Generic Preventive Measures Resourcepage

Generic Preventive Measures – Checklist

To assist States with the implementation of Article 9 and Part 3 of the Technical Annex, in 2009 the then Coordinator on Generic Preventive Measures, Colonel Jean-Christophe Le Roux of France, developed a questionnaire which serves as a checklist for States to consider when they are developing procedures, guidelines or regulations on the implementation of generic preventive measures. The checklist has been issued as Protocol V document CCW/P.V/CONF/2010/6/Add.1, 11 November 2010. Essentially the checklist is a tool to facilitate the implementation of generic preventive measures. While it does not have any legal status, it is hoped that the checklist will clarify various issues, establish best practises and serve to monitor and improve the implementation of generic preventive measures at the national level.

International Ammunition Technical Guidelines

The International Ammunition Technical Guidelines (IATGs) are a valuable tool for ensuring that a holistic approach is taken to stockpile management of conventional ammunition. The IATGs include categorisation and accounting systems – which are essential for ensuring safe handling and storage and for identifying surplus ammunition – to physical security systems and surveillance and testing procedures to assess the stability and reliability of ammunition.

The IATGs were developed under the United Nations SafeGuard Programme by a technical review panel consisting of experts from Member States, with the support of international, governmental and non-governmental organisations. The IATGs will be regularly reviewed to reflect developing ammunition stockpile management norms and practices, and to incorporate changes due to amendments to appropriate international regulations and requirements.

UN Saferguard Website

Weapons and Ammunition Management in the Federal Republic of Somalia is a report produced by UNIDIR on the work carried out b y the Federal Government of Somalia and its international partners towards achieving effective weapons and ammunition management in Somalia. The report includes the IATGs and the management of munitions sites.

Other resources on GPMs

Set below are other useful resources on generic preventive measures.

Hide details for General Presentations by the High Contracting Parties on Generic Preventive MeasuresGeneral Presentations by the High Contracting Parties on Generic Preventive Measures

Meeting of Experts 2015
Weapons and Ammunition Management (WAM) in Somalia: Preliminary findings, Presented by Himayu Shiotani, UNIDIR
UN SaferGuard Quick Response Mechanism, UNODA
Russian Federation
United States of America
Meeting of Experts 2014
Argentina Text Audio
Bulgaria Text Audio
Burundi Text Audio
Czech Republic Text Audio
France Text Audio
Germany Text Audio
Hungary Text Audio
India Text Audio
Mali Text Audio
Switzerland Text Audio
United States of America Text Audio
ICRC Text Audio 1, Audio 2
GICHD Text Audio 1, Audio 2
Meeting of Experts 2013
ODA and UNMAS via skype
Small Arms Survey
Small Arms Survey – Talking points
Mines Advisory Group
Mines Advisory Group – Talking points
Sixth Conference 2012
Mines Advisory Group (MAG)

2012 Meeting of Experts on Protocol V, Presentations:

Presentation by Brazil

Presentation by Romania

Statement by Guatemala

2010 Meeting of Experts on Protocol V, Presentations:

Presentation of Bulgaria

Presentation by Slovakia

The Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining has published “A Guide to Mine Action and the Implementation of CCW Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War“, which in its Chapter 7 provides practical information on generic preventive measures.

Weapons and Ammunition Management in the Federal Republic of Somalia, UNIDIR

Unplanned Explosions at Munitions Sites (UEMS): Excess Stockpiles as Liabilities rather than Assets, Eric G. Berman and Pillar Reinace, June 2014, Small Arms Survey. This Handbook contains analysis of data, with many helpful tables, figures, maps, and annexes. It serves three primary purposes, striving to (1) support best practice by explaining the scale and scope of the challenge that policy-makers face; (2) encourage states to manage their stockpiles effectively; (3) help generate better data capturing and record keeping; and (4) serve as a reference tool and a training tool.

Development – concept to production

Protocol V is one of the very few instruments that addresses the design through to the production of munitions. This is a sensitive area that is generally kept within the domain of national governments and private companies. However, improvements to the design of ammunition and applying strict controls and internationally recognised quality standards throughout the production process can contribute to reducing the rate of unexploded ordnance. This is why High Contracting Parties are urged to take action in these areas.

For a discussion on standardisation across the areas of production to in-service see “A discussion on international harmonisation of the safety and suitability for service assessment” by Dr. Michael W. Sharp, MSIAC.

Specifically on munitions manufacturing management, the third part of the Technical Annex to Protocol V encourages High Contracting Parties to carry out the following measures:

i) Production processes should be designed to achieve the greatest reliability of munitions.
(ii) Production processes should be subject to certified quality control measures.
(iii) During the production of explosive ordnance, certified quality assurance standards
that are internationally recognised should be applied.
(iv) Acceptance testing should be conducted through live-fire testing over a range of
conditions or through other validated procedures.
(v) High reliability standards should be required in the course of explosive ordnance
transactions and transfers.
(b) Munitions management
In order to ensure the best possible long-term reliability of explosive ordnance, States are
encouraged to apply best practice norms and operating procedures with respect to its storage.

