Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 18 December 2019


The Kingdom of Spain signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified it on 19 January 1999, becoming a State Party on 1 July 1999. Legislation to enforce the antipersonnel mine prohibition domestically was passed in October 1998.[1]

Spain has been a regular attendee at meetings of the treaty, including the Third Review Conference in Maputo in June 2014. More recently, Spain attended the Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties, where it gave a general statement and a statement on cooperation and assistance.[2] Spain regularly submits Article 7 transparency reports, but as of 15 October 2019 has not yet submitted a report for calendar year 2018.

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

Production, use, transfer, and stockpiling

Although Spain no longer produces antipersonnel mines, it has done so in the past. Officially, Spanish production of landmines was stopped in May 1996. Spanish companies used to produce five types of antipersonnel mines, including the Expal P4B blast mine, the Expal P4A blast mine, the Expal P5 blast mine, the P5 AR (with anti-handling device), and the P Salta bounding fragmentation mine.[3] Mines were produced by five Spanish private companies: Bressel, Explosivos Alaveses (Expal), Explosivos de Burgos (EDB), Fabricaciones Extremeñas (FAEX), and Unión Española de Explosivos (UEE). Spain has also produced landmines under the license of companies of other countries.

Spain passed a unilateral moratorium on the export of landmines in 1994. In May 1996 the government approved an indefinite moratorium. It is difficult to obtain information on recipients, quantity, types, value, date of transfer, etc. from governmental sources, since these matters are considered to be a state secret. However, Spanish landmines have been found in Iraq, Mauritania, the Falklands Islands/Malvinas, and Morocco—as revealed by the Red Cross.

Spain last used antipersonnel mines in 1975 on the Moroccan border of its then-colony of Western Sahara.

Spain completed destruction of its stockpile of 496,415 antipersonnel mines on 3 October 2000, well in advance of its 1 July 2003 treaty-mandated destruction deadline. Spain initially announced it would retain 10,000 antipersonnel mines for training and development purposes but reduced this number to 4,000 in 2000, and by the end of 2018 Spain had further reduced this to 1,547 mines.[4]

[1] This legislation included an annex stating that the penal sanctions required by Article 9 of the treaty would be developed in new implementing legislation. In 2001, Spain took the view that penal sanctions were already present in existing legislation. “Law Banning Antipersonnel Landmines as well as those Arms with Similar Effects,” Law 33/1998, Boletin Oficial del Estado, no. 239, 6 October 1998. The law also bans mine delivery systems.

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

[3] Greenpeace, "A un paso de la muerte…o de la esperanza. La necesidad de prohibir las minas y submuniciones de caracteristicas similares," Madrid, March 1998, p. 25. This has been confirmed by members of the Spanish Domestic Affairs Ministry.

[4] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, 30 April 2018.