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COCOM redirects here. For information about the United States Combatant Commands, see Unified Combatant Command.

CoCom is an acronym for Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls. CoCom was established by Western bloc powers in the first five years[1] after the end of WWII, during the Cold War, to put an arms embargo on COMECON (Warsaw Pact) countries.

CoCom ceased to function on March 31, 1994, and the then-current control list of embargoed goods was retained by the member nations until the successor, the Wassenaar Arrangement, was established.



CoCom had 17 member states: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.

In addition there were a number of cooperating countries, such as Austria, Finland, Ireland, New Zealand, Sweden and Switzerland.


Toshiba Machine Company of Japan supplied eight computer-guided propeller milling machines to the Soviet Union between 1982 and 1984, an action that violated the CoCom regulations. The United States's position is that this greatly improved the ability of Soviet submarines to evade detection. Congress moved to sanction Toshiba, and bar imports of its products into the United States.


In GPS technology, the phrasing "COCOM Limits" is also used to refer to a limit placed to GPS tracking devices that should disable tracking when the device realizes to be moving faster than 1,000 knots (approximately 515 m/s or 1,852 km/h) at an altitude higher than 60,000 ft (approximately 18,000 m). This was intended to avoid the use of GPS in ICBM-like applications.

Some manufacturers apply this limit literally (disable when both limits are reached), other manufacturers disable tracking when a single limit is reached.


Laws and regulations

In the United States, CoCom compliance was implemented in the 1960s via the Arms Control Export Act (ACEA) and the State Department's regulatory supervision on AECA via ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations]]. AECA and ITAR are still is use,

See also


  1. ^ Yasuhara, Y.. "The myth of free trade: the origins of COCOM 1945–1950". The Japanese Journal of American Studies, 4. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 


  • Mastanduno, M. (1992). Economic containment: CoCom and the politics of East-West trade. Cornell paperbacks. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, N.Y.
  • Noehrenberg, E. H. (1995). Multilateral export controls and international regime theory: the effectiveness of COCOM. Pro Universitate.
  • Yasuhara, Y. (1991). The myth of free trade: the origins of COCOM 1945-1950. The Japanese Journal of American Studies, 4.

External links


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