Elements for Export Controls

of Man-Portable Air Defence Systems (MANPADS)


(Agreed at the 2003 Plenary)



Recognising the threats posed by unauthorised proliferation and use of Man-Portable Air Defence Systems, especially to civil aviation, peace-keeping, crisis management and anti-terrorist operations, Participating States affirm that they apply strict national controls on the export of MANPADS.


1.        Scope.


1.1                   These Elements cover:

a)        surface-to-air missile systems designed to be man-portable and carried and fired by a single individual; and

b)        other surface-to-air missile systems designed to be operated and fired by more than one individual acting as a crew and portable by several individuals.

1.2                   National export controls apply to the international transfer or retransfer of MANPADS, including complete systems, components, spare parts, models, training systems, and simulators, for any purpose, by any means, including licensed export, sale, grant, loan, lease, co-production or licensing arrangement for production (hereafter "export").  The scope of export regulation and associated controls includes research, design, development, engineering, manufacture, production, assembly, testing, repair, maintenance, servicing, modification, upgrade, modernisation, operation, use, replacement or refurbishment, demilitarisation, and destruction of MANPADS; technical data, software, technical assistance, demonstration, and training associated with these functions; and secure transportation, storage. This scope according to national legislation may also refer to investment, marketing, advertising and other related activity.

1.3                   Any activity related to MANPADS within the territory of the producing country is subject to national laws and regulations.


2.    Control Conditions and Evaluation Criteria.


2.1          Decisions to permit MANPADS exports will be made by the exporting government by competent authorities at senior policy level and only to foreign governments or to agents specifically authorised to act on behalf of a government after presentation of an official EUC certified by the Government of the receiving country.


2.2          General licences are inapplicable for exports of MANPADS; each transfer is subject to an individual licensing decision.


2.3          Exporting governments will not make use of non-governmental brokers or brokering services when transferring MANPADS, unless specifically authorised to on behalf of the government.


2.4         In order to prevent unauthorised use, producer countries will implement technical performance and/or launch control features for newly designed MANPADS as such technologies become available to them.

               Such features should not adversely affect the operational effectiveness of MANPADS for the legal user.


2.5          Exporting governments in the Wassenaar Arrangement will report transfers of MANPADS as part of the Arrangement's Specific Information Exchange reporting requirements.


2.6          MANPADS exports will be evaluated in the light of the Wassenaar Arrangement Initial Elements and the Wassenaar document "Elements for Objective Analysis and Advice Concerning Potentially Destabilising Accumulations of Conventional Weapons" and any subsequent amendments thereto.


2.7          Decisions to authorise MANPADS exports will take into account:

·          Potential for diversion or misuse in the recipient country;

·          The recipient government's ability and willingness to protect against unauthorised re-transfers, loss, theft and diversion; and

·          The adequacy and effectiveness of the physical security arrangements of the recipient government for the protection of military property, facilities, holdings, and inventories.


2.8          Prior to authorising MANPADS exports, the exporting government will assure itself of the recipient government's guarantees:

·          not to re-export MANPADS except with the prior consent of the exporting government;

·          to afford requisite security to classified material and information in accordance with applicable bilateral agreements, to prevent unauthorised access or compromise;

·          to inform promptly the exporting government of any instance of compromise, unauthorised use, loss, or theft of any MANPADS material.


2.9          In addition, the exporting government will satisfy itself of the recipient government's willingness and ability to implement effective measures for secure storage, handling, transportation, use of MANPADS material, and disposal or destruction of excess stocks to prevent unauthorised access and use.  The recipient government’s national procedure designed to attain the requisite security include, but are not limited to, the following set of practices, or others that will achieve comparable levels of protection and accountability:


·          Written verification of receipt of MANPADS shipments.

·          Inventory by serial number of the initial shipments of all transferred firing mechanisms and missiles, if physically possible; and maintenance of written records of inventories.

·          Physical inventory of all MANPADS subject to transfer, at least once a month; account by serial number for MANPADS components expended or damaged during peacetime.


·          Ensure storage conditions are sufficient to provide for the highest standards of security and access control. These may include:

--    Where the design of MANPADS permits, storing missiles and firing mechanisms in locations sufficiently separate so that a penetration of the security at one site will not place the second site at risk.

--    Ensuring continuous (24-hour per day) surveillance.

--    Establishing safeguards under which entry to storage sites requires the presence of at least two authorised persons.


·          Transport MANPADS in a manner that provides for the highest standards and practices for safeguarding sensitive munitions in transit.  When possible, transport missiles and firing mechanisms in separate containers.


·          Where applicable, bring together and assemble the principal components - typically the gripstock and the missile in a launch tube - only in the event of hostilities or imminent hostilities; for firing as part of regularly scheduled training, or for lot testing, for which only those rounds intended to be fired will be withdrawn from storage and assembled; when systems are deployed as part of the point defences of high priority installations or sites; and in any other circumstances which might be agreed between the receiving and transferring governments.


·          Access to hardware and any related classified information will be limited to military and civilian personnel of the receiving government who have the proper security clearance and who have an established need to know the information in order to perform their duties.  Any information released will be limited to that necessary to perform assigned responsibilities and, where possible, will be oral and visual only.


·          Adopt prudent stockpile management practices that include effective and secure disposal or destruction of MANPADS stocks that are or become excess to national requirements.


2.10        Participating States will, when and as appropriate, assist recipient governments not capable of executing prudent control over MANPADS to dispose of excess stockpiles, including buying back previously exported weapons.  Such measures are subject to a voluntary consent of the exporting government and the recipient state.


2.11        Exporting governments will share information regarding potential receiving governments that are proven to fail to meet the above export control guarantees and practices outlined in paragraphs 2.8 and 2.9 above.


2.12        To enhance efforts to prevent diversion, exporting governments will share information regarding non-state entities that are or may be attempting to acquire MANPADS.



3.    Participating States will ensure that any infringement of export control legislation, related to MANPADS, is subject to adequate penalty provisions, i.e. involving criminal sanctions.


4.    The Participating States will exchange information and review progress related to the implementation of these steps regularly.


5.    Participating States agree to promote the application of the principles defined in these Elements to non-Wassenaar members.