Arms brokering means essentially facilitating and negotiating transactions for a material compensation; it is usually unavoidable in numerous international arms transfers and also absolutely legal. However, if there is no legal framework or not enough controls, untrustworthy brokers (or intermediaries) can violate arms embargos and get round the arms exportation policies of the States they work in with impunity. Since the end of the 1990s’, the United Nations and NGOs have drawn more and more reports making the brokers responsible for the transfers of illicit or undesirable arms towards violent conflict zones (Rwanda, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, …). As a matter of fact, these brokers were and still are exploiting the regulatory gaps on brokering. Several instruments, conceived by the United Nations or the European Union, commit or encourage the States to adopt national controls of these activities.
GRIP’s analyses on brokering aim at identifying the challenges of regulating and implementing these controls and the possible solutions to them. GRIP analyses and compares the controls of national, European and international arms brokering.