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Sié Chéou-Kang CenterPrivate Security Monitor

A Hearing before the U.S. Commission on Wartime Contracting

Private Security Monitor

National Regulations

National laws governing the use and operations of private military and security companies vary widely in scope and complexity. The United States has the most complex regulatory system in place. In a few (but growing) number of national systems, companies and personnel delivering military and/or security services are subject to licensing requirements and vetting procedures; in other states the commercial provision of these services is criminalized as a form of mercenarism. In most states, however, the commercial provision of military and security services is not specifically regulated except by contract law that applies to the agreement struck between a client and security company. 

The national regulations that appear below were collected by DCAF and the UN Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries. In May 2012, the Working Group issued a request to all UN member states for their laws, rules and regulations relating to the provision of private security services. As responses are received they are posted on the Working Group's website.

Drawing from these resources, the Private Security Monitor compiles and annotates the available legislation onto this page, and if necessary, dedicated country pages. Countries with relevant reports from DCAF, the Working Group, Priv-War, or other groups contain brief cross-references to those additional source materials. 

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Africa

Angola

Angola was an early proving ground for mercenaries and private security services. The extended civil war in the 1990s attracted private military firms, most famously South African firm Executive Outcomes, to assist government or rebel forces in the conflict. As a result, Angola was an early adopter of legislation regulating PMSC activity in the country. However, the implementation of these laws has been "limited and selective", according to a report by Swisspeace. Multiple reports from the UN Working Group on Mercenaries in the 1990s also devote large sections to PMC activity in Angola (e.g. E/CN.4/1995/29).

 > Angola is a signatory to the UN Convention against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > Angola is a signatory to the Montreux Document.


Angola: Mining Law no. 16/94

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This law, issued in Portuguese, concerns the rights and responsibilities of companies licensed by the national diamond company of Angola to operate and mine diamonds within Angola. Among other provisions, it discusses which actors (government and private) are responsible for monitoring, security and control of diamond mines and surrounding areas. Also addressed are the operations of private security companies hired by mining companies to protect the mine’s assets and prevent the illicit trade in diamonds.

Angola: Law of 31 July 1992 on Private Security Companies

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This legislation provides regulation pursuant to the establishment of a private security industry sector. It includes restrictions, regulations, licensing requirements, and parameters for the utilization  of private security. Additionally, the law dictates the standards and requirements for hiring guards, among other regulations pertinent to the security industry. 

 

Burkina Faso

Private security services are a burgeoning industry in Burkina Faso, but have not been involved in any major conflicts. Burkina is not a headquarters to any transnational firms, although several operate in the country. Few reports exist about Burkina's private security industry or regulations, a DCAF report on West Africa security governance briefly covers the topic.

 > Burkina Faso is not a signatory to the UN Convention against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > Burkina Faso is not a signatory to the Montreux Document.


Burkina Faso: 1997 Decree on Private Security Companies

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This legislation provides for regulation of the activities, establishment, licensing, identification, and hiring process of private security companies in Burkina Faso, as well as other regulations relevant to private security. 

Côte d'Ivoire

Ivory Coast: Décret 2005–73 du 3 février 2005 portant réglementation des activités privées de sécurité et de transports de fonds

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This law was issued in French on 3 February 2005 and is titled "Decree 2005-73 concerning the activities of private security and cash transport." Among other things, the law authorizes the import and use of materiel and equipment for the performance of private security services. Cash transport firms and close protection officers or bodyguards are authorized to carry firearms. Despite the language of the law, various UN investigations found that private security companies not authorized to carry weapons by this decree do nonetheless use and carry weapons. Moreover, the UN found that this practice and other deviations from the law are sometimes authorized by the State, and in general the law is administered in somewhat of an arbitrary manner.

 

Democratic Republic of Congo

Equatorial Guinea

In 2004, a number of mercenaries including Simon Man and Nick du Toit were allegedly involved in an attempted coup against President Obiang of Equatorial Guinea. The UN Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries visited Equatorial Guinea in 2010 and reported on the ongoing investigations and prosecutions related to the coup attempt. The WG noted that there are no laws in Equatorial Guinea dealing specifically with mercenaries, and mercenary activities are prosecuted under the existing law dealing with 'state security'.

 > Equatorial Guinea is not a signatory to the UN Convention Against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > Equatorial Guinea is not a signatory to the Montreux Document


Gambia, The

The Gambia: Private Security Companies Act of 2011

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This Act, signed into law by President Jammah in 2011, governs the licensing, regulation, and control, of Private Security Guard Companies and individuals employed as private security guards in The Gambia. The document provides a list of licensing procedures and regulations, examples of applications, and prohibited activities. 

