China's State Council on Friday promulgated amendments to its regulations
regarding the export of nuclear goods and technologies for both civil and
military use, requiring the importers to fulfill more obligations to ward off
acts of nuclear terrorism.
The State Council Decree No. 484, signed by Premier Wen Jiabao, forbids the
importer from reproducing nuclear goods or technologies provided by China to
carry out nuclear explosions or for any other purpose which is not agreed before
The recipient of the goods must also guarantee that they would not reproduce
the materials for nuclear fuel cycling unless it is under the supervision of the
International Atomic Energy Agency or it has signed agreements with the agency.
Importers are also forbidden from transferring a reproduction of nuclear
goods and technologies to any third party which has not been identified as the
Previous regulations enacted by China in June 1998 failed to address the
issue of reproduction of nuclear goods.
The revision of the regulation also added software onto the country's control
list for nuclear exports, which used to refer only to equipment, materials and
Observers said the revision, which takes effect immediately, is a sign of
China's commitment to nuclear nonproliferation and a reaction to rising concerns
over the possibility of nuclear terrorism.
The revision also clarifies that the Chinese government would take "all
necessary measures" to prevent nuclear goods and technologies exports from
jeopardizing national and global peace and security.
It also says for the first time that licensed companies must keep all
contracts, invoices and business correspondences relevant to the export of
nuclear goods and technologies for at least five years.
A special expert consulting panel will be set up under the jurisdiction of
the Ministry of Commerce to undertake the consulting, evaluation and
verification of nuclear goods and technologies for exports.
The Ministry of Commerce may ask the customs authorities to detain and
inspect suspicious cargo. For goods and cargo beyond the supervisory capacity of
customs, the Ministry of Commerce may seal them up and ask relevant departments
to carry out further inspections.
The revision also clarified the penalties and fines for transgressors. Those
who smuggle nuclear goods and technologies or counterfeit trade export licenses
will face hefty fines.
If the turnover is less than 50,000 yuan (about 6,579 U.S. dollars),
transgressors will be fined from 50,000 yuan to 250,000 yuan (about 32, 895 U.S.
Unlike the previous regulations which required State Council approval for the
modification of the nuclear export control list, the Ministry of Commerce will
have the authority to make regular adjustments in collaboration with the
International Atomic Energy Agency and other members of the Nuclear Suppliers
China joined the NSG in 2004 and is one of seven countries known to have a
nuclear weapon capacity along with the United States, Russia, the United
Kingdom, France, India and Pakistan.
Statistics from the Melbourne-based Uranium Information Center showed that by
January 2007, 57 countries operate civil research reactors, and 30 have 435
commercial nuclear power reactors with a total installed capacity of over
370,000 MWe. This is more than three times the total generating capacity of
France and Germany from all sources.
Some 30 further power reactors are under construction, equivalent to six
percent of the existing capacity while over 60 are firmly planned, equivalent to
18 percent of the present capacity.