Strengthening the capacities of the Serbian Ministry of Interior to more effectively reduce, prevent, and counter illicit trafficking and misuse of SALW, ammunition and explosives

Project Info
OSCE Region , Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia
1 February 2022 - 31 October 2025
Gender Marker

In order to support the Project Manager (PM) in ensuring the standardised and co-ordinated implementation of the project activities, and securing a cost effective and holistic approach a Project Implementation Team (PIT) will be established consisting of a National Professional - Project Officer (PO), a Project Implementation Assistant (PIA), an Administrative Assistant, and a Procurement Assistant.

The PIT shall support the PM in the entire project cycle management, i.e. setting the legal, managerial, monitoring, and verification frameworks, altogether referred to as Implementation Framework, for efficient operational plan implementation in line with the OSCE’s Common Regulatory Management System and effective achievement of the project results.


The key beneficiaries and partners in the project implementation will be the Serbian MoI and the Serbian SALW Proof House.

The majority of activities pertaining to result 1 – enhancement of normative and operational framework for deactivation – will be conducted  in close co-operation with both the Serbian Proof house – Agency for Marking, Branding, Testing, and Deactivation of Firearms and Ammunition and the MoI as its supervising authority.

In respect to result 2 – advancement of capacities of the police K9 Units - the main project beneficiary will be primarily the K9 Units but also managerial and other organizational structures within the MoI.



The overall objective of the project is to strengthen the capacities of the Ministry of Interior (MoI) to develop and implement legal framework for SALW deactivation and the use of service dogs for detection of SALW, ammunition and explosives, thus contributing to the enhancement of the MoI capabilities to reduce, prevent, and counter trafficking and misuse of SALW, ammunition and explosives in Serbia.


The outcomes of this project are the harmonization of the Serbian legal framework on deactivation of SALW with international standards and creation of adequate mechanisms for its due application and oversight; and strengthening the infrastructural, operational and training capabilities of the Serbian MoI K9 units to detect illicit SALW, ammunition and explosives.


The project will implement different activities in order to achieve the two results.

Result 1. The legal framework on deactivation is improved and aligned with international standards and capacities for its effective implementation and oversight strengthened 


Activity 1.1. Support the development of the legal and institutional framework for deactivation of SALW, including mechanisms for its due implementation and oversight

Activity 1.2. Support the development and institutionalisation of the SALW deactivation capabilities

Activity 1.3. Support development of a Training Manual on SALW deactivation, and provide national and international training for the local practitioners


Result 2: Strengthening the capacity of the MoI K9 Unit to detect illicit SALW, ammunition and explosives by increasing their infrastructural, operational and training capabilities


Activity 2.1. Developing Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for the use of K9 capacity, as well as the K9 Master Plan for the modernization of this capability

Activity 2.2 Training programme on the application of the SOP for the use of K9 capacity

Activity 2.3 Technical assistance and equipment for infrastructure upgrades of the K9 unit


During the preparation of the project six potential and distinct risks were identified. Accordingly, the project developed a Risk management plan containing response/control measures that will be implemented by the project staff to prevent/mitigate the identified risk 

Background And Justification

The project is developed so as to support the implementation of the SALW Control Strategy and to directly respond to the MoI's request for assistance which, among others, identified two priority areas where the OSCE's technical support and expertise is sought. These are as follows: 1) support to the establishment of deactivation legislative framework and its effective practical implementation; and 2) strengthening the capacities of the MoI's K9 Units to detecting weapons and explosives.

Through the implementation of specific activities, the designed intervention will contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG): 16.1 Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere; 16.4 By 2030, significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows; 16.A Strengthen relevant national institutions, including through international co-operation, for building capacity at all levels, in particular in developing countries, to prevent violence and combat terrorism and crime; and to SDG 5.2 Eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.

Moreover, it will support the Serbian Government in fulfilling its commitments and achieving the goals defined in the UNDP/SEESAC Roadmap and fulfilling the obligations arising from the international arms control instruments.

