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17.10.2019 : 10:47 : +0200

Recent Publications

  • From Legal to Lethal: Converted Firearms in Europe, by Nicolas Florquin and Benjamin King. Small Arms Survey Report, April 2018 (also available in French).

    Download (1.22 MB)
  • Trade Update 2017: Out of the Shadows, by Paul Holtom and Irene Pavesi. September 2017.

    Download (2.99 MB)
  • Web Trafficking: Analysing the Online Trade of Small Arms and Light Weapons in Libya, by N.R. Jenzen-Jones and Ian McCollum, April 2017. Working Paper No. 26 (also available in Arabic).

    Download (1.18 MB)

The Transparency Barometer

Assessing and comparing national reports on small arms exports and reporting under multilateral instruments is complicated as their formats differ widely: from a few pages of statistics to several hundred pages of text and tables. The Small Arms Trade Transparency Barometer seeks to answer the question : how useful is the data provided for understanding a country's small arms exports?

In order to assess countries’ transparency of their small arms exports, the  Barometer takes into account:

  • national arms export reports, including national contributions to the EU Annual Report on military equipment exports as well as submissions to the SEESAC Regional Report;
  • Arms Trade Treaty initial and annual reports;
  • national reports on the implementation of the UN Programme of Action and International Tracing Instrument;
  • submissions to the UN Register of Conventional Arms (UN Register); and
  • submissions to the UN Commodity Trade Statistics Database (UN Comtrade).

 The Transparency Barometer uses the following seven parameters to assess transparency and for scoring purposes: (i) timeliness, (ii) access and consistency, (iii) clarity, (iv) comprehensiveness; (v) deliveries, (vi) licences granted, and (vii) licences refused.

It is important to stress that the Transparency Barometer evaluates the provision of information on small arms exports and does not seek to independently verify the veracity of that information. In other words, it assesses the quantity, precision, and usefulness of the data made publicly available by countries, but not its accuracy.

Because of its focus on small arms and light weapons exports, the Barometer cannot be used as a general measure of transparency for all arms exports. It includes only countries that have exported small arms and light weapons, their parts, accessories, and ammunition of a value equal to or greater than USD 10 million on at least one occasion since 2001.

The 2018 edition of the Transparency Barometer reviews information on trade activities that states carried out in 2015 and made public during the course of the following calendar year. It identifies Switzerland (21.75 out of 25 points), the Netherlands (20.00), the UK (20.00), Italy (19.50), and Serbia (19.00) as the most transparent of major exporters. The average score of all evaluated countries in the 2018 Barometer is 12.35. This rather low average means that the vast majority of states, including those scoring better than average, still have some way to go before achieving full transparency in their export reporting.

Transparency Barometer

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