Security Information Service (BIS)

Intelligence Service of the Czech Republic


The powers and responsibilities of the BIS in regard to securing information on trade in military equipment and proliferation

  • Section 5, paragraph 1, letter d) of Act No. 153/1994 Coll., on the Intelligence Services of the Czech Republic – the BIS secures information on activities the consequences of which may jeopardize the security or major economic interests of the Czech Republic
  • Section 5, paragraph 4 of Act No. 153/1994 Coll., on the Intelligence Services of the Czech Republic – BIS fulfills further tasks as defined by specific legislation or international treaties by which the Czech Republic is bound 


Military equipment encompasses products, their components or spare parts constructed or adapted for use by armed forces and security units in order to secure the defense and security of the state. Military equipment also includes machines, devices, industrial facilities, technologies, software equipment, technical documentation or instructions for military use, in particular for the development, production, checking and testing of other products, their components and spare parts. Services provided in relation to military equipment, i.e. repairs, adjustments, providing information, incoming and outgoing experts on research, development, construction, production, adjustment, repair, maintenance, use, and handling of military equipment are also considered military equipment.


Proliferation is characterized as the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), their carriers and internationally controlled items. From the intelligence point of view, the term “proliferation”, or more appropriately “non-proliferation”, refers to monitoring and disrupting activities aimed at obtaining strategic materials, devices, individual components, technologies and know-how that may be used for the development and production of WMDs (nuclear, chemical and biological), including their carriers.


Furthermore, the BIS is interested in dual-use items, i.e. products and technologies primarily intended for civilian purposes which may be, due to their characteristics and features, abused for the production of WMDs and their carriers, and used for military purposes. The monitoring of dual-use item and technology exports aims to prevent these goods and technologies from being obtained by states possibly using them in WMD proliferation programs, or by organizations intending to use them for terrorist or military purposes.


Illegal trade in the above mentioned commodities (especially their export to embargoed states or their use in a terrorist attack) may result in significant harm to the political and economic interests of the Czech Republic. 


In securing information on trade in military equipment and proliferation the BIS cooperates with the following institutions:  the Licensing Office of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the State Office for Nuclear Security, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Finance (the Customs Administration of the Czech Republic, the Financial Analytical Unit), and the Ministry of the Interior. The goal is to block deliveries when the items are demanded and a trade is prepared. As far as international trade in military equipment is concerned, the BIS aims to minimize the risks posed by exports to countries which do not provide sufficient guarantees that they will not excessively stockpile lethal weapons, use them for repression or for re-export to other countries posing risks.


The BIS informs legally stipulated addressees also about further issues related to the mediation, transit or transfer of controlled items. Furthermore, the BIS looks into explosives designed for civilian/industrial purposes, e.g. in relation to homemade improvised explosive devices.