By its content the project is fully in line with the OMiS's 2022 Unified Budgetunder the Security Co-operation Department's programme, Objective 1: To assist the host country in achieving a sustainable and accountable security sector, able to address serious threats and crimes, ensure public safety and protect human rights of citizens


Republic of Serbia is profiled as a source and transit country of firearms, mostly originating from the conflicts following the dissolution of Yugoslavia and other armed conflicts in the Western Balkans (hereinafter WB) region and the looting of SALW and stockpiles of CA. Criminal activities of organised crime groups in the WB became more sophisticated with respect to firearms trafficking originating or transiting the region towards Western and Northern Europe. The fight against these crime groups is becoming more complex, and demands a more co-ordinated and joint engagement of different specialised law enforcement units and institutions.  

Authorities of the Republic of Serbia are committed to preventing, controlling and eradicating the proliferation of illegal weapons. Pursuant to strategic documents and reports provided, they are committed to harmonize their legal framework and their practices with all regional and international initiatives, standards and documents for control of SALW, ammunition and explosive materials.  Serbia joined all of the international agreements on firearms control, including: the Arms Trade Treaty, United Nations Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons, the Firearms Protocol, and has embraced the regional initiatives to strengthen SALW control in its territory and across the region.

In addition, there is a solid strategic perspective on SALW, and a suitable Action plan accompanying it. In particular, the Strategy and the Action Plan make reference to the “Roadmap for a sustainable solution to the illegal possession, misuse and trafficking of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) and their ammunition in the Western Balkans, by 2024”. The goals of the Strategy and Action Plan are harmonized with the regional Roadmap and the accompanying key performance indicators.

SALW Commission is formed to monitor the implementation of the Strategy and Action Plan, monitor and report on the implementation of the goals and outcomes set in them, and to support Serbia’s commitments in the framework of the UN, and OSCE, as well as the obligations relevant for the European Union accession pertinent to SALW control.  

In order to meet some of the ambitious goals of their strategic vision, the MoI identified the OSCE as a suitable partner committedly working on decreasing the risks of illicit proliferation of SALW in the country. Accordingly, MoI sent an Assistance Request to the OSCE in 2019 seeking assistance in response to the arms control challenges in the following areas:

  • Support to the establishment of the Deactivation legislative framework and its effective practical implementation;
  • Building the capacities of the Police Department in strengthening their K9 capabilities in detecting weapons and explosives;


The OSCE engagement on SALW and Stockpiles of Conventional Ammunition (SCA) matters has been guided by the OSCE documents on SALW (FSC.DOC/1/00/Rev.1, 20 June 2012) and SCA (FSC.DOC/1/03/Rev.1, 23 March 2011), OSCE Plan of Action on SALW (FSC.DEC/2/10) as well as OSCE Best Practice Guide on SALW (FSC.DEC/5/03) and OSCE Handbook of Best Practices on Conventional Ammunition (FSC.DEC/608). Deriving from these documents, the OSCE FSC is mandated to deal with a wide range of politico-military issues ranging from traditional security between and within states, to address transnational threats such as the trafficking of weapons. As part of the OSCE engagement in the field of SALW, the OSCE Mission to Serbia, in close co-ordination with the OSCE FSC, will continuously strive to assist the country to achieve its goal to implement international SALW commitments and thereby contribute to security and stability in the country and the whole region.

The added value of the OSCE Mission to Serbia's Security Co-operation Department in this field strives from its long-standing and successful co-operation and partnership with the MoI as one of the main beneficiaries of the project. Moreover, comparative advantage of the Mission lies in its acknowledged inclusive, comprehensive, cross-dimensional and co-operative security approach; technical expertise in respect to building the capacity of national authorities in SALW control, security sector reform, and support to the law enforcement in countering organized crime and terrorism. With a very well developed normative side, assistance mechanism and over twenty years of practical experience in the field, the Mission has a demonstrated proficiency and institutional experience in broader politico-military and in police matters areas.

sdg sdg
MoI designated the Project Focal Point
Official decision on location for the K9 Centre passed by the MoI
Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Mission and the MoI
Gender Mainstreaming Strategy for the Project completed
Construction Engineer hired thus completing the PIT
Market research for Construction Design and Elaboration services conducted
Final assessment of needs and cost for limited infrastructural upgrades of the Proof House completed
Decision on refurbishment of the existing Bezanijska kosa K9 facility
The first Project Steering Committee organized
Launch of tender for the procurement of K9 equipment
Launch of tender for the procurement of K9 specialized vehicles
Approval of the Project Amendment No .1
French Gendarmerie K9 experts' on K9 visit to conduct capacity and capability assessment