The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCoC) is the result of concerted efforts on the part of the international community to internationally regulate the ballistic-missile field. The Code, formally signed on 25 November 2002, is the only multilateral instrument which specifically deals with ballistic missiles.
Subscribing States commit themselves to exercising maximum possible restraint in the development, testing, and deployment of ballistic missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction (WMD). States agree to make an annual declaration of ballistic-missile policies and to make pre-launch notifications. The voluntary Code is a set of principles, modest commitments, incentives, and limited confidence-building measures, including transparency of missile policy and stockpiles.
HCoC does not prohibit States from possessing ballistic missiles, nor from benefitting from the peaceful use of outer space. The Code also does not call for the destruction of any missiles. Rather, the essential aim of the Code is to build confidence and transparency.
Since the signing of the Code in The Hague in 2002, Netherlands, the number of Subscribing States has increased from 93 to 138. The Code is open to all States, which can join by sending a diplomatic note to the Immediate Central Contact for HCoC, the Austrian Foreign Ministry for European and International Affairs.