In pursuance of its commitment to non-proliferation, Pakistan has instituted a comprehensive legislative, regulatory and implementation system involving transfer of sensitive goods and technologies and ensuring their safety and security at various stages. Export Control Act on Goods, Technologies, Materials and Equipment related to Nuclear and Biological Weapons and their Delivery Systems Act– 2004 was passed by the National Assembly on 14 September 2004 and by the Senate on 18 September 2004. The Act received the assent of the President on 23 September 2004 and entered into force the same day. The Act further strengthens controls on export of sensitive technologies particularly related to nuclear and biological weapons and their means of delivery. Salient elements of the Export Control Act include:

  • Controls over export, re-export, trans-shipment and transit of goods, technologies, material and equipment related to nuclear and biological weapons and missiles capable of delivering such weapons.
  • Prohibition of diversion of controlled goods and technologies.
  • Wide jurisdiction (also includes Pakistanis visiting or working abroad).
  • Comprehensive control lists and catch-all provisions.
  • Licensing and record keeping provisions.
  • The Act stipulates that licenses for export of goods and technologies for peaceful applications may be approved unless the Government determines that the export would be in contravention of the provisions of this Act.
  • Penal provisions: Up to 14 years imprisonment and Rs. 5 million fine or both, and on conviction, offender’s property and assets, wherever they may be, shall be forfeited to the Federal Government.
  • Right of appeal provided.

            Lists of goods and technologies subject to regulatory controls were published in 2005 (S.R.O 1078 (I)/2005) and subsequently reviewed/revised (S.R.O. 699 (I)/2011). The lists are consistent with the scope of export controls maintained by  the Nuclear Suppliers group (NSG), Australia Group (AG) and Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).These are periodically reviewed/revised by a standing Joint Working Group (JWG), which takes into consideration technological developments and changes/modifications introduced by other recognized international non-proliferation regimes.

Pursuant to the Export Control Act 2004, the Strategic Export Control Division (SECDIV) was set up in 2007 as part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (S.R.O 499 (I)/2009), to administer export controls. An Oversight Board was also set up (S.R.O 693 (I)/2007) to monitor the implementation of Export Control Act 2004, including the formation and functioning of SECDIV. Export Control (Licensing and Enforcement) Rules (S.R.O 450 (I)/2009) were issued in 2009. These rules set out procedures for licensing and implementation of Export Control Act.

To promote self regulation and compliance of the act, SECDIV regularly undertakes outreach and awareness raising activities. Commodity identification trainings are held for capacity building of the relevant enforcement agencies. 

The establishment of SECDIV is a manifestation of the Government's commitment to safeguard its national security and foreign policy objectives and fulfill its international obligations as a responsible nuclear weapon State.