Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 13 November 2019


The Federative Republic of Brazil signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified it on 30 April 1999, becoming a State Party on 1 October 1999. Legislation to enforce the antipersonnel mine prohibition domestically was enacted in 2001.

Brazil regularly attends meetings of the treaty, including the Third Review Conference in Maputo in June 2014, and more recently the Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in November 2018, where it provided a general statement and a statement on the financial status of the convention.[1] Brazil also attended the intersessional meetings of the treaty in Geneva in May 2019.

On 5 December 2018, Brazil voted in favor of UN General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 73/61, promoting universalization and implementation of the convention, as it has done in previous years.[2]

Brazil is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its Amended Protocol II on landmines and Protocol V on explosive remnants of war. Brazil is not party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Production, transfer, stockpile destruction, and use

Brazil is a former antipersonnel mine producer, importer, and exporter. Brazil reports that production and export ceased in 1989.[3] At least two types of antipersonnel mines were produced by Brazil: the NM T-AB-1, manufactured by IBQ Indústrias Químicas (formerly Britanite Indústria Química Ltda), and the NM AE T1 antipersonnel mine, manufactures by Química Tupan AS.[4]

In the past, Brazil imported antipersonnel mines from Belgium (the NM M M-409) and Austria (DFC-19).[5] Brazilian-made antipersonnel mines have been used or stockpiled in Ecuador, Libya, Mozambique, Nicaragua, and Peru.[6]

Since 2012, Brazil has stated that it has not produced or exported landmines since signing the Mine Ban Treaty.[7] Brazil has never used antipersonnel mines.

Brazil completed destruction of its stockpile of approximately 27,852 antipersonnel mines in March 2003, ahead of its 1 October 2003 treaty-mandated destruction deadline. Brazil initially retained 17,000 mines for training purposes, but this was reduced to 10,051 by the end of 2009.[8] Brazil previously stated its intention to keep mines for training up to 2019.[9] At the end of 2018, Brazil reported retaining 364 mines for training and research.[10]

In 2011, Human Rights Watch (HRW) documented the use of Brazilian-produced T-AB-1 plastic antipersonnel mines in Libya by Qaddafi’s government forces in six separate locations.[11] In December 2011, Brazil condemned the landmine use and said it intended to make a financial contribution to Libya’s mine action program and provide technical cooperation.[12] Brazilian officials said that an internal investigation had been opened into the origins and transfer of the T-AB-1 mines to Libya, but the results were not known as of September 2013.[13]

[1] Statement of Brazil, Mine Ban Treaty Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 26 November 2018.

[2] “Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction,” UNGA Resolution 73/61, 5 December 2018.

[3] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form E, 30 April 2004.

[4] Ibid., Form H, Table 2.

[5] In March 2003, Brazil reported that it possessed the DFC19 directional fragmentation antipersonnel mine, produced by Dynamit Nobel Graz (DNG) of Austria. Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form H, 17 March 2003.

[6] See, Landmine Monitor Report 2001, p. 110 (Mozambique), and p. 328 (Ecuador), and Landmine Monitor Report 1999, p. 266 (Nicaragua). The United States Department of Defense reports that Brazilian mines were used in Ecuador and Peru. See ORDATA Database.

[7] Brazil has also reported: “In early 1998, the Brazilian Armed Forces received its last shipment of landmines, which had been bought in 1996 and produced by the manufacturer in 1997.” See, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report 2012 (for calendar year 2011), Form E; Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) Amended Protocol II Report 2013 (for calendar year 2012), Form C, 3 April 2013. Before 2012, it stated, “Brazil has not produced or exported landmines since 1989.” See Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report 2011 (for calendar year 2010), Form E; CCW Amended Protocol II Report 2010 (for calendar year 2009), Form C, 22 July 2010.

[8] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report 2010 (for calendar year 2009), Form D.

[9] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report 2011 (for calendar year 2010), Forms D and G.

[10] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, 26 February 2019.

[11] HRW, “Landmines in Libya: Technical Briefing Note,” 19 July 2011.

[12] Statement of Brazil, Mine Ban Treaty Eleventh Meeting of States Parties, Phnom Penh, 2 December 2011. Notes by the ICBL.

[13] There is no export record of the shipments because arms export records are not held for longer than 10 years. HRW meeting with Brazilian delegation to Intersessional Standing Committee Meetings of the Mine Ban Treaty, Geneva, 27 June 2011. In June 2011, the ICBL asked that Brazil publicly condemn the use of antipersonnel mines in Libya and provide detailed information on the transfer of T-AB-1 antipersonnel mines to Libya, including the date of manufacture and transfer, as well as the number of mines exported. ICBL letter to Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Brazil, 13 June 2011.