Contributing towards Non-Proliferation and Security through Effective Export Management of Sensitive Goods and Technologies



In pursuance of its commitment to non-proliferation, Pakistan has instituted a comprehensive legislative, regulatory and implementation system on transfer of sensitive goods and technologies and ensuring their safety and security at all 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 related to nuclear and biological weapons and their means of delivery. Salient of the Export Control Act include: -

  1. 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.
  2. Prohibition on diversion of controlled goods and technologies.
  3. Wide jurisdiction (also includes Pakistanis visiting or working abroad).
  4. Comprehensive Control Lists and catch-all provisions.
  5. Licensing and record keeping provisions.
  6. 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 to the provisions of this Act.
  7. Penal provisions: Up to 14 years imprisonment and Rs. 5 million fine or both, and on conviction, confiscation of offender’s property and assets, wherever they may be. 
  8. Right of appeal is provided to resolve grievances.


Lists of goods and technologies subject to regulatory controls were initially notified in 2005 (S.R.O 1078 (I)/2005) and subsequently reviewed/revised (S.R.O. 1142(I)/2016). The lists are consistent with the scope of export controls maintained by  the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and Australia Group (AG).These are periodically reviewed/revised by a standing Joint Working Group (JWG), which takes into consideration technological developments at national/ international level and changes/modifications introduced by other  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 notified in 2009. These rules set out complete procedures for licensing, enforcement, investigation, prosecution and implementation of the Act.

To promote self-regulation and compliance of the Act, SECDIV regularly undertakes outreach and awareness raising activities. Commodity Identification Training is conducted for capacity building of the relevant enforcement agencies. 

Pakistan has declared voluntary adherence to NSG Guidelines and has shown keen interest in joining the four export control regimes i.e. NSG, MTCR, AG and Wassenaar Arrangement (WA).