Projects / Current Projects

Trade monitoring for biological dual use items

Export Importing Monitoring Workshop, Brussels 17-18 April 2008

Hamburg University’s Research Group for Biological Arms Control on 17 and 18 April hosted a workshop entitled “Amending the WCO’s Harmonized System to Strengthen Non-Proliferation Efforts for Bioweapons” at the Hanse-Office in Brussels. The workshop aimed to bring together a diverse expertise, among others, in the area of trade and customs, biological ams control and civil soceity verification to discuss steps forward in the trade monitoring system. Most pressing was the need to discuss possible changes to the Harmonized System code to more finely identify biological dual-use items. The Research Group, in September 2007, proposed a detailed list of items to the WCO which should be identified individually. This proposal was published as official WCO document NR0713E1a (+ Annex) of 5 November 2007 and put on the agenda of the 36th session of the WCO’s HS Review Sub-Committee and as a result, the HS secreteriat was instructed to prepare a document identifying possible new numeration for the relavant items. This document will be discussed at the 37th session of the HS Review Sub-Committee in May 2008. The aim of the workshop was, therefore, to better identify relevant dual use equipment, discuss the logistics of the HS new numeration, and to exchange ideas on the usefulness of such a mechanism.