ACCESSIBILITY AT UNOG A A A A The United Nations in the Heart of Europe

Safe Storage of Ammunition



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
forces…)?

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


Show details for Presentations and Statements on Safe Storage from 2012 Meeting of ExpertsPresentations and Statements on Safe Storage from 2012 Meeting of Experts

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www.armee.ch

www.dtra.mil

www.itf-fund.si

www.namsa.nato.int

www.osce.org

www.racviac.org

www.seasac.org

www.smallarmssurvey.org

www.state.govt/t/pm/wra

www.un-casa-isacs.org

www.un.org/disarmament