Article 36 of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions

Under Article 36 of Additional Protocol I, States have an obligation when designing, developing or purchasing new weapons to assess the risks posed by the particular weapon and its compliance with international humanitarian law. This is in line with the direction given to States under Protocol V to ensure that the processes for the production of munitions achieves a high standard of reliability.

Article 36 states: “In the study, development, acquisition or adoption of a new weapon, means or method of warfare, a High Contracting Party is under an obligation to determine whether its employment would, in some or all circumstances, be prohibited by this Protocol or by any other rule of international law applicable to the High Contracting Party.”

The ICRC has published “A Guide to the Legal Review of New Weapons, Means and Methods of Warfare: Measures to Implement Article 36 of Additional Protocol I of 1977“. International Review of the Red Cross, Volume 88 Number 864 December 2006.

Protocol V does not specifically address the issue of procurement of munitions. For a discussion on this issue see “Report of Expert Group 8 Environmental Engineering” CEN Workshop 10 Standardisation for Defence Procurement Expert Group 8 Environmental Engineering, April 2011

Checklist on the development of munitions

The Protocol V Generic Preventive Measures checklist addresses the development of munitions. Set out below are the questions included in the checklist in the areas of specification, concept, development, qualification work and production.

(a) Has each stage (storage, transport, handling, training, use, …) of the life cycle of munitions been defined, in terms of
(i) Normal conditions, abnormal conditions and accidental conditions of use
(ii) Type of environmental conditions and the level to which munitions may be exposed (direct or indirect exposure i.e when integrated in weapon system),
(iii) Duration of exposure to different environmental conditions,
(iv) Configuration/ state of munitions during periods of exposure to different environmental conditions,
(v) Maximum allowable degradation during its operational lifecycle i.e. during storage, transport, handling, use with particular weapons systems …?
(vi) Is there a requirement for a specified life time?
(b) Are quantitative reliability and safety requirements included in the specification for the entire life cycle?
(c) Is there a maximum allowable UXO rate?
(d) Have the types of targets to be engaged and scenarios of use by munitions been considered and characterized?
(e) Are the impact conditions of the munitions considered i.e. angle of impact of munitions/ type of impact surface?
(f) Has fuse sensitivity been defined in specification?
(g) Are any materials, which are forbidden by international standards or regulations, used?
(h) Which design standards shall be applied during development and production? Are they internationally recognized? If not, is there a comparison matrix between standards?

a) Does the design process include a proactive systems safety program (SSP)?
(b) Have the safety aspects and potential hazards of munitions on becoming an UXO been considered?
(c) Does the fusing system incorporate design features that allow assessment to facilitate render safe procedures?
(d) Does the design of fusing systems (or munitions) allow replacement or incorporation of advanced solutions to decrease the failure rate (e.g.: self destruction mechanism, self neutralization mechanism, self-deactivating features, multiple initiating mechanisms, hardware or software upgrades …)?

(a) Does the design work include features and parameters to enable munitions products to meet the specified requirements for reliability, safety, storage, transport and handling, throughout the whole life cycle of munitions (e.g. : including operational usage and disposal)?
(b) Are munitions designed to maintain the required level of reliability in all specified environmental and foreseeable operational conditions throughout all life cycle stages?
(c) Is the quality of the chosen components (materials, mechanical parts, explosive materials, compatibility and time degradation of pyrotechnic materials, electronic parts, battery…) optimised against the performance and the specified UXO rate?
(d) Where appropriate and technically feasible, does the design permit the testing of critical functions, which may lead to UXO prior to use (by user or BIT)?
(e) Does the fusing system incorporate design features, which definitively limit the foreseen active time of munitions: self-destruction mechanism, self-deactivating feature (e.g. Electrical Firing Energy Dissipation), self-neutralisation mechanism (e.g. disarming, sterilisation), and self-disruption?
(f) Are features or functions, related with safety, tested at a 100% level?
(g) Does the design of the fusing system include features that facilitate, as applicable, effective automated and/or manual quality assurance methods, tests and inspections?
(h) Are munitions designed to achieve the specified lifetime without unacceptable degradation of reliability and safety?
(i) Does the design of munitions include features for health monitoring that facilitate, as applicable, a prognostics and diagnostics capability, thereby assuring the effectiveness and reliability of munitions throughout the lifecycle?
(j) Are the lot numbers marked on munitions?
(k) Has a reliability and safety analysis been performed e.g. are potential malfunctions of munitions analysed and is the design improved and verified by analysis and specific reliability and safety tests?
(l) Are critical functions and characteristics, with respect to UXO, defined?
(m) Are quantitative reliability and safety requirements assessed by analysis and tests?
(n) If, in munitions, there are software or programmable components, do you refer to international standards? Do you define, plan and perform specific activities to assure reliability and safety?
(o) Has process analysis been realised to assure the greatest reliability of munitions? (e.g. FMECA process)

