BAFA organises cross-regional workshop for group of MENA states on arms transfer controls and illicit trafficking and diversion in conventional arms

Activity description

On 29 and 30 October 2019, BAFA, in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Algeria and in the framework of the EU COARM Outreach Project, organised a cross-regional workshop in Algiers for 42 participants from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Tunisia, as well as from the league of Arab States, the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism and AFRIPOL. The agenda of the first day included sessions about global developments and national challenges in arms transfer controls; the national state of play of export control and current challenges in the participating countries; the cooperation between licensing agency and companies in order to ensure compliance as well as transit and transshipment controls from a customs point of view, including a number of case studies.

The second day was dedicated to discussions about how to combat illicit trafficking and diversion in conventional arms in the member states of the League of Arab States; diversion risks in export and import control systems from the importing country perspective; facts and instruments of the illicit arms trade, including cross-border smuggling, seizure data and worldwide seizure trends; the particular challenges that the technological development of SALW imply for arms control and, eventually, the importance of capacity building to combat illicit challenges. In the afternoon, further opportunities and instruments of regional cooperation were discussed. The event was supported by five experts from Austria, Croatia, Italy, Small Arms Survey and the World Customs Organisation.

Project description

This activity is part of the fourth phase of a project implemented by BAFA since 2010, on the promotion of effective arms export controls, and is based on EU Council Decision 2018/101. The project aims at promoting improved controls on arms transfers in third countries, in accordance with the principles set out in Common Position 2008/944/CFSP and in the ATT, and to support third countries’ efforts, at national and regional levels, to render trade in conventional weapons more responsible and transparent, and to mitigate the risk of arms diversion to unauthorized users. As part of this project, BAFA is tasked with assisting third countries in drafting, updating and implementing legislative and administrative measures to establish an effective system of conventional arms export controls, and with training licensing and enforcement officers responsible for the implementation and enforcement of arms transfer controls. Activities also include conducting outreach to third countries’ national arms industries to ensure compliance with arms control regulations and promoting transparency and responsibility in the arms trade. Accession to and ratification of the ATT is encouraged as part of the project. Furthermore, the project draws attention to the risks of arms diversion as well as to mitigation measures to prevent such diversion, both on the part of exporting and importing states.

Type of Activity
Institutional capacity-building
Sensitization and outreach
Focus of Activity
Border controls
Import controls
Regional cooperation
Regional instruments
Risk assessments
Small arms and light weapons (SALW) controls
Transfer controls
Transit and trans-shipment controls
German Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA)
European Union (EU)
Contact Details
Contact Person
Ruxandra Ullrich - Senior Project Manager Division 226 / Outreach Management
Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA)
Frankfurter Strasse 29-35,65760 Eschborn
+49 6196 908 2148
+49 6196 908 2148