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23.9.2017 : 18:20 : +0200

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  • Documenting Weapons in Situations of Armed Conflict: Methods and Trends, June 2014. Research Note No. 42, Weapons and Markets.

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Transfers

The trade in small arms, light weapons, and their parts, accessories, and ammunition involves every country in the world. The Trade Update 2017 estimated that international small arms trade by top and major exporters is worth at least USD 6 billion. 

The global trade in small arms and light weapons consists of both newly produced weapons and surplus arms that their owners no longer need. Trade in sporting shotguns, sporting rifles, pistols, and revolvers is much greater than that in firearms made to military specifications. A small number of countries dominate this trade; 21 countries are known to have exported at least USD 100 million in a single year between 2001 and 2014.

The Small Arms Survey's annual Transparency Barometer assesses and compares the relative transparency of countries’ export reports.

Many countries, including exporters and importers, serve as transit points, where arms are imported and then shipped on to other destinations.

Exporters

An analysis of customs data suggests that seven countries routinely export small arms worth more than USD 100 million. Forty-nine countries have exported at least USD 10 million of such materiel in at least one year between 2001 and 2014. The number of major exporters and the value of their activity is likely under-counted.

Importers

An analysis of customs data suggests that 20 countries have imported small arms worth more than USD 100 million during a single year for the period 2001 to 2014.

Authorized Trade

Each year, the Small Arms Survey further provides an update of annual authorized small arms and light weapons exports and imports by major exporter and importer (annual transfers of at least USD 10 million).

Illicit Trafficking

The illicit trade in small arms and light weapons occurs around the globe but is concentrated in areas afflicted by armed conflict, violence, and organized crime, where the demand for illicit weapons is often highest. Arms trafficking fuels civil wars and regional conflicts; stocks the arsenals of terrorists, drug cartels, and other armed groups; and contributes to violent crime and the proliferation of sensitive technology. 

 
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