Countering Illicit Arms Trafficking in Bosnia and Herzegovina (CIAT Project)

Aiming to increase safety and security of people and communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as those in the European Union and neighboring countries, UNDP in partnership and with financial support of Government of Germany and Government of France implements the Countering Illicit Arms Trafficking Project.

Making borders safer by preventing illicit arms trafficking is an overarching goal of the project which aims to support Bosnia and Herzegovina in harmonizing security regulations, standards and practices with those of the leading EU countries like Germany and France.

The Project is a result of the Franco-German initiative for comprehensive control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) in the Western Balkans. Its activities are fully aligned to Roadmap for a sustainable solution to arms control in the Western Balkans by 2024, which envisages the Western Balkans as a safer region and an exporter of security where comprehensive and sustainable mechanisms, fully harmonized with the European Union (EU) and other international standards.

UNDP implements CIAT project in close collaboration with all respective security institutions and organizations at the state, entity and cantonal levels, focusing on increasing policewomen and policemen skills and expertise through series of specialized training sessions. Based on the know-how and the best practices gained through the UNDP South Eastern and Eastern Europe Clearinghouse for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SEESAC) and other projects within the Justice and Security Sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina, United Nations Development Programme leads introduction of new solutions and processes which result in overall increase of safety of borders.



Funding Support by

Delivery in previous fiscal year

During the initial phase of the project (2017-2018) 1,500 policewomen and policemen were trained on detection of arms, including use of sophisticated equipment provided by the Government of Germany. Border Police successfully intercepted four shipments of illicit arms and drugs shortly after the completion of training and introduction of new procedures and equipment.

Encouraging results in boosting safety of borders during the initial phase indicate a great potential behind a full-fledged CIAT Project which is implemented since January 2019.

Three specific measures will be addressed within CIAT Project:

  1. All police agencies at all levels should be capacitated through provision of specific training and procurement of relevant detection equipment;
  2. Policies and activities focused on preventing the illegal arms trade need to be harmonized by respective legislators in country, ensuring also their alignment with those of the European Union;
  3. Supporting stronger cooperation and coordination of police agencies within Bosnia and Herzegovina and across borders, to ensure effective prevention of illegal acts of arms’ smuggling.

CIAT Project Mission

CIAT Project aims to improve overall safety of citizens and communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as in the EU by increasing capacities and skills of will assist BiH Ministry of Security, more precisely BiH Border Police as its subordinated entity as well as all police agencies at cantonal and entity levels in combating illicit arms trafficking in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

CIAT Project specifies

The capacities of BH Border Police to combat illicit arms will be enhanced through provision of specialized equipment of the latest generation thanks to which the seized arms will be detected at 55 international border crossings in the country. Moreover, the processing of these crimes will be synchronized among 1,500+ border policewomen and policemen, who already received CIAT training, through application of newly developed procedures on which the Project conducted training. This expertise will be replicated to all other police agencies resulting in development of their respective procedures and rollout of training for 2,000 policewomen and policemen from all agencies.

In addition, special emphasis will be devoted to enhancement of inter-agency cooperation at national and regional level thus including five state-level ministries and three law-enforcement agencies involved in the process of legal export/import/transport of arms in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The exchange of information and best practices will be achieved at national as well as on the regional level with Serbia, Croatia and Montenegro, three neighboring countries.

The cost of action for the CIAT Project over the period of 40 months is EUR 2.7 million.

CIAT project activities/results

Component 1

Additional strengthening of the BiH Border Police capacities through provision of the trainings and enhancement of already provided IT capacities - After having trained 1,500 policewomen and policemen from BP BIH in 2018, the Project will organize additional, experts’ trainings for investigators and inspectors who are directly involved in processing of illicit arms’ trafficking. In addition, the Project will carry out a comprehensive Gap Analysis with focus on the green border, which will thoroughly examine BP BiH needs and propose additional measures needed to efficiently assist BP BiH in future.

Component 2

Improve operational cooperation between the BP BiH and other state authorities in their efforts to prevent, detect, investigate, and deter illicit trafficking of SALW, ammunition and explosives.

The second component of the project focuses on the improvement of inter-institutional cooperation. The procedures developed for BiH Border Police will be presented to all police agencies at cantonal and entity levels. The Project will provide them with development of new procedures based on their needs. The special focus will be put on conceptualization of joint trainings between BP BiH and other agencies, supported by prosecutors’ offices, so that the Project covers the investigation life cycle of real arms’ seizures situation. In total, the Project will train 2,000 policewomen and policemen from all police agencies in the country on how to detect and process illicit arms’ trafficking. These trainings will be unique since they will see joint work and participation of different agencies thus strengthening police cooperation. Bosnia and Herzegovina will therefore have a synchronized approach to detection and seizure of illicit arms among all police agencies.

Component 3

The Project will purchase specialized specialists’ equipment for BP BiH, for the usual border check-ups on the one hand, and for patrolling of the green border on the other. For the regular check-ups, the Project will purchase scanners, endoscopes and detectors. The endoscopes and detectors, which were already provided in 2018 proved efficient on four occasions when illicit arms and drugs were detected and seized. In addition, for the patrolling of the green border, the Project will purchase thermovision cameras and binoculars. The Project will also purchase a certain amount of detection equipment for all police agencies in the country and include it already in trainings.

With these three components, the Project will above all capacitate BP BiH and all other police agencies to more effectively combat illicit arms trafficking, thus contributing to the country’s aspirations to join the EU and to fulfil standards pertaining to national and international policy obligations.

Strategic framework / SDGs

The Project will contribute to achievement of the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 and the SDG 16 “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels”.). It will in particular contribute to implementation of SDG target 16.4.  “By 2030 significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen recovery and return of stolen assets, and combat all forms of organized crime”. This will come as a result of targeted capacitation, training and inter-agency activities which will lead to an improved cooperation of responsible BiH security institutions in prevention of illicit arms trafficking.

Also, through all of its activities the Project will practically contribute towards the achievement of SDG 5 as it will contribute to the empowerment of women. Women will predominantly coordinate community policing activities in the Project and participate in formulating of new action plans thereby affirming further their role in the BP BiH system. The Project fits into UNDP Strategic Plan 2018 - 2021 and its Outcome 3 “Strengthen resilience to shocks and crisis” given the fact that BP BiH has received, for the first time, procedure on how to react in emergency situations when larger quantities of arms and explosives are detected at a border crossing.

BiH Border Police trained to fight arms trafficking

Sustainable Development Goals targeted by CIAT



Start date:


Estimated end date:


Focus Area:

Justice and Security


Federal Republic of Germany

Republic of France

Project value

EUR 2.7 million

Main Partners:

BiH Ministry of Security (MOS), BiH Border Police, State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA), all 13 Entity and Cantonal Police Agencies / Ministries of Interior.


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