Workshop on Developing Effective Strategic Trade Controls in Kenya

From Tuesday, August 18 to Thursday, August 20, the Kenyan Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and explosives (CBRNe) Strategic Trade Controls (STC) Sub-Committee participated in a workshop with legal and regulatory experts from the United States. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s EXBS Program and in support of the U.S.-Kenya Security Governance Initiative (SGI), the workshop focused on the drafting of comprehensive trade management legislation, a proposed Strategic Trade Management Act (STMA), dual-use technology, and conventional weapons.

EXBS has partnered with Kenya since 2004. This was the latest in a series of workshops. It was a follow-up to a Legal-Regulatory workshop held in May 2015 and the continuation of consultations on the drafting of Strategic Trade Control (STC) laws for the implementation of a strategic trade control system as obligated in the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540.

WHAT ARE STRATEGIC TRADE CONTROLS?

STCs are legal and regulatory policies put in place by a government to control the trade and transfer of items that have the potential for being misused to harm domestic and international security. States without effective control over such items remain vulnerable to exploitation by those seeking to acquire such weapons, such as violent extremists and criminal organizations.

STC has the potential to strengthen Kenya’s trade sector. When implemented, STCs increase legitimate trade while reducing illicit technology transfers. By having effective controls, international businesses and suppliers are more likely to share high technologies because they know their trading partner will take steps to protect them against diversion to harmful end-uses or unauthorized third countries.

Adopting STCs will give Kenya a distinct advantage over regional and international competitors that have yet to develop such controls, further enhancing the leadership role of Kenya in the East African Community (EAC). By increasing the confidence of international trading partners, Kenyan businesses and traders will gain access to higher technology and higher-value products.

In addition to being in Kenya’s security and economic interests, all States — including Kenya — are obligated by United Nations Security Resolution 1540 to have effective national controls on exports of items related to nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and their means of delivery. This includes laws and regulations on exports, transit, transshipment and re-export of such items, as well as controls on a range of trade services.

NEXT STEPS

During the second half of October 2015, several members of the STC Sub-committee will take part in the Security and Strategic Trade Management Academy at the University of Georgia’s Center for International Trade Security in Athens, Georgia, U.S. This prestigious two-week event will provide participants from across the globe a forum to share international best practices on trade management. The event will also introduce participants to internationally recognized experts in the field of trade management, who will enhance participant understanding of how to further develop appropriate trade controls in their home countries.