Ghana

Ghana: Police Service Act (Act 350) of 1970

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In Section 38 of this Act, the government of Ghana provides a brief regulatory framework for the regulation of private security companies. In fact, the burden of creating and enforcing regulation falls on a Minister as appointed by the Prime Minister, with that Minister afforded the ability to determine the rules for private security regulation in Ghana.

Kenya

Kenya Government Guidelines on the Requirements Related to Handling of Privately Contracted Armed Security Personnel (PCASP), Weapons and Security Related Equipment

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This regulation requires fourteen days notification prior to disembarkation and pre-requisite authorization from the flag state. The regulation also lists multiple requirements regarding storage of weapons, licensing, training, and reporting. The regulation also requires disclosure of ammunition counts, and weapons. 

 

Liberia

Between 2008-2011, there were over 300 piracy attacks on commercial vessels in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean region. As the second largest Flag State for merchant shipping in the world, Liberia issued guidance for safely hiring and utilizing private security on the high seas. This document, Piracy Guidance for Liberian Flagged Vessels Regarding 3rd Party Security Teams informed the International Maritime Organization's recommendations on private maritime security.

> Liberia is a signatory to the UN Convention against the Use of Mercenaries.
> Liberia is not a signatory to the Montreux Document.


Liberia: Piracy: Guidance for Liberian Flagged Vessels Regarding 3rd Party Security Teams

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As the basis for the International Maritime Organization's guidance on using private security contractors on ships, this document from the Liberian Bureau of Maritime Affairs provides the framework for safely hiring and utilizing private security on the high seas. Primarily for anti-piracy purposes, the Liberian framework outlines current government policy on firearms on ships, how security personnel should be selected, and recommendations to the crew for maintaining safety at sea. 

Mauritius

Mauritius: 2004 Private Security Services Bill

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The object of this bill is to provide for the licensing of private security
services, the registration of security guards, the training of licensed persons in
relation to private security services, and the establishment of criteria for the
management of private security services and standards, and related codes of conduct.

 

Mali

Order 2011-589; Order 96-00621; Order 96-0566

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{This file contains three distinct regulations, as they were originally uploaded in a single pdf.] Order 2011-589, Fixant les modalités d'application de réglementation des activités des entreprises privees de surveillance et de gardiennage, de transport de fonds et de protections de personnes, issued in 2011 by the Ministry of Interior Security and Civil Protection, regulates the types of weapons that may be carried by private security personnel; requires such personnel to carry identification cards denoting their nationality; and requires private security companies to maintain current information on the identities and addresses of their employees.

Order 96-00621, issued in 1996 by the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Security, lays out the requirements for what types of uniforms private security personnel must wear. 

Order 96-0566, issued in 1996 by the Ministries of Finance and Commerce, authorizes expenditures for a study on the demand for private security personnel. 

Decree 96-064

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Decree 96-064, Portant réglementation des activités des entreprises privees de surveillance et de gardiennage, de transport de fonds et de protection de personnes, was issued in 1996 by President Alpha Oumar Konaré. It regulates the activities of private security personnel in Mali. 

Law 96-020

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Law 96-020, signed by President Alpha Oumar Konaré on February 21 1996, outlaws private security personnel in Mali except for the purposes of private protection and surveillance and the transport of money. 

Namibia

Namibia: 2006 State Owned Enterprises Governance Act

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This act was created to make provision for the efficient governance of State-owned enterprises and the monitoring of their performances; to make provision for the restructuring of State-owned enterprises; to establish the State-owned enterprises Governance Council and define its powers, duties and functions; and to make provision
for incidental matters.

Namibia: 2002 Security Officers and Security Enterprises Act

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This act was created to amend the Security Enterprises and Security Officers Act, 1998, in order to further define certain expressions; to provide for the reconstitution of the Security Enterprises and Security Officers Regulation Board; to delimit the power of the Minister to make regulations; and to provide for other incidental matters. 

Nigeria

Nigeria: 1986 Private Guard Companies Act

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This legislation delineates the regulations and provisions for licensing private security companies, including the requirement that all security companies be wholly Nigerian owned, among other regulations. 

