National Implementation of IHL
Law on the fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, 2011
LOI n° 2011-266 du 14 mars 2011 relative à la lutte contre la prolifération des armes de destruction massive et de leurs vecteurs (1)

JORF n°0062 du 15 mars 201, 1 page 4577, texte n° 1, (last accessed on 02.05.2013) 

The law comprehensively amends and incorporates numerous provisions into the Code of Defence, the Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure, and the Code of Customs, under the following categories: the fight against proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), subdivided in Title I into Nuclear (Chapter I), Biological (Chapter II) and Chemical (Chapter III) Weapons. Title II refers specifically to the fight against proliferation of the means of delivery of WMDs. Title III covers the manipulation of goods with more than one use (double-use goods). Title IV deals with amendments to the procedure applicable to crimes related to proliferation of WMDs, including jurisdictional issues. Titles V and VI include additional miscellaneous amendments.

Among the numerous changes, the law amends the list of prohibited conduct related to biological agents and toxins, now including transportation, acquisition, transfer, import, export, trading, brokerage, and financing of these activities. For chemical weapons, financing activities are also criminalized and punished. The penalties for violations have been aligned to those applicable for chemical weapons: imprisonment of up to twenty years, or thirty if committed as part of a terrorist activity.

Regarding the means of delivery of WMDs, the law provides for offences related to the manufacture, trade, acquisition, possession, carriage, transportation, disposal, and import of military equipment when such offences involve delivering WMDs. In these cases the penalty is increased to fifteen yearsimprisonment, or twenty if committed by an organized group. The means of delivery of WMDs are defined as missiles, rockets, and other unmanned systems capable of delivering nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons that are specifically designed for such purpose. Financing activities that amount to this offence is also criminalized and punished, as well as resorting by fraudulent means to an authorization or approval as required by the Code of Defence to perform an activity in connection with war material when such permits or approval includes means of delivery of WMDs. Criminal liability of legal persons is also provided for. Finally, the new law supplements laws on anti-terrorism by listing crimes that might be described as terrorist acts.

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application/pdf 251 KB France - Law on WMD, 2011.pdf