Qualification work
(a) Does the qualification program (testing and simulation) cover all military and technical requirements and have the data been recorded and been used to assess the UXO rate and to manage them during the conflict?
(b) Does the qualification program (testing and simulation) have sufficient statistical validity to allow a reliable evaluation of the reliability and safety of munitions in all operational environments?
(c) Is there a safety assessment report which covers all safety aspects (UXO included) for the entire lifecycle?
(d) Is there any independent office or organization to check and approve safety of munitions (e.g. fuse review board, national safety authority …)?

Has the production process been qualified?
Are critical characteristics for safety and UXO rate, defined in safety assessment studies, checked during production?
Have the production process quality assurance methods been validated?
Is there assembly line/configuration management in place during production to record batches of munitions and parts? (e.g.: to permit investigation of defaults found during tests, training and use)?
When some parts of munitions are stored during the manufacturing process, are conditions and limited durations of storage known and applied? Are the parts checked before using?
Is the acceptance test procedure defined in accordance with national or international standards?

Safe Transportation and Handling

A period of high risk is when ammunition is being transported. For this reason, considerable work has been carried out on regulating the external transportation by road and rail.

Checklist on Safe Transportation and Handling

√ Are there provisions to task manufacturers and users to attach written safety procedures for handling (and transportation) of munitions they produce and transport?

√ Do the means of transportation (and handling) meet the specified military requirements?

√ Are they in accordance with international hazardous materials transportation guidelines and/or UN recommendations on the transport of dangerous goods?

Useful resources on Safe Transportation

AASPT-2 Manual of NATO Safety Principles for the Transport of Military Ammunition and Explosives, Edition 1, September 2005

Convention on International Civil Aviation, Annex 18, The Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (Ninth Edition) (Doc 7300/9) IACO 2006

European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR) ECE/TRANS/202 (Vol 1), (ISBN 978-921-1-139131-2) New York and Geneva 2008

Handbook of Best Practices on Conventional Ammunition, Chapter 3, Decision 6/08, OSCE 2008

IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) (51st Edition)

International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), Chapter VII – Carriage of Dangerous Goods, IMO 1974

International Maritime Dangerous Goods, IMO 2008

International Organisation on the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Rail (RID), (Appendix I to the International Agreement on Rail Freight Transport) OTIF

United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods Model Regulations (Fifteeth revised edition), ST/SG/AC.10/1/Rev.15, ISBN 978-92-1-139120-6, New York and Geneva: United Nations, 2007

Safe Storage

The safe storage of ammunition is a key issue for Protocol V High Contracting Parties. Stockpiled ammunition can become unsafe if not properly stored. Unintended explosions of ammunition depots have affected over 60 countries worldwide, leading to thousands of casualties over the past 15 years and new areas of explosive remnants of war contamination.

Checklist on the Storage of Ammunition

Utilisation – Storage

√ Do the actual storage conditions meet the specified military requirements?

√ Are munitions stored in compliance with a recognised storage regulation
and/or best practices to maintain munitions reliability and safety? E.g. “A Guide to
Ammunition Storage” by the Geneva International Center for Humanitarian
demining (GICHD) or equivalent.

√ Where munitions temporarily cannot be stored in accordance with regulations
e.g. in temporary tactical deployments is there a risk reduction procedure such as
“As Low As is Reasonably Practicable” that can be followed (e.g. : temperature and
humidity surveillance, …).

√ Are storage sites inspected to ensure that risk reduction procedures such as
“As Low As is Reasonably Practicable” are being followed?

√ Is there a procedure to manage stockpiles of munitions?

√ Is there a quality assurance program to ensure that training, service,maintenance, inspections and stockpile management are accomplished within standard?

Others questions for storage related to safety

√ Is the risk of explosion in stockpiles minimized by the use of appropriate
stockpile arrangements?

√ Where munitions temporarily cannot be stored in accordance with regulations
e.g. in temporary tactical deployments is there a risk reduction procedure such as “As low
as reasonably practicable” that can be followed (e.g.: minimum safety distances to reduce
risk of sympathetic explosion, construction of blast walls)?

√ Is access to the storage site restricted (e.g.: perimeter fenced, guard

√ Is the storage site located a safe distance from personnel at all times?

√ Are adequate emergency fire-fighting procedures in place?

