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Intangible transfers of technology and visa screening in the European Union

Non-proliferation Paper No. 13

Non-proliferation Paper No. 13

Publisher: SIPRI
15pp.
March, 2012

In December 2008 the European Union (EU) adopted political guidelines introducing measures to combat intangible transfers of technology (ITT), including mechanisms for cooperation in terms of consular vigilance. United Nations Security Council resolutions concerning Iran and North Korea further prohibit EU member states from ITT to these countries of concern. This paper deals with two key aspects of ITT: foreign nationals interested in sensitive disciplines and uncontrolled outflows of sensitive knowledge. Current export control and visa-screening procedures raise concerns with regard to WMD proliferation and there are gaps in the existing framework. The paper provides a number of recommendations for closing the gaps in terms of consular vigilance, visascreening procedures and awareness raising in scientific communities.