Today, Control Arms releases a new report specifically addressing import and transit issues in a future Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). Whereas much of the attention in ATT discussions has been placed on the export aspect of the international arms trade and the major arms exporting states, a majority of states are primarily or even exclusively arms importers, with many also being states through which arms transit.
In the report, “Import and Transit Considerations in An Arms Trade Treaty,” the authors provide an array of recommendations for how to responsibly include and implement import and transit controls under an Arms Trade Treaty. Key findings include the need for coordinated and transparent regulatory and reporting structures, brokering legislation, and the establishment of authority to control items passing through national territory. While there are concerns about the capacity of states to implement a robust control system under an ATT, the report indicates that much is already in place that can be used and amplified.
The report is based on case studies of Barbados, Estonia, and Namibia — three states representing different geographical, institutional and economical contexts – each located near major trade routes and thus familiar with the transit trade, while at the same time not major arms producers or exporters.
The report was authored by experts from Project Ploughshares (Canada), the Institute for Security Studies (South Africa), and the Center for International Trade and Security – University of Georgia (United States), with financial support from the United Kingdom. Each case study is primarily reliant on open source data and interviews conducted by researchers.