Useful resources on storage

Best Practice Guides

A Guide to Ammunition Storage, GICHD, November 2008

Conventional Ammunition in Surplus: A Reference Guide, Small Arms Survey, 2008

International Ammunition Technical Guideline (IATG), UNODA,

Handbook of Best Practices on Conventional Ammunition, Chapter on Physical Security of Stockpiles of Conventional Ammunition, OSCE, 2003

Manual of Safety Principles for the Storage of Military Ammunition and Explosives (AASTP-1), NATO, 2006

Safety and occupation health – Storage, transportation and handling of explosives, IMAS, Second Edition, 1 January 2003

Other resources

Ammunition Stockpiles and Communities, by Michael Ashkenazi in Conventional Ammunition in Surplus, Small Arms Survey, 2008

Ammunition Stocks: Promoting Safe and Secure Storage and Disposal, Biting the Bullet, 2005

Ammunition and Explosive Storage Magazines, United States of America Department of Defense, Washington, 10 July 2009

Cuban Working Document – Experience in the safe storage of ammunition (Español) (English)

Document on Stockpiles of Conventional Ammunition, OSCE, November 2003

GICHD – Ammunition safety management (ASM) toolset website

Physical Security of Sensitive Conventional Arms, Ammunition, and Explosives, United States of America Department of Defense, Washington, 2000

Problems arising from the accumulation of conventional ammunition stockpiles in surplus, Report of the Secretary-General, UN General Assembly, A/62/166, 27 July 2007

Problems arising from the accumulation of conventional ammunition stockpiles in surplus, United Nations 60/74, 2006

Safer Stockpiles, Practitioners’ Experiences with Physical Security and Stockpiles Management (PSSM) Assistance Programmes, Edited by Benjamin King, An Occasional Paper of the Small Arms Survey, 2011

Presentations and Statements on Safe Storage from 2012 Meeting of Experts

Presentation by the Small Arms Survey
Presentation by the OSCE
Presentation by NATO
Presentation by the Mines Advisory Group
Presentation by the Democratic Republic of Congo
Presentation by Romania
Statement of Guatemala
Statement by GICHD



In Service Surveillance

In-service surveillance of ammunition is undertaken to ensure that ammunition
continues to meet the required quality standards throughout its entire life cycle. As explained by Mr. Adrian Wilkinson, surveillance is undertaken to ensure “that the ammunition continues to meet the required quality standards throughout its life. Quality, from this perspective, includes the performance of ammunition during use and its safety and stability during storage. The chemical, electrical, and mechanical properties of ammunition change and degrade with time, leading to a finite serviceable life for each munition. The accurate assessment of munition life is of paramount importance in terms of safety and cost.”

For further explanation on the requirements for the in-service proof and surveillance of ammunition see “Stockpile Management: Surveillance and Proof” by Adrian Wilkinson in Conventional Ammunition in Surplus, Small Arms Survey, 2008,

Checklist on In Service Surveillance

The Protocol V Generic Preventive Measures checklist includes questions on in service surveillance, which are set out below.

(a) Is there an ‘In Service Surveillance’ procedure and organisation to assess reliability and safety during the lifecycle of munitions? For pyrotechnic parts? For electronic parts? For other parts?
(b) Is there a system in place to check that all the explosive and pyrotechnic parts within the munition remain safe and reliable?
(c) Is there a system in place to check that all the explosive and pyrotechnic parts within the fusing chain are capable of initiating the next stage as required?
(d) Is the integrity of the pyrotechnic and explosive train checked (e.g. gap between components, integrity of components …)?
(e) Is there a procedure to identify and remove degraded munitions from operational service (i.e.: regular inspection of munitions)?
(f) Is there a procedure to increase/reduce the operational lifetime of munitions?
(g) In case of an increase in the operational life time of munitions do the tests and analysis maintain confidence in the previously required level of reliability and safety?
(h) Is there an ‘In Service Surveillance’ procedure and organisation to record the environmental conditions that the munitions have been exposed to/ tested in?


Testing is an important component of the “development to production” phases for ammunition and the in service surveillance. Testing is the key process for verifying the reliability and safety of ammunition and determining its shelf life. This should preferably be done by live-firing.

Useful resources on testing

Allied Ammunition Safety and Suitability for Service Assessment Testing Publication – Guidance, NATO Standardization Agreement, STANAG 4629

The United States of America’s presentation on “Overview of testing” across the life cycle of a munition to the 2009 Meeting of Experts

“Origin of Test Requirements and Passing Criteria for the Qualification and Final (Type) Qualification of Explosives” by Ken Tomasello, Michael Sharp, John Adams and Richard E. Bowen. IMEMTS Munich, Germany 11 – 14 October 2010

“Test Requirements for Primary and Booster Explosive Qualification” by Ken Tomasello” by John Adams and Michael Sharp, ISSC 2011, Las Vegas, Nevada, 8 – 12 August 2011

Other useful resources

IATG 03.10:2011, Inventory Management. UNODA. 2011