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20.10.2019 : 12:59 : +0200


Recent Publications

  • Le monitoring des armes en Guinée: les institutions forensiques nationales, by André Desmarais. SANA Briefing Paper, September 2019.

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  • Possible Measures to Prevent and Address Diversion: Supporting Effective Implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty. August 2018. Small Arms Survey Infographic (also available in French and Spanish)

    Download (2.88 MB)
  • Beyond Blue Helmets: Promoting Weapons and Ammunition Management in Non-UN Peace Operations, by Eric G. Berman. Small Arms Survey/MPOME Report, March 2019 (also available in Spanish)

    Download (1.28 MB)
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The trade in small arms, light weapons, and their parts, accessories, and ammunition involves every country in the world. The Trade Update 2018 estimated that international small arms trade by top and major exporters was worth at least USD 5.7 billion in 2015. 

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 2015.

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.


An analysis of customs data suggests that nine 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 2015. The number of major exporters and the value of their activity is likely under-counted.


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 2015.

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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