Today, the administration announced an update to the 2018 Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Export Policy which affects one of America’s most innovative industries. With this revision, the U.S. government will invoke its national discretion on the implementation of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)’s ‘strong presumption of denial’ for transfers of Category I systems to treat a carefully selected subset of MTCR Category I UAS with maximum airspeed less than 800 kilometers per hour as Category II.
All proposed transfers affected by this change will continue to be subject to the same rigorous review criteria outlined in the United States’ UAS Export Policy, the Conventional Arms Transfer Policy, and the Arms Export Control Act, as well as the specific nonproliferation criteria identified in the MTCR Guidelines. This policy change modernizes our approach to implementing our MTCR commitments to reflect current technological realities and helps our allies and partners meet their urgent national security and commercial requirements.
The United States remains a committed member of the MTCR and regards it as an important nonproliferation tool to curb the spread of high-end missile technologies to countries such as North Korea and Iran. Preventing the use and spread of WMD and their means of delivery remains an administration priority.