Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 18 December 2019


The Portuguese Republic signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified it on 19 February 1999, becoming a State Party on 1 August 1999. Legislation to enforce the antipersonnel mine prohibition domestically was enacted on 22 July 2004. In June 2011, Portugal adopted law 37/2011, which according to Portugal’s 2012 Article 7 report, “…allow[s] for a more efficient supervision and control of activities regarding the transfer and circulation of defence related products.”[1] Mines are explicitly mentioned among the weapons regulated by this law.[2]

Portugal has attended most meetings of the treaty, including all Meetings of States Parties. However, Portugal did not attend the Third Review Conference in Maputo in June 2014. It also did not attend the intersessional meetings in Geneva in May 2019.

Portugal 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.

Production, use, stockpiling, and destruction

Portugal produced at least seven types of antipersonnel landmines, including the PRB M409, the M453, the M/996, the M421, the M412, and the M/969.[3] Portuguese mines have been found in Angola, Iraq, Namibia, Somalia, South Africa, and Zambia.[4] In May 1996 Portugal announced an indefinite moratorium on the production, export, and use (except for training purposes) of antipersonnel mines.

Portugal completed destruction of its stockpile of 271,967 antipersonnel mines in March 2003, in advance of its 1 August 2003 treaty-mandated destruction deadline. Portugal initially retained 1,115 antipersonnel mines for training and development purposes, but this was reduced to 694 mines by the end of 2010.[5] The number of retained mines remained the same through the end of 2018.[6]

[1] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2011), Form A.

[2] Law no. 37/2011, 22 June 2011.

[3] United States (US) Department of Defense, “Mine Facts,” CD ROM.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2010), Form D.

[6] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Reports (for the period 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2018), Form D, 2019.