7. Arms Export Controls and Transparency

Possibly critical

Criterion seven of the EU Common Position asks whether there is a risk that the military technology or equipment will be diverted within the recipient country or re-exported under undesirable conditions. The assessment of the database emphasises membership in the two central international regimes for the control of the transfers of conventional arms, the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and the Wassenaar Arrangement. If a state is neither a member of the ATT nor of the Wassenaar Arrangement, it is rated as ‘critical’.

The database also includes information on the level of transparency with regard to the transfer of small arms (via the Small Arms Trade Transparency Barometer) and on anti-corruption measures in the defence sector (via the Government Defence Anti-Corruption Index). This is based on the assumption that high levels of intransparency and corruption facilitate illicit diversion of arms. If a country performs very poorly with regard to these two indicators, it is rated as ‘critical’, too. Respectively, the country is rated as ‘possibly critical’ if it performs poorly here.

Finally, to support the risk assessment with regard to diversion, the database provides information on the arms exports control regime of a recipient country. It asks whether national exports controls, brokering regulations and enforcement measures are in place; whether measures are taken to mitigate the risk of diversion; and whether a state is reporting on its arms transfers to the UN Register of Conventional Arms and the ATT reporting system. The source for these data is the National Transfer Control Database of the Arms Trade Treaty Baseline Assessment Project (BAP). If, according to this data, a country has established only few national arms transfer controls, it is rated as ‘possibly critical’.


Member of the Wassenaar Arrangement Yes
Arms Trade Treaty, 2014 No
National Arms Transfer Control System (BAP National Transfer Control Database) 0 out of 16 points
Measures to Mitigate the Risk of Diversion (BAP National Transfer Control Database) 0 out of 9 points
Transparency (BAP National Transfer Control Database) 0 out of 11 points
Government Defence Anti-Corruption Index D
Small Arms Trade Transparency Barometer 8.25


  • Member of the Wassenaar Arrangement

    The Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) has been established in 1996 to contribute to regional and international security and stability, by promoting transparency and greater responsibility in transfer of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies, thus preventing destabilising accumulations. Participating States seek, through their national policies, to ensure that transfers of these items do not contribute to the development or enhancement of military capabilities which undermine these goals, and are not diverted to support such capabilities.


  • ATT Baseline Assessment Project (BAP)

    National Transfer Control Database

    The Arms Trade Treaty-Baseline Assessment Project (ATT-BAP) was developed by Rachel Stohl (Stimson Center) and Paul Holtom (Coventry University) following the adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty. The project seeks to provide clear guidance on the obligations contained within the ATT and to establish a baseline assessment of States’ abilities to implement the Treaty. The National Transfer Control Database provides information on the national arms transfer control systems of states; for example on export control legislation, transparency, or measures to address diversion.


  • UNODA Disarmament Treaties Database

    Since 1978, the United Nations has been publishing the status of multilateral Arms Regulation and Disarmament Agreements, presenting data on signatories, partied of relevant agreements and the texts of the agreements themselves.


  • Government Defence Anti-Corruption Index

    The Government Defence Anti-Corruption Index (GI) of Transparency International assesses the existence, effectiveness and enforcement of institutional and informal controls to manage the risk of corruption in defence and security institutions. The experts draw together evidence from a wide variety of sources and interviewees across 77 indicators to provide a detailed assessment of the integrity of national defence institutions, and awarded a score for each country from A to F.


  • Small Arms Trade Transparency Barometer

    The Small Arms Trade Transparency Barometer, published by Small Arms Survey, assesses countries’ transparency of their small arms exports (quantity, precision, and usefulness of the data made publicly available), taking into account national arms export reports, including national contributions to the EU and SEESAC Reports, submissions to the ATT, the UN Programme of Action and International Tracing Instrument, the UN Register of Conventional Arms and the UN Commodity Trade Statistics Database.