 

Senegal

Senegal has undergone a boom in private security corporations recently, despite being a secure state with a low crime rate. In 2008, 150+ companies employed over 25,000 people. The stability of the Senegalese economy attracts significant foreign investment and business, and foreign firms are the primary employers of private security. As a result, Senegalese legislation primarily focuses on guidelines for the utilization of domestic private security guards.

 > Senegal is a signatory to the UN Convention against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > Senegal is not a signatory to the Montreux Document.


 

Sierra Leone

In 1995 Sierra Leone was the site of one of the most famous modern uses of a mercenary force. Executive Outcomes, a South African private military company, engaged in direct military activity to save the government of Sierra Leone from the Revolutionary United Front (for a profile of Executive Outcomes and the Sierra Leone conflict, see Chapter 5 and Chapter 9 of this book by the Institute for Security Studies). Since the stabilization of Sierra Leone, the National Security and Intelligence Act of 2002 has provided the basis for regulation of the private security industry.

 > Sierra Leone is not a signatory to the UN Convention against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > Sierra Leone is a signatory to the Montreux Document.


Sierra Leone: Standard Operating Manual for Private Security Companies in 2006

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The Standard Operating Manual for Private Security Companies in Sierra Leone (SOP) is designed to equip PSCs with knowledge, skills and capacity to undertake the task of effective and efficient operation and management within the framework of National Security. It is an outcome of a three-day workshop (12th – 14h December 2005) attended by representatives of PSCs and other stakeholders under the auspices of the Office of National Security (ONS). It was compiled by the ONS and took effect in January 2006.

Sierra Leone: National Security and Intelligence Act of 2002

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This act is an all encompassing act establishing the function and administration of the national defense, security, and intelligence operations of Sierra Leone. In Part IV it provides provisions for the hiring and utilization of private security companies. 

 

South Africa

Visit the South Africa section of the Private Security Monitor website. This section contains a collection of the core laws and regulations that have been put in place in South Africa. As the central supplier of private security forces on the African continent and abroad, South Africa has enacted stringent laws to oversee and govern the use of private security companies operating in its territory.

Uganda

Uganda: Police Act of 1994

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The Police Act of 1994, in Sections 72 and 73, prescribes that the Minister has the authority to regulate the control of private security organizations. These regulations may include: control over the establishment and control of private security; registration, regulation, uniforms and equipment, and fees associated with private security. The Minister also has the authority to define whether or not an organization qualifies as private security.

 

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe: Private Investigators and Security Guards (Control) Act [Chapter 27:10]

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This act was created to provide for the appointment of a Controller of Private Investigators and Security Guards; and for the licensing and responsibilities of private investigators and security guards. It also regulates the approval and responsibilities of, certain private investigator employees, and the ability to temporarily hire them. Additionally, it addresses other incidental and connected matters.

Zimbabwe: Firearms Act Chapter 10:09

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This act regulates the licensing, purchase, manufacture, and possession of firearms, as well as other general provisions. Though the act does not directly address private security, the act does pertain to equipment that a private security guard or company might require for the discharge of duties. 

 

 

Americas

Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda: Private Security Registration Bill 2006

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This act, enacted by the Parliament of Antigua and Barbuda in 2006, provides for the licensing and regulation of private security agencies, private investigators, and independent private security providers. Among other provisions, it discusses the application process for obtaining a license, qualifications for employment as a security guard, and guidelines for the termination of employment.

Argentina

Argentina: National Decree on Private Security Companies 1999

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This 1999 decree concerns the provision and regulation of private security services, research, monitoring, and the custody of people and property at a local and national level. In 2006, this law was updated in the form of the Federal Law on Private Security Companies. The updated version of this law regulates the provision of private security services, when they are supplied in and across two or more states in Argentina. Under its provisions, it discusses the application of the law to the use of infrastructure, equipment and utilities by private security companies. When the provision of private security services is limited to one state, the state’s local laws will regulate the company.     

  1. Argentina: Federal Law on Private Security Companies 2006

 

Bahamas

Bahamas: The Inquiry Agents and Security Guards Act Chapter 210

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Chapter 210 of the Inquiry Agents and Security Guards Act aims to regulate and control the activities of inquiry agents and security guards in The Bahamas. The Act notes that the Minister responsible for the Internal Security may inquire and investigate as he thinks fit the character, antecedents, financial position and competence of an applicant. The Subsidiary Legislation of Chapter 210 features applications forms to be used in order to acquire a license to private security. 

