned into biological weapons.

Drones that are capable of flying in a range of 300 kilometres are also regarded as DUI because they can be used to collect data for R&D while also used as missiles for terrorism purposes.

“Although Thailand is not the key exporter of DUI, we cannot deny that the country, by a proper geographic location, is appropriate for re-export, transit, and transhipment of products, as well as a lot of border trade and cross-border trade volume, increasing. It is important that the entrepreneurs have to be concerned about their buyers and the destinations of their products’ end-users,” said Mr Dhadchyarbhon.

tinations of their products’ end-users,” said Mr Dhadchyarbhon.

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