MTCR Guideline 8 states that “the adherence of all states to MTCR Guidelines, in the interest of international peace and security, would be welcome”. Especially in recent years there is a strong and growing common interest of all MTCR Partners to encourage non-members to install effective national export controls over all items covered by the MTCR and to unilaterally adhere to MTCR Guidelines. Such national export controls are thus a prerequisite for adherence.
The principle of adherence was brought further one step by the 2014 Oslo consensus decision to establish adherence formalities. This included the agreement among MTCR Partners that they will advocate for adherence, among others in outreach visits to non-MTCR Members by the MTCR Chair.
If a country decides to declare full adherence to the MTCR Guidelines according to these new formalities, they are to notify the MTCR Point of Contact in Paris in writing of their political commitment to control all of the items that are included in the MTCR Technical Annex, including any subsequent changes to the Annex/Guidelines. It is thus more than a one-time exercise; an adherent has to follow the changes in Guidelines and Annex on a regular basis.
Adherents will be offered several things:
- Invitation to Technical Outreach Meetings, which are intended to brief non-MTCR Members on recent changes to the Annex;
- Delivery by MTCR Partners made at Licensing and Enforcement Experts Meetings (LEEM), under condition of agreement by the presenting partners;
- Meetings with the MTCR Chair on margins of other multilateral meetings that are attended by the MTCR Chair;
- Listing on the MTCR website, and inclusion of a reference to the adherent status in each MTCR Plenary press release.
It should be stressed that there is no relationship between adherence and Regime membership. Adherence is not an alternative to membership nor a different class of membership. If a country wants to become a member of the Regime, it still has to apply for membership. Decisions within the Regime on such an application have to be taken in the same way and according to the same criteria and factors for consideration, independent from a declaration of adherence.
So far, Estonia and Latvia have declared their adherence to the MTCR Guidelines as a basis for their national export controls concerning missile technology.