Export Control and Related Border Security Program

The Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) program seeks to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and destabilizing accumulations and irresponsible transfers of conventional weapons by building effective national strategic trade control systems in countries that possess, produce, or supply strategic items, as well as in countries through which such items are most likely to transit.

In developing and improving these trade and border control systems, we work to ensure conformity with international standards for regulating trade in items on the control lists of the multilateral export control regimes, to prevent the authorization of transfers to end-uses and end-users of proliferation concern, and to detect and interdict illicit transfers at the border. In building countries' capacity in this critical area, the EXBS program advances U.S. efforts to establish a global WMD detection architecture and helps key partners meet their obligations and commitments pursuant to important U.S. and international initiatives, including UN Security Council Resolution 1540, the Proliferation Security Initiative, the National Security Strategy and adherence to the guidelines of multilateral export control regimes.

The EXBS program works with partner governments to identify regulatory and institutional gaps and to develop resource requirements. The program provides a wide range of technical assistance, from executive exchanges to training workshops to the provision of detection equipment and specialized training for border control and enforcement agencies. The program provides assistance in five core areas:

  • Laws and Regulations
  • Licensing
  • Enforcement
  • Government-Industry Cooperation
  • Interagency and International Cooperation and Coordination

The EXBS program draws on the expertise and cooperation of a range of U.S. government agencies, the private sector, and U.S. and international nongovernmental organizations to provide the legal, licensing and enforcement training, along with the necessary information systems and equipment, to put the relevant capabilities into the hands of willing governments.

Interagency Coordination

ISN’s Office of Export Control Cooperation has a mandate from the White House to coordinate U.S. Government assistance in the area of export and related border control assistance, and does this primarily through its chairing of the Interagency Working Group on Nonproliferation Export and Border Control Assistance. Through this mechanism, ECC coordinates the efforts of other U.S. Government agencies that have independent programs to work in the nonproliferation strategic trade control/border security area to ensure an integrated U.S. Government effort.

The Department of Defense’s International Counter-Proliferation Program and Proliferation Prevention Program, and the Department of Energy’s Second Line of Defense Program and International Nonproliferation Export Control Program provide related assistance.  Within State, the Bureau of Counterterrorism and the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs provide border security assistance that can overlap with EXBS efforts.

ECC has taken steps to strengthen interagency coordination by developing an interagency donor strategy that was drafted with input from U.S. Government agencies represented in the IWG.

Several U.S. Government programs, the private sector, academic community, and international organizations participate in implementation of EXBS outreach. EXBS collaborates with the INECP in delivery of commodity identification training to partner countries’ border enforcement officials. Further, licensing and enforcement experts from the Department of Commerce, Justice, and Homeland Security contribute their expertise to EXBS activities.

Funding for the EXBS program comes from annual foreign operations appropriations acts. The Department obligates funds to other U.S. government agencies, contracts out directly to the private sector, and award grants to U.S. and international NGOs to conduct activities that support program objectives. To help implement and coordinate program assistance, ECC obligates funds to hire and station program advisors in select partner countries as priorities dictate. For more information on our advisor program, see our Advisor Program link.

The EXBS program is active in more than 60 countries with a budget in fiscal year 2016 of about $58.7 million. The EXBS program's comprehensive approach, flexibility, responsiveness, and interagency approach make it a unique resource for addressing critical aspects of the United States' nonproliferation objectives.