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Last Updated: 19 June 2010

Mine Ban Policy

Mine ban policy overview

Mine Ban Treaty status

Signed 4 December 1997, but has yet to ratify. Has stated intention to ratify in 2012

Pro-mine ban UNGA voting record

Voted in favor of UNGA Resolution 64/56 in December 2009, as in all previous years

Participation in Mine Ban Treaty meetings

Attended as an observer the Second Review Conference in November–December 2009

Key developments

In December 2009, Poland reaffirmed its commitment to ratify the Mine Ban Treaty by 2012


The Republic of Poland signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997, but has yet to ratify it. A policy change in 2004 set the goal of ratification as early as 2006, but Poland began to back away from this commitment in early 2006.[1] In January 2007 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed the ICBL that Poland would not ratify before 2015, as it continued to develop alternatives to antipersonnel mines.[2]

In 2009, Poland changed course again. On 17 February 2009, the Council of Ministers formally accepted a policy introduced by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, titled “Information on the state of readiness of the Council of Ministers to bind the Republic of Poland by the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction,” which set 2012 as the date of ratification.[3]

On 4 December 2009, Poland publicly confirmed its commitment to ratifying the Mine Ban Treaty in 2012 at the treaty’s Second Review Conference in Cartagena, Colombia.[4]

In April 2010, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor that, while no legislative initiatives had yet been undertaken,[5] concrete steps ensuring the adequate implementation of the treaty’s provisions would be carried out in 2011.[6]

Poland submitted its eighth voluntary Article 7 transparency report in 2010, which was undated but covered calendar year 2009.[7] The report contained information on Poland’s stockpiled antipersonnel mines and their destruction, and its international clearance activities.[8]

Poland is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its Amended Protocol II on landmines. Poland submitted an annual report in accordance with the protocol’s Article 13 on 23 September 2009.[9] Poland has not yet ratified Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War.

Production, transfer, use, stockpiling, and destruction

Since signing the Mine Ban Treaty in 1997, Poland has regularly stated that it does not produce, export, or use antipersonnel mines. In March 2006, Poland told Landmine Monitor that current military doctrine does not foresee the use of antipersonnel mines, including in joint military operations or exercises with other states.[10]

In the past, Poland produced three types of antipersonnel mines and imported a fourth type. Poland exported antipersonnel mines until 1993. An export moratorium in 1995 was made permanent by cabinet decree on 7 April 1998, which was then superseded by a law adopted in September 2002.[11]

Poland began destroying its stockpile of more than one million antipersonnel mines in 2003.[12] It destroyed 133,560 stockpiled antipersonnel mines in 2009, leaving a total of 200,013.[13] In 2008, Poland destroyed 651,117 mines, or two-thirds of its stockpile.[14] This was a much more rapid destruction of stockpiles than previously planned.[15]

As part of its search for alternatives to landmines, in 2008 Poland started a research project “aimed at the development of a modern and comprehensive system of engineering obstacles (barriers)” which might include “explosive devices controlled by an operator.” Poland spent PLN450,000 (US$189,878) on this project in 2008,[16] and an additional PLN655,000 ($212,213) in 2009.[17]

In June 2008, a Polish diplomat confirmed that Poland intends to retain about 5,000 antipersonnel mines for training purposes. He emphasized that Poland will not commit to a specific number until after ratification and after the stockpile has decreased significantly.[18] In its Article 7 reports, Poland has not reported that it will retain mines for training or development purposes, but rather has stated “not applicable” in Form D concerning retained mines.[19] In 2009, Poland used 326 empty antipersonnel mine casings to train demining squads for peacekeeping and stabilization missions,[20] up from 295 casings used in 2008,[21] and 144 in 2007.[22]

Poland has acknowledged that it possesses Claymore-type directional fragmentation mines, and said that these are “meant exclusively for mine-controlled detonation…[which] excludes the possibility of accidental detonation.” The MON-100 is described in Poland’s first Article 7 report as a “[d]irectional fragmentation mine, if equipped with a MUW fuse attached to a tripwire.”[23]



[1] For details on the evolution of Polish policy since 1997, and especially from 2004 to 2007, see Landmine Monitor Report 2007, pp. 765–767.

[2] Letter from Janusz Stanczyk, Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to Jody Williams, ICBL Ambassador, 26 January 2007. The Ministry of National Defense made an assessment that replacing antipersonnel mines with effective alternatives would require between eight and 13 years and cost more than PLN1 billion.