  1. Bahamas: Inquiry Agents and Security Guards Arrangement of Subsidiary Legislation Chapter 210

Barbados

Barbados: Licence Expiration Notice 2008

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This notice reminds all security guards, security guard agencies and private investigators that their licenses are approaching the expiration date and require renewal

Belize

Belize: Private Security and Investigation Services Regulations 2003

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This law provides for the licensing and regulation of private security companies and their personnel in Belize. The provisions of this law were revised in October 2003 in the form of the Private Security and Investigations Control Act Chapter 138/01. The amendment includes a section on licensing requirements and criteria.    

  1. Belize: Private Security and Investigation Services (Control) Act Chapter 138/01

 

Bolivia

Brazil

Endemic urban violence and criminality in Brazil has created a large market for private security. While the Brazilian Constitution of 1988 legislates that public security lies in the domain of the state, Law 7,102 and Law 10,826 allow for the hire of private security companies and the supply of their services to individuals and public organs. A noteworthy feature of Law 7,102, as highlighted by a PRIV-WAR report in 2009, is the proscription on the foreign ownership and management of PMCs in Brazil. Brazil provided a response to the 2011 IMO questionnaire on private maritime security services. 

 > Brazil is not a signatory to the UN Convention Against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > Brazil is not a signatory to the Montreux Document


Brazil: Law 7,102 on Private Security Companies and the Security of Financial Institutions

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Canada

Canada is home to a number of private military and security companies, though it is not among the leading contributors to the global private security sector. According to a PRIV-WAR report, Canada does not have legislation specifically designed to regulate the services provided by Canadian PMSCs operating outside of Canada or the conduct of Canadian citizens working for foreign PMCs. There are, however, a number of national provisions and policies that affect the domestic activities performed by Canadian private security companies.

 > Canada is not a signatory to the UN Convention Against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > Canada is a signatory to the Montreux Document


 

Chile

The Chilean private security sector has grown rapidly over the last decade. Controversially, a number of former Chilean military and police personnel were recruited by domestic firms to work for American private security companies in Iraq. In addition, these personnel signed contracts that were subject to Uruguayan law. The UN Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries visited Chile in 2007 and issued a report in which it expressed concern over the recruitment and treatment of Chileans working in Iraq. The Working Group recommended the government complete its study of PMSCs in Chile and establish a high-level body to monitor their activities. In 2012, Chile provided a response to the UN Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries National Legislation Survey.

 > Chile is not a signatory to the UN Convention Against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > Chile is a signatory to the Montreux Document


Chile: Decree Law 3607 Regulating the Activities of Private Security Guards 1981 

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Decree Law 3607 discusses the regulation, control and supervision of private security services in Chile. It stipulates that strategic enterprises, valuables transport companies, government services, and banking and financial institutions may hire private armed guards directly. This decree has undergone significant amendments since 1981. 

  1. Chile: Decree Law Number 3631 Amendments to Law 3607/1981
  2. Chile: Law of 13 April 1994 on Obligations of Entities in the Field of Security of Persons
  3. Chile: Duties to the Security of Persons Approved Rules of Law Number 19.303 Decree 1772/1994
  4. Chile: Number 1.773 Approving the Regulations of Decree Law N 3.607, 1981 on Private Security Guard Operations, and Repealing Decree 315 of 1981
  5. Chile: Decree of 14 November 1994 Regarding the 1981 Private Security Guards Law
 

Colombia

The growth of the private security and military services in Colombia can be traced back to the protracted Colombian civil war, which has lasted for over sixty years. A 2009 PRIV-WAR report lists two reasons for why this might be the case. First, the Colombia armed forces had only limited capability to control the country's internal and domestic security. Second, PMCs in Colombia offer technological advantages in arms and procedures that generate a more competitive, specialized, and attractive response to the demand in comparison with the traditional public authorities. In terms of national regulation, Decree 356 of 1994 allows for the outsourcing of security functions under the supervision of the state.

 > Colombia is not a signatory to the UN Convention Against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > Colombia is not a signatory to the Montreux Document


Colombia: Decree 356 of 1994 on the Regulation of Private Security Companies

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Decree 356 of 1994 allows for the outsourcing of security functions under the supervision of the state. This legal disposition regulates the activities authorised by the state; the body responsible of controlling the activities of private security companies; and the duties and rights of these companies. There have been numerous amendments to Decree 356 of 1994. Additionally, in 2009, PRIV-WAR published a detailed report on the regulation of private security companies in Colombia.

  1. Colombia: Decree Regulating Private Security Services 1997
  2. Colombia: Decree Regulating Private Security Services 2001
  3. Colombia: Decree Regulating Private Security Services 2002
  4. Columbia: Resolution 2914/2007 on Security Services and Private Security (Amendment to Resolution 2852/2006)
 

Costa Rica

Costa Rica: Requirements for Registering as a Private Security Guard

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This document outlines the registration requirements for private security agencies including an indication of the type of services to be provided, and proof of a clean criminal record. Under it’s provisions, the document also states that private security companies and agents can only carry and use firearms if they meet the requirements outlined by the National Insurance Institute’s corresponding liability policy.

Costa Rica: Law 8395 of 5 December 2003 on Private Security Services

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This law regulates the activities of individuals or agencies who provide private security services in Costa Rica. In addition, it details the rules governing the operation of private security companies. In 2006, a decree was introduced which established procedures for the due application of the 2003 Law on Private Security Services. 

  1. Costa Rica: Regulation on the Implementation of the 2003 Law on Private Security Services

Costa Rica: Regulations Governing Police and Private Security Law Number 7410/1994

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Law 7410 regulates the activities of the Police in Costa Rica, as well as the organisation and responsibilities of the National Public Security Council, the specialised police forces, and private security services. Decree Number 23879 passed in 2006 regulates Title IV the Police Act and Article 78 of Law 7410. The decree states that it is necessary to regulate the said Act in order to establish limits on the services provided by private security companies. 

  1. Costa Rica: Regulations for Private Security Executive Decree Number 23879/2006
 

Dominican Republic

Ecuador

In 2006, the UN Working Group on Mercenaries visited Ecuador. The WG investigated the security firm Epi Security and Investigations, private security companies in the oil sector, the status of Ecuadorian nationals working in Manta, and PMSCs involved in counter-narcotics. Ecuador does have limited regulation on PMSCs, namely the 2003 Bill on Private Security. The legislation has not stopped the proliferation of PMSCs in Ecuador, and foreign companies continue to operate in a gray area.

 > Ecuador is not a signatory to the UN Convention Against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > Ecuador is a signatory to the Montreux Document


Ecuador: Surveillance and Private Security Law Number 012/2003

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This Act regulates activities relating to the provision of surveillance and security services in Ecuador.  It also details the criteria for recruiting private security personnel. In 2008, an updated version of this act came into force.  Decree Number 1181 established procedures for the establishment, operation, control and monitoring of companies engaged in the provision of private security. 

  1. Ecuador: Regulation on Private Security Decree Number 1181/2008
 

Guatemala

Guatemala: Regulating Private Security Services Law Number 52/2010

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This Act regulates the services rendered by persons or firms in the area of security, protection, security transport, surveillance, technology, security consulting and research in the private sphere. The Act also outlines the mechanisms of control and supervision for the sector.

 

Haiti

The private military and security industry in Haiti has long functioned without effective regulation. According to a June 2012 SSR paper on the private security industry, there are approximately 41 PSCs licensed to operate in the country. These companies are regulated under a series of presidential decrees. The first two, passed in 1988 and 1989, provide general guidelines on the role of PSCs, the requirements they must meet to be authorized, and the kinds of weapons they may use. A third decree, passed in 1994, gives the Haitian National Police (HNP) the legal authority to enforce regulations governing the industry. Attempts were made to strengthen these decrees by following them up with national regulations, however, political turbulence and natural disasters has slowed this process.

 > Haiti is not a signatory to the UN Convention against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > Haiti is not a signatory to the Montreux Document.


Honduras

Under the terms of Decree No. 156-98 And Agreement No. 0771-2005 private security companies in Honduras are deemed as for-profit commercial legal entities and not as private military and security companies. In August 2006, the UN Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries visited Honduras to examine the state of mercenary activity in the country. The Working Group commended the Honduran government for measures taken to provide oversight of PMSCs, but noted that the regulatory framework needed to be strengthened. The Working Group also expressed concern over the training of Chilean nationals in Honduras and the recruitment of Honduran nationals for private security work in Iraq.

 > Honduras is a signatory to the UN Convention against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > Honduras is not a signatory to the Montreux Document.


 

Jamaica

Jamaica: The Private Security Regulation Authority Act 1992

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Enacted in 1992, this law establishes a Private Security Regulation Authority to regulate the industry in Jamaica. The functions of this Authority include monitoring the operations of private security organization, making enquiries and colleting information as it may think necessary or desirable for the purpose of carrying out its responsibilities. This Act was amended in 2010. Its provisions include an increase in fees and fines and a widening of the circumstances under which licenses can be revoked or refused. It also provides an exception under the Companies Act for lifting the corporate veil to ascertain the identities of company directors and shareholders.

  1. Jamaica: Private Security Regulation Authority (Amendment) Bill 2010

Mexico

Mexico: Federal law of 6 July 2006 on Private Security

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This law regulates the provision of private security services, when they are supplied in two or more states in Mexico. If services are only provided within the territory of a single state, then the law states that the relevant local laws should govern the actions of the private security company. 

Mexico: Regulation of Private Security Services 2004

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This law is the precursor to the Federal Law of 6th July 2006 on Private Security. It includes regulations on the licensing and registration of private security companies, training, their obligations and restrictions, and other measures to ensure the proper deliver of services and sanctions. 

 

Panama

Resolution No.106-13-DGMM for Panama Accredited Private Maritime Security Companies

Author: Panama Maritime Authority
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The Panama Maritime Authority passed this resolution in 2012 in order to better monitor private military services operating on board Panama flagged vessels. The law, which came into effect in October 2012, requires private military services to register with the government if they want to legally operate on Panama vessels.

 

Paraguay

Paraguay:2002 Law on Arms and Weapons

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This draft law outlines the rules and regulates for possessing and carrying firearms, ammunitions, and explosives. Under its provisions, it also discusses the use of firearms by private security services. 

 

Peru

According to a report by the UN Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries, the absence of national legislation, regulation, and effective monitoring has created a legal vacuum in Peru that benefits domestic private security companies operating in the international market. This vacuum also encourages these PSCs to recruit nationals of other countries as security guards in armed conflict zones. Nevertheless, there are a number of acts that have attempted to regulate the work of PMSCs. Act No. 28806 (Labour Inspection Act) strengthens police powers to inspect employment agencies, such as PMSCs, while under Act No. 28879 of 2006, the Ministry of the Interior is deemed responsible for the regulation, control and oversight of private security services.

 > Peru is a signatory to the UN Convention against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > Peru is not a signatory to the Montreux Document.


Peru: Act No. 28879 on Private Security 2006

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This Act establishes the rules governing both individuals and public or private corporations providing private security services in Peru. Under this act, the Ministry of Interior, through the Office for Oversight of Security Services, Arms, Munitions and Explosives for Civilian Use is responsible for the regulation, control, and oversight of private security. This law was amended in 2011 under the title Regulation of Security Services 2011. 

 

 

  1. Peru: Regulation of Security Services 2011

Peru: Standards for the technical specifications and use of the private security services uniform. DS No. 03-97-IN-040301010000

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This law regulates the features, technical specifications, and use of uniforms of those agents and companies providing private security services in Peru. It was updated in 2003.  

  1. Peru: Approval of Directive No. 001/2003-IN-1704 on Uniforms
  2. Peru: Approved procedures guide for use of the Uniform Number Two to be met by companies providing private security services. R.D. Nº 02393-2003-IN-1704
 

Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago: Private Security Network Commission

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The Private Security Network Commission comprises twelve members representing the Ministry of National Security, Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, Private Security Industry (both contract and proprietary providers), Local Telecommunications Industry, and an academic institution providing criminal justice/security courses. 

United States

Click here to visit the U.S. section of the Private Security Monitor website. This section contains a comprehensive collection of laws and regulations that direct the U.S. government's overseas use of private military and security contractors, and the audits, hearings, and reports concerning PMSCs issued by U.S. government agencies and committees. Also included in the "Federal Laws" section are U.S. statutes that establish the legal liability of overseas government contractors and their personnel for criminal and tortuous acts committed outside the United States. The United States is the world's largest consumer of private military and security services and has a long history of contracting with the private sector. Because of the widespread use of private military and security contractors within the U.S. government, regulation and oversight is diffuse, split among Congress, federal agencies, and specially-created oversight commissions. Private military and security contractors are subject to a complex set of laws and regulations, and their activities are reviewed and reported on by more than 20 federal oversight bodies and committees. The US reliance on contractors ballooned after 9/11 as the US Military experienced increased manpower strain. This phenomenon is examined in the US PRIV-WAR report. The US was also the subject of a UN Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries Country Visit in 2009, and responded to the IMO questionnaire on maritime private security regulations. 

Uruguay

Uruguay has several pieces of national regulation regarding private security. However, it is not currently a respondent to the OHCHR Working Group on Mercenaries request for national regulatory frameworks.

