Australia Group Membership
Countries interested in applying for Australia Group membership should, in the first instance, forward a third person note with an expression of interest to the Australia Group Chair. The Chair will then inform AG participants and seeks their views and/or list the item for discussion at the next AG plenary meeting. After AG participants agree to consider the application, the Chair will liaise with the candidate country for provision of a formal application with detailed information on the country’s legislation and policy of export controls, relevant to the purposes of the AG, to ensure it addresses the criteria for participation. The candidate country must meet all the criteria and no exceptions or exemptions are made.
AG participants will then scrutinise the application and may take up specific issues and questions with the candidate country bilaterally or through the AG Chair. The Chair will seek advice from AG participants on the status of their scrutiny of the application and determine when the AG is ready to take a decision as to whether the candidate country should be admitted to the AG. The decision is made by consensus i.e. all AG participants must agree to admit the candidate country.
Criteria for participation include, but are not limited to:
- A commitment to prevent the spread of CBW proliferation, including being a party, in good standing, to the Biological and Toxins Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention.
- Being a manufacturer, exporter or transshipper of AG controlled items.
- Adopting and implementing the AG Guidelines for Transfers of Sensitive Chemical or Biological Items.
- Implementing an effective export control system which provides national controls for all items on the AG common control lists and is supported by adequate licensing and enforcement regimes.
- Creating legal penalties and sanctions for contravention of controls and being willing to enforce them.
- Creating relevant channels for the exchange of information including: accepting the confidentiality of the information exchange; creating liaison channels for expert discussions; and creating a denial notification system protecting commercial confidentiality.
- Agreeing to participate in the AG in a way that will strengthen the effectiveness of the AG in preventing CBW proliferation.
Note: This criteria is part of the AG’s long-standing policy on membership.