SALW: New Guidelines On Transportation Of Small Arms By Air

States participating in the Wassenaar Arrangement on arms exports have agreed on best practise guidelines for transporting small arms by air.

UN arms embargoes have been violated in the past by arms dealers, falsifying transport documents and aircraft registration numbers, and changing flight routes and destinations. States are now encouraged to request details of freight forwarding agents, registration numbers, flight routes and previous stopover records from all private aircraft carriers before a license to export small arms is authorised.

  • Many experts praised the guidelines as an important first step.
  • The guidelines exclude government and military transfers and are not legally binding.


The Wassenaar Arrangement

The Participating States of the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) are Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom and the United States.



The WA Participating States:

  • Have agreed to maintain national export controls on listed items. These controls are implemented via national legislation.
  • Are guided by agreed Best Practices, Guidelines or Elements.
  • Have agreed to report on transfers and denials of specified controlled items to destinations outside the Arrangement.
  • Exchange information on sensitive dual-use goods and technologies


For more information: