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Importers

An analysis of customs data suggests that for the period 2001 to 2013 seven countries—Australia,  Canada, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and the United States—routinely imported small arms, light weapons, their parts, accessories, and ammunition worth USD 100 million or more per year.

Customs data also suggests that eleven additional countries imported at least USD 100 million or more in at least one year during this twelve-year period: Cyprus, Egypt, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Norway, Pakistan, Spain, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates.

A review of customs data shows also that Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, the Russian Federation, Spain, South Korea, Switzerland, and Thailand routinely imported more than USD 50 million per year from 2001 to 2013.

In 2013 eight countries—Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Norway, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States of America—imported small arms, light weapons, their parts, accessories, and ammunition worth USD 100 million or. Norway and the United Arab Emirates hit this mark for the first time since 2001. In the same year, thirteen additional countries imported at least USD 50 million or more: Belgium, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, the Russian Federation, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

The United States is by far the biggest documented importer of small arms. In 2013 it hit its record high, with USD 2.5 billion. 

For additional information on annual authorized small arms and light weapons exports and imports by major exporter and importer (annual transfers of at least USD 10 million) as reported in UN Comtrade, see Trade Update 2016: Transfers and Transparency.

Note: This data does not reflect transfers to and from all countries. Moreover, it excludes trade in many categories of light weapons ammunition and light weapons systems. It does not take the rate of inflation into account.

» See annual import data

 

Small Arms Survey Publications

  • Trade Update 2016: Transfers and Transparency, by Irene Pavesi. June 2016.

    Download (4.71 MB)
  • Small Arms of the Indian State: A Century of Procurement and Production, January 2014. India Armed Violence Assessment Issue Brief No. 4 (also available in Hindi).

    Download
  • The US Firearms Industry: Production and Supply, by Jurgen Brauer, February 2013. Working Paper No. 14.

    Download (1.82 MB)
  • Small Arms Transfers: Importing States, November 2011. Research Note No. 12, Weapons and Markets (also available in Catalan and Spanish).

    Download (245.05 KB)
  • Skirting the Law: Post-CPA Arms Flows to Sudan, by Mike Lewis, September 2009. Working Paper No. 18 (also available in Arabic)

    Download
  • The Militarization of Sudan: a Preliminary Review of Arms Flows and Holdings, April 2007. HSBA Issue Brief No. 6 (also available in Arabic)

    Download
  • Buying the Bullet: Authorized Small Arms Ammunition Transfers, by  Anne-Kathrin Glatz, 2006. In Stéphanie Pézard and Holger Anders, eds. Targeting Ammunition: A Primer.

    Download (1.26 MB)
  • Making Global Public Policy: The Case of Small Arms and Light Weapons, by Edward Laurence and Rachel Stohl, December 2002. Occasional Paper No. 7

    Download (292.02 KB)
  • Small Arms Availability, Trade, and Impacts in the Republic of Congo, commissioned by IOM and the UNDP, by Spyros Demetriou, Robert Muggah and Ian Biddle, April 2002. Special Report No. 2

    Download (720.11 KB)
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Other Publications

  • Solmirano, Carina and Pieter D. Wezeman. 2010. Military Spending and Arms Procurement in the Gulf States. SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) Fact Sheet. October. Stockholm: SIPRI. 

    Download
  • Holtom, Paul. 2009. Reporting Tranfers of Light Arms and Small Weapons to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, 2007. SIPRI Background Paper. Stockholm: SIPRI.

    More information
  • Holtom, Paul. 2008. Transparency in Transfers of Small Arms and Light Weapons: Reports to the United Nations Register for Conventional Arms 2003-2006. Policy Paper 22. Stockholm: SIPRI.

    More information
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