Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 18 December 2019


The Italian Republic signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified it on 23 April 1999, becoming a State Party on 1 October 1999. Legislation to enforce the antipersonnel mine prohibition domestically was enacted on 29 October 1997. With amendments, this was used for implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty when the ratification legislation was approved on 26 March 1999.

Italy has attended most meetings of the treaty, including the Third Review Conference in Maputo in June 2014. More recently, Italy attended the Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties, where it addressed victim assistance and mine action programs.[1] Italy also attended the intersessional meetings in May 2019.

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

Production, use, stockpiling, and transfer

In the past, Italy was one of the major producers and exporters of antipersonnel mines. Its mine industry revolved around three companies: Valsella (produced ten types), Misar (produced four types), and Tecnovar (produced two types). All three specialized in landmines and mine-related products and were involved in direct exports and licensed overseas production. In November 1993, the government ceased authorizing the export of antipersonnel mines. In August 1994, it declared a moratorium on production and export which was made permanent in October 1997 by Law 374/97.[2] Italian mines have been found in Afghanistan, Angola, Argentina, DR Congo, Egypt, Kuwait, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Mozambique, Pakistan, Somalia, South Africa, and Sudan.[3]

Italy completed destruction of its stockpile of 6,529,811 antipersonnel mines on 20 November 2002, well in advance of its 1 October 2003 deadline mandated by the treaty.[4] Italy initially retained 811 mines for training and development purposes; this number was reduced to 617 by the end of 2018.[5] During the 2012 intersessional meetings, Italy stated that “…the number of personnel trained in mine detection, clearance and destruction remains the main indicator of a correct (or inaccurate) compliance with…article 3.”[6]

Italy has no known mined areas, though unexploded ordnance from World War I and World War II is still found occasionally.

[1] Statement of Italy, Mine Ban Treaty Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 27 November 2018; and statement of Italy, Mine Ban Treaty Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 29 November 2018.

[2] The details of the three companies can be found in Landmine Monitor Report 1999.

[3] See, Landmine Monitor Report 1999, pp. 717–729. These companies were formed between 1969 and 1977. Until the late 1980s, they achieved large-scale production and sales, favored by permissive export regulations, banking support and public financing of weapons development.

[4] Several different totals have been given for Italy’s final stockpile quantity over the previous decade: 7,123,672 (6,529,811 warfare mines, 593,861 practice mines) in Registro delle Mine, Terrestrial Armaments General Directorate, Ministry of Defense, 10 October 2003, p. 5; 7,122,811 (6,529,811 warfare mines, 593,000 practice mines) in “Destruction of the Italian Antipersonnel Mine Stockpile,” Ministry of Defense, Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, Geneva, 6 February 2003; 7,122,739 (6,529,838 warfare mines, 592,901 practice mines) in Article 7 Report, Form B, 2 May 2002; 7,117,126 (6,529,809 warfare mines and 587,317 practice mines) in Article 7 Report, Form B, 29 March 2000. The main types of active mine were: PMC (2,068,193), AUPS (1,738,781), VAR 40 (1,420,636), MAUS-1 (623,755), Valmara 69 (410,027), Mk 2 (216,546), KB44 (21,840), MUSPA (10,160), MIFF (6,400), MUSA (1,760), VS-50 (180), VS-JAP (160) and Claymore (86). There were also large quantities described as “out of order.”

[6] Statement of Italy, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 25 May 2012.