 > Uruguay is a signatory to the UN Convention against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > Uruguay is a signatory to the Montreux Document.


 

Venezuela

Venezuela: Law on Arms and Explosives 2005

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This law establishes the legal framework for the manufacture, import, re-export, transit, transport, storage, repair and maintenance, marketing, inspection, supervision, inspection, registration, control, possession, carrying and use of weapons, ammunition and explosives in Venezuela.

 

 

Asia-Pacific 

Afghanistan

Visit the Afghanistan section of the Private Security Monitor website. This section contains a collection of the core laws and regulations that have been put in place in Afghanistan. As one of the largest theatre of operations for PMSCs since the arrival of foreign troops in 2001, the country has been a focus of domestic and international efforts to regulate private security companies.  

 

Australia

The private military and security sector in Australia is relatively small in comparison to some of its major military allies. The government has been somewhat reluctant to contract out direct military services. According to a recent report by PRIV-WAR, Australia has been reviewing its procurement contracting process to ensure that it is abiding by the provisions of the Montreux Document, and had been waiting to enact further legislation based on Montreux. The current legislative framework is limited in scope, and rests largely on the recently amended Crimes (Overseas) Act of 1964. Australia provided a response to the 2011 IMO Questionnaire on private maritime security regulations. 

 > Australia is not a signatory to the UN Convention Against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > Australia is a signatory to the Montreux Document


 

Azerbaijan

The overall characterization of private guarding system in Azerbaijan Republic can be summarized as follows: the government has strong control over private guarding activities, it requires the obtainment of licenses, requires private guardians go through state owned guardian schools only, and requires all guardians to be citizens of Azerbaijan Republic. There are also strict regulations regarding the use of physical power and special equipment.

 > Azerbaijan is a signatory to the UN Convention Against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > Azerbaijan is not a signatory to the Montreux Document.


Azerbaijan: Law on Private Guarding and Security Services 2007

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The Azerbaijani law on private guards requires that all private security firms operating in Azerbaijan obtain a license from the state and follow specific regulations for its employees and security practices. Hired guards must be 20 years old and Azerbaijan citizens, and foreign security firms are not allowed to work in Azerbaijan. 

 

Brunei

Brunei: Chapter 187, Security Agencies

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The Security Agencies Act provides for the licensing and control of those persons who carry on the business of or act as security agencies. It establishes a ministry appointed licensing officer to oversee the licensing process and provides a minimum standard of conduct for companies applying for and operating with a security agency license.

 

Fiji

The country of Fiji is a large contributor of private security employees to transnational PMSCs, but the nation has no significant private security companies of its own. The 2008  UN Working Group on Mercenaries report on Fijian regulation in 2008 commented that Fiji lacked any specific regulations for private security services. Since then, Fiji issued the 2010 Security Industry Decree, a framework for oversight of the industry.

 > Fiji is not a signatory to the UN Convention against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > Fiji is not a signatory to the Montreux Document.


Fiji: Security Industry Decree 2010 (No. 57 of 2010)

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This decree is the first regulatory law aimed directly at the private security sector in Fiji. It outlines a definition of 'security activities' and the new powers of the Security Industry Licensing and Registration Board to regulate such activities. The Board will serve as a registrar and licence distributor for Fijian citizens seeking to work in private security. 

Fiji: 2007 Employment Act

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This Act outlines the regulations regarding employment within Fiji. It has a minor provision regarding security officers, and outlaws the employment of children in the security industry. 

 

Hong Kong

In 2012, Hong Kong provided a response to the IMO Questionnaire on private maritime security regulations. The primary legislation governing the regulation of PMSCs in Hong Kong is the 1994 Security and Guarding Services Ordinance, which provides for the establishment of a Security and Guarding Services Industry Authority, the issuing of permits to individuals doing security work, and the licensing of security companies. This Ordinance was amended in 2002.

 > Hong Kong is not a signatory to the UN Convention against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > Hong Kong is not a signatory to the Montreux Document.


Hong Kong: 2004 Security and Guarding Services Regulation

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This legislation lays out the criteria for acquiring a permit to conduct security work in Hong Kong. Security jobs are divided into four categories, A-D. Levels A and B refer to security guard work that does not involve the carriage of a firearm. Level C refers to armed security guards, and Level D refers tot he installation and maintenance of security systems or devices. 

