International arms transfers


SIPRI researchers have been studying international arms transfers since 1968. Research is currently divided into three areas: Measuring international arms transfers; Transparency in international arms transfers; and Controlling international arms transfers. Research findings are presented in the SIPRI Yearbook and other SIPRI and non-SIPRI publications. SIPRI also maintains the Arms Transfers Database - which includes information on all international transfers of major conventional weapons since 1950 - as well as a database of all international and multilateral arms embargoes.
The SIPRI Arms Transfers Database containing information on all transfers of major weapons from 1950 to the most recent full calendar year (2013) has been updated. Further information on the recent trends are available to view here

Measuring the arms merchantsThe Economist, 18 March 2014
Global arms trade: Who are the winners?Al Jazeera, 17 March 2014
'Quel est le premier Etat acheteur d'armes dans le monde? (Which state is the biggest importer of weapons in the world?), Le Monde, 17 March 2014
US Remains World's Largest Exporter Of Arms While India Leaps Ahead To Become Largest Importer: Study’, International Business Times, 17 March 2014
SIPRI Study: China baut Waffen Export rasant aus (SIPRI study: China is building weapon exports rapidly)’, Spiegel on-line, 17 March 2014

See more SIPRI in the media here.

Recent Publications

Trends in international arms transfers, 2013

Siemon T. Wezeman and Pieter D. Wezeman
SIPRI Fact Sheet
March 2014
Available here

Arms Trade Treaty assistance: identifying a role for the European Union

Mark Bromley and Paul Holtom
EU Non-proliferation Consortium Discussion Paper
February 2014
Available here

The SIPRI Top 100 arms-producing and military services companies, 2012

Sam Perlo-Freeman and Pieter D. Wezeman
SIPRI Fact Sheet
January 2014
Available here

China's Export of Small and Light Weapons

Mark Bromley, Mathieu Duchâtel and Paul Holtom
SIPRI Policy Paper no. 38
October 2013
Available here

Serious About Regulating Arms Exports? Donate Here

Paul Holtom and Erwin van Veen
IPI Global Observatory
20 June 2013
Available here

Next Steps for the Arms Trade Treaty: Securing Early Entry Into Force

Paul Holtom and Mark Bromley
Arms Control Today
June 2013
Available here


Older publications can be accessed here.

Recent Activities
17 March 2014, Paris, France

Roundtable and launch of SIPRI arms transfers data

SIPRI and Institut de Recherche Stratégique de l'École Militaire (IRSEM) held a roundtable discussion on the global arms market. This roundtable brought together French-speaking experts to address contemporary developments in arms exports by key countries and regions, and included a launch of SIPRI data on international arms transfers for 2013. Download an agenda for the event in English or French (PDF).

8-9 October 2013, Tbilisi, Georgia

Seminar on Arms Export Control in Eastern Europe

Director of SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme, Paul Holtom, attended a EU COARM Regional Seminar on Arms Export Control in Tbilisi. The seminar was funded by the European Union and organized by the German Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) in cooperation with the government of Georgia. Paul chaired a plenary session on the Arms Trade Treaty and a workshop to discuss the role of techical experise in export control risk assessments. For more information contact Paul Holtom.


2-3 October 2013, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Conference on Defence Exports

SIPRI Senior Researcher Mark Bromley spoke at SmI Conference on Defence Exports in Amsterdam. Mark made a presentation on the ongoing review of the EU Common Position defining common rules governing control of exports of military technology and equipment. Contact Mark Bromley for more information.

30 September – 1 October 2013, Brussels, Belgium

EU Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Conference

Director of SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme Paul Holtom participated in the second EU Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Conference, organised by the EU Non-Proliferation Consortium. Paul gave a presentation in the session on ‘Arms trade Treaty: The way forward’, in which he focused upon what the EU and its member states can do to promote the signature and ratification of the ATT, in particular the provision of technical assistance to enable states to effectively implement the ATT. More information about the conference can be found here. For more information contact Paul Holtom.

Older activities can be accessed here.
Internships with the arms transfer project


SIPRI Arms Transfers Database

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SIPRI Arms Embargoes Database

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SIPRI National Reports Database

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