The FATF defines proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) as the transfer and export of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons, their means of delivery and related materials. The issue of proliferation received international attention for several years. A number of international conventions provide for measures to detect and prohibit proliferation, especially with regard to nuclear materials (such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty). These treaties do not, however, consider the aspect of financing proliferation. In 2004, the UN Security Council issued Resolution 1540, requiring states to put in place a number of measures in order to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. Subsequently, the FATF started in 2007 to consider the threats related to proliferation financing and its interconnection with terrorism and terrorism financing.

The interconnection is based on the fact that proliferation might be a means for supporting the undertaking of terrorist activities. Its disruption is therefore essential for the prevention of terrorist acts. Moreover, the practical undertaking of proliferation financing often uses the same channels as terrorist financing. Measures to be applied in order to disrupt proliferation financing would therefore often be similar to the measures applied to counter terrorist financing.

Such measures are included in Recommendation 7 of the revised 2012 FATF Recommendations. It requires countries to put in place to implement the UNSC Resolutions concerning the prevention, suppression and disruption of proliferation of WMD and its financing. The requirements of the Recommendation 7 mirror the provisions of Recommendation 6 which sets obligations in respect of the UNSCRs related to TF. For further information on the relevant UNSCRs, see the section Targeted financial sanctions.