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Action Plan on Enhancing the Security of Explosives

06 November 2007
by eub2 -- last modified 06 November 2007

These recommendations for the Action Plan on Enhancing the Security of Explosives form the basis are put forward by the EC's Explosives Security Experts Task Force (ESETF).



On 25 March 2004, in the immediate aftermath of the Madrid attacks, the European Council, in its Declaration on Combating Terrorism, established as a priority the need "to ensure terrorist organisations and groups are starved of the components of their trade". The European Council noted in particular that “there is a need to ensure greater security of firearms, explosives, bomb-making equipment and technologies". In response, a policy on enhancing the security of explosives started to be developed. One of the key measures undertaken was the setting up of an Explosives Security Experts Task Force (ESETF), composed of private and public sector representatives, with a view to preparing recommendations for actions in the explosives security field. The ESETF completed its work in June 2007 with the identification of 50 recommendations for actions. These recommendations form the basis for the Action Plan.

Objective of the Action Plan

The objective of the Action Plan is to combat the use of explosive devices by terrorists within the EU. This will be done while taking full account of relevant economic issues.

Structure of the Action Plan

The Action Plan is built on:

  • Three pillars: prevention, detection and response containing specific measures on explosive precursors, the supply chain (storage, transport, traceability) and detection.
  • A horizontal set of measures concerning public security which complement and consolidate the three pillars.

Concrete actions

The Action Plan contains 47 specific actions under the horizontal, prevention, detection and response headings, along with deadlines for their implementation. If it is possible that a particular action could have significant economic consequences, the implementation of that action will depend on further feasibility work.


  • The European Bomb Data System will constitute a common EU system enabling authorised governmental bodies at EU and Member States level to have 24/7 access to relevant information on incidents involving explosive devices. The system should be setup by Europol with certain funding provided by the Commission (it is part of the Crime Prevention Annual Work Programme 2008).

The database should contain:

  • Photos / films of incidents involving explosives,
  • Descriptions (technical - physical),
  • Background information (where, when, how),
  • Description of defuse, deactivate, disposal methods used (access to this area should be limited to EOD/IED trained operators (EOD-Units).
  • The European Explosive Ordnance Disposal Network (EOD Network) would link the EOD Units of the Member States with a view to enhancing co-operation, information sharing and trust building. The Network would increase possibilities to identify best practice, to organise joint training exercises, and in general be kept informed on the latest developments of relevance to the sector, such as new explosive products, new detection technologies or new equipment to render explosives safe.
  • The Early Warning System on Explosives (EWS) would link public security authorities of the Member States and Europol. It would provide for early warnings on such issues as:
  • Immediate threats;
  • Theft of explosives (any kind);
  • Theft of detonators;
  • Theft of precursors; (to be discussed)
  • Suspicious transactions;
  • Discovery of new modi operandi.

The EWS could be built on the existing system functioning between the G6 states. The Commission could provide funding for the extension of the G6 network to all Member States.


Funding will be made available for measures falling under the Action Plan by way of two programmes:

  • The Prevention of and Fight against Crime programme;
  • The 7th Framework Research Programme (FP7).

Priorities for implementation

All of the measures identified in the Action Plan will be addressed in the near future. Nevertheless, a number of priority measures have already been identified, which need to be taken forward as a matter of urgency. These include the establishment of the:

  • European Explosive Ordnance Disposal Network;
  • Early Warning System concerning explosives;
  • European Bomb Data System;
  • Standing Committee of Experts concerning precursors;
  • Working Group on

Source: European Commission
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