The Zangger Committee, also known as the "NPT Exporters Committee", essentially contributes to the interpretation of article III, paragraph 2, of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and thereby offers guidance to all parties to the Treaty.
Article III, paragraph 2, of the NPT performs a vital function in helping to ensure the peaceful use of nuclear material and equipment. Specifically, it provides:
"Each State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to provide: (a) source or special fissionable material, or (b) equipment or material especially designed or prepared for the processing, use, or production of special fissionable material, to any non-nuclear-weapon State for peaceful purposes, unless the source or special fissionable material shall be subject to the safeguards required by this article."
The main significance of this paragraph is that parties to the Treaty should not export, directly or indirectly, nuclear material and equipment to non-nuclear-weapon States unless the export is subject to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. By interpreting and implementing article III, paragraph 2, the Zangger Committee helps to prevent the diversion of exported nuclear items from peaceful purposes to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, and thereby furthers the objectives of the Treaty and enhances the security of all States.
As circumstances are changing with respect to the use of nuclear technology, it is the Zangger Committee's mission within the framework of the NPT to take account of changing security aspects and to adapt export control conditions and criteria from time to time according to the needs.