[3] Council of Ministers, Protocol of Decisions, No. 7/2009, Section 8, subsection 16, 17 February 2009. For additional details, see Landmine Monitor Report 2009, pp. 865–866.

[4] Statement by Amb. Jacek Perlin, Ambassador of Poland to Colombia, Second Review Conference, Cartagena, 4 December 2009. Notes by Landmine Action.

[5] The Ministry of Foreign Affairs policy document of February 2009 stated that, “Draft bills, necessary to implement the norms of the Ottawa Convention into the Polish legal system, will be placed on the legislative agenda of the Council of Ministers, within a period enabling the binding of the Republic of Poland by the Ottawa Convention in 2012”. Council of Ministers, Protocol of Decisions, No. 7/2009, 17 February 2009.

[6] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Adam Kobieracki, Director, Security Policy Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 8 April 2010.

[7] Poland submitted previous voluntary Article 7 reports in 2009 (for calendar year 2008), and on 14 April 2008, 6 April 2007, 3 May 2006, 11 May 2005, 12 May 2004, and 5 March 2003.

[8] Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2009), Forms B and J. All other forms were marked unchanged or not applicable.

[9] CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report, 23 September 2009.

[10] Letter from Tadeusz Chomicki, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 22 March 2006.  However, in January 2007, Poland said that it planned to install self-destruct or self-neutralization mechanisms on some antipersonnel mines. It has not referred to such plans since that time. In March 2008, officials stated that Poland does not rely on antipersonnel mines for the defense of its national territory or its bases abroad.  See Landmine Monitor Report 2009, p. 867.

[11] “Ordinance of the Council of Minister of August 20, 2002 concerning the imposition of prohibition and restriction on transfer of goods and strategic importance for the state security,” Journal of Laws, 6 September 2002.

[12] Poland initially reported 1,055,971 stockpiled antipersonnel mines at the end of 2002. During 2003, it destroyed 58,291 POMZ-2(2M) mines due to expiry of shelf life. It destroyed another 12,990 stockpiled mines in 2005, again because their life cycle had expired.

[13] Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2009), Form B. The mines destroyed were 105,418 PMD-6 and 28,142 POMZ-2(2M).  The remaining stock consisted of 107,082 PMD-6; 59,424 POMZ-2(2M); 13,585 PSM-1; and 19,922 MON-100 mines.

[14] Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2008), Form B.

[15] In January and April 2007, Poland stated that it will gradually over the next nine to ten years dismantle its stockpile of antipersonnel mines, destroying about 100,000 mines each year. According to a schedule made by the General Staff in 2007, Poland would disassemble about 125,000 mines each year from 2008 to 2010, and about 115,000 mines each year from 2011 to 2015. The Article 7 report submitted in 2008 stated that beginning in 2008, a total of 750,000 PMD-6 and POMZ-2(2M) mines will “be withdrawn from service and destroyed within 3–4 years.”Article 7 Report, Form F, 14 April 2008. See also, Landmine Monitor Report 2008, p. 791.

[16] Letter from Adam Kobieracki, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 23 April 2009.

[17] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Adam Kobieracki, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 8 April 2010. Average exchange rate for 2008: PLN1=US$0.42195; for 2009: PLN1=US$0.32399. Oanda, www.oanda.com.

[18] Interview with Col. Marek Zadrozny, Counselor, Permanent Mission of Poland to the UN in Geneva, Geneva, 4 June 2008. In May 2005, representatives of the Ministry of National Defense told Landmine Monitor that Poland planned to keep about 5,000 antipersonnel mines for training purposes. Interview with Col. Marek Zadrozny, Maj. Zbigniew Ciolek, Col. Slawomir Berdak, and Lt. Lech Gawrych, Polish Armed Forces/Ministry of National Defense, Warsaw, 31 May 2005.

[19] See Article 7 Reports (for calendar year 2008), 14 April 2008, 6 April 2007, and 3 May 2006.

[20] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Adam Kobieracki, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 8 April 2010.  He stated that PSM-1, PMD-6, POMZ-2, POMZ-2M and MON-100 casings were being used for this purpose.

[21] Letter from Adam Kobieracki, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 23 April 2009.

[22] Letter from Grzegorz Poznanski, Deputy Director, Security Policy Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 14 May 2008.

[23] Letter from Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 28 February 2001; and Article 7 Report, Form H2, 5 March 2003. The “MUW” is likely the MUV fuze.