Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 18 December 2019


The Federal Republic of Germany signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified it on 23 July 1998, becoming a State Party on 1 March 1999. Legislation to enforce the antipersonnel mine prohibition domestically entered into force on 9 July 1998. In April 2012, Germany submitted its 14th Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report.

In 2011 and 2012, Germany served as co-chair of the Standing Committee on stockpile destruction. Germany served as co-rapporteur of the Standing Committee on Technologies for Mine Action (1999–2000) and as co-rapporteur and then co-chair of the Standing Committees on Mine Clearance (2000–2002), General Status and Operation of the Convention (2006–2008), and Stockpile Destruction (2011–2012). Germany also served as Vice President of the Twelfth Meeting of States Parties in December 2012. Germany attended the Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in November 2018 and the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in Geneva in May 2019. At the Meeting of States Parties, Germany encouraged states to implement national action plans and to meet all financial obligations. It also announced an updated national strategy on Humanitarian Mine Action.[1]

Germany is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons and its Amended Protocol II on landmines and Protocol V on explosive remnants of war. It is also party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.


In the late 1950s, German armed forces began to procure their first antipersonnel and antitank mines, under license from foreign countries. Germany procured five types of antipersonnel mines: DM-11, DM-39, DM-51, DM-39, and MUSPA, though the government did not categorize the DM-51, DM-39, or MUSPA as antipersonnel mines. It also procured eight types of antitank mines: DM-21, AT-1, AT-2, DM-31, PARM-1, PARM-2, COBRA, and MIFF.

The DM-11 mine was produced by Diehl. According to government sources, the Federal Armed Forces bought a large number of these landmines until 1964 at a cost of 19.2 million DEM (US $10.9 million.”[2] Specific data is classified, though it is estimated that the total number of procured mines could be three million.[3]

The DM-31 antipersonnel mine was produced from 1962–1967 by the company Industriewerke Karlsruhe for the Federal Armed Forces. According to government sources, these procurements cost 49.2 million DEM (US $27.9 million). It has been estimated that the total number of procured mines could be between one and one and a half million mines.[4]

In the early 1990s, the DM-51 and DM-39 antipersonnel mines were acquired from the disintegrated armed forces of former East Germany. The costs and numbers of these mines are unknown.

The MUSPA antipersonnel mine was made by Rheinmetall/Daimler Benz Aerospace/Thomson-Dasa Wirksysteme. According to reliable estimates, the number of procured MUSPA was 90,000 at a cost of around 210 million DEM (US $119.3 million).[5]


Verifying German landmine exports is difficult due to their classified nature. One official document contained detailed information on just one sale: 20 AP-2 antitank mines to the armed forces of the Netherlands on 17 September 1993.[6] Other official information indicates three authorizations for a total of 262 landmines between 1985 and 1990 and 10 authorizations for a total of 45,139 landmines between 1991 and 31 July 1995.[7] According to the magazine “Wehrdienst,” 87,024 AT-2s were delivered to the United Kingdom (UK) in 1995.[8] Landmine Monitor is also confident about the following transfers of landmines:

1. Until 1994, Italy received MIFF, MUSPA, and MUSA mines, together with 100 MW 1 submunition dispensers for the Tornado combat aircraft;

2. In 1994, Finland got probably more than 100,000 TM-62 antitank mines from the stockpiles of the armed forces of the former East Germany;

3. At the end of 1990 and beginning of 1991, the UK obtained four Skorpion mine-delivery systems and 15,000 AT-2 mines as German military support for the Gulf War. These weapons were returned after the war;

4. Also during the Gulf War, Israel received around 100 of several types of landmines from stockpiles of the armed forces of former East Germany to use for research;

5. In the same context and for the same purposes, the United States (US) obtained 552 PMP 2, TM 46 and TM 63 mines (all from the former East Germany). Later, additional mines were provided;

6. Saudi Arabia received 20 antitank mines in 1996;[9]

7. In 1997, Norway procured 468 Mars rocket launchers fitted with AT-2 mines from Germany.

German mines have been found elsewhere and in conflict zones, including Somalia and Angola. The former West Germany and former East Germany also transferred mines to dozens of countries.

Germany initially announced a moratorium on export of antipersonnel mines in 1994 and in January 1996 extended the moratorium indefinitely.

Stockpiling and Retention

Germany destroyed its stockpile of 1.7 million antipersonnel mines in December 1997. Germany initially retained 3,000 DM-31 mines for training and development purposes, which was reduced to 583 mines by the end of 2018.[10] On 3 March 2011, 22,716 antipersonnel mines were transferred from Turkey to a company in Germany in order to be destroyed.[11]

[1] Statement of Germany, Mine Ban Treaty Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 29 November 2018; and statement of Germany, Mine Ban Treaty Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 26 November 2018.

[2] German Parliament, Document 13/1473, 22 May 1995, p. 3.

[3] Thomas Küchenmeister (1995), pp. 30–31; and German Parliament, Document 13/1473, 22 May 1995, p. 3.

[4] Thomas Küchenmeister (1995), p. 33.

[5] Thomas Küchenmeister (1995), pp. 50–51.

[6] German Parliament, Document 13/2252, pp. 3–4.

[7] German Parliament, Document 13/2432, pp. 1–2.

[8] Wehrdienst, as cited by Thomas Küchenmeister (1995), p. 119.

[9] All data from Thomas Küchenmeister (1995).

[10] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, April 2019. Germany reported consuming nine antipersonnel mines in 2018 for training and research purposes.

[11] Statement of Germany, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee Meeting on Stockpile Destruction, Geneva, 20 June 2011.