Strategic Trade Control Enforcement Programme (STCE)

The United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 (UNSCR 1540) of 2004 calls on all States to adopt and enforce appropriate laws, and to take effective measures to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery to non-State actors. It is the first international instrument targeting the prevention of non-State actors from acquiring Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).

The WCO's Strategic Trade Control Enforcement (STCE) programme supports its Members in fulfilling key requirements outlined in the Customs component of UNSCR 1540. Customs plays a central role in enforcing strategic trade controls at international borders. Nevertheless, assessing trade compliance becomes particularly challenging in the oversight of dual-use goods. To address this, the WCO has formulated the STCE training curriculum for Members seeking to enhance their capabilities. This curriculum includes comprehensive briefings for policymakers on strengthening and sustaining national STCE initiatives, along with practical training modules designed for operational staff. The curriculum encompasses a range of materials, including Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) substances, as well as associated dual-use materials and equipment.

The STCE Programme offers the following capacity-building activities for Members: high-level orientation workshops, aimed at raising awareness of the security function of Customs, and at determining the STCE maturity level of the Customs administration; national STCE trainings, focusing on enhancing the skills of the operational Customs officers in the area of identification of goods with strategic potential and overseeing the transportation of these shipments; and Train-the-Trainer (T3) events, aimed at developing the pool of accredited national experts who support the WCO in delivering trainings across the globe. The STCE Programme aims to conduct two T3 events each year, actively working to ensure gender balance in the accreditation process.


  • STCE Implementation Guide The Guide assist Members with developing, reviewing and implementing their STCE processes and procedures, and provides a framework for the training curriculum.
  • The Strategic Trade Atlas (STA) The STA is a freely accessible online tool, a visual representation of each country’s exports and imports of potentially strategic goods. Its primary goal is to promote the understanding of global trade flows classified under HS codes associated with strategic commodities.


STRATComm – Permanent CUG on Cencomm platform is established for international operations to enable encrypted communication to exchange STC related information.

Cooperation with partner organizations
The WCO works closely together with international organizations, including the OPCW, UNODC, UNOCT, UNLIREC, IAEA, INTERPOL, and OSCE, to assist in the delivery of non-proliferation and export control focused events dealing with relevant topics such as UNSCR 1540, export controls, nonproliferation, and WMDs.


STCE's focus on Cosmo operations began in 2014, marked by the inaugural global Cosmo operation involving 89 countries. Expanding on its success, Cosmo 2 was launched in 2018, attracting participation from 114 countries. The findings suggested a shift towards implementing regional Cosmo operations rather than additional global ones. Notably, Operation ASEAN Cosmo concluded in 2020, followed by Operation Cosmo Central Asia in 2022 and Operation Cosmo Mediterranean (Cosmo Med) in 2023. Future Cosmo operations are anticipated based on perceived global and regional trends and threats.


The STCE Programme constantly develops and updates its STCE themed e-learning modules to enable officials keen to learn to advance their skill levels at their own pace: Introduction to Strategic Goods, Identification of Chemicals, Identification of Dual Use Materials, International Legal Frameworks Governing Strategic Trade, Identification of Dual-Use Materials, Dual-Use Equipment, STCE Risk Management. The e-learning modules are accessible here.