Hong Kong: 1994 Security and Guarding Services Ordinance (Chapter 460)

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This Ordinance provides for the establishment of a Security and Guarding Services Industry Authority, the issuing of permits to individuals doing security work, the licensing of security companies, and for connected matters. It was reviewed in 2000 at the direction of the Executive Council by the 2000 Security and Guarding Services Bill and amended in the 2000 Security and Guarding Services Regulation

 

India

The private security sector in India is governed by the 2005 Private Security Agencies (Regulation) Act. The Act makes provisions for the licensing of companies, it outlines the eligibility requirements of security guards, and it details the nature of sanctions against companies that violate the rules. In 2012, India provided a response to the UN Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries National Legislation Survey, and also responded to the IMO Questionnaire on private maritime security regulations. 

 > India is not a signatory to the UN Convention against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > India is not a signatory to the Montreux Document.


India: Guidelines on Deployment of Armed Security Guards on Merchant Ships

Author: Ministry of Shipping
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In response to the growing geographic reach of piracy in the Gulf of Aden, the India Ministry of Shipping issued these guidelines on the use of private armed security guards aboard ships. The guidelines describe the proper due diligence needed before contracting with a PMSC, including vetting, insurance, and firearms management. 

India: 2005 Private Security Agencies (Regulation) Act

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This Act provides for the regulation of private security agencies and for other connected and incidental matters. It applies to all of India, excepting  the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The Act makes provisions for licensing, security guard eligibility, and sanctions for violations. 

Indonesia

Indonesia: 2007 Regulation of the National Chief of Police on management of security organisations, companies and entities

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This Bill was created in order to promote the security industry's purpose in the maintenance of law and order in society, and to define its role in providing assistance to the Indonesian National Police. To this end, the Bill establishes the Security Management System, in charge of defining and regulating the responsibilities of security personnel, as well as their implementation and operating procedures. The Security Management System also sets out the processes and resources required for obtaining licences. It is also charged with the development, assessment, and maintenance of security policies in order to control the risks related to security activities to facilitate a safe, efficient, and productive environment. 

 

Japan

Japan: 1972 Security Services Act

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The Security Service Law does not permit staffs of security companies to use weapons which are prohibited by the Swords and Firearms Control Law. The Security Service Law demands staffs to obtain official qualification for security service.

Japan: 1958 Act Controlling Possession, etc. of Firearms and Swords

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Swords and Firearms Control Law prohibit Japanese citizens from possessing swords and guns (there are some exceptions, for example about shotguns  for hunting or sports). Therefore, private companies cannot conduct any activities which need significant armaments in Japan. Generally, Japanese security guards have only clubs. It is not illegal for Japanese companies to conduct security activities overseas, though few have significant experience and knowledge. Additionally, Japanese law does not prohibit Japanese citizens fromworking for foreign PMSCs or acting as mercenaries.

  1. Japan: 1958 Cabinet Order for Enforcement of the Act Controlling Possession, etc. of Firearms and Swords
 

Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan:2004 Decree on Licensing Private Security Guards

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This legislation provides guidelines on enforcement bodies on licensing of businesses and individuals claiming to implement security management, and the installation, commissioning, and maintenance of intruder alarm and the audit of their activities rules for the audit of guards and workers in security forces.

Kazakhstan: 2003 Model Law on Private Security

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This law regulates issues arising in connection to the implementation of private security services and private detective activities. It defines their legal basis, the principles and objectives of these activities, and the procedures for interaction between private security and detective agencies with state bodies in the spheres of law enforcement and crime prevention. 

Kazakhstan: 2002 Ordinance on the Implementation of the Law on Private Security

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This decreee establishes the the list of approved special protective and technical equipment used by security forces and the Departmental Security units. It contains forms and sample documents for private security guards.  It sets up a training center for the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan as one of the specialized training centers, which will be implementing training of private security guards,  security forces employed by individuals and legal entities, and departmental security units of government agencies. It sets out the standard number of employees in a private security organization's security units. It also regulates the required number of guards for one, eight, and twelve hour guard posts. 

Kazakhstan: 2000 Law on Private Security

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This Act provides the legal framework for security services in the Republic of Kazakhstan, determines the status and powers of the actors carrying out protection and security activities. It defines the role and purpose of private security companies. Additionally, this act outlines the requirements for licensing and other related regulations. 

 

Malaysia

Malaysia: 1971 Private Agencies Act

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This Article regulates the business of private agencies. No one can carry out business of private agency unless a license by the Minister is issued. The license will be revoked if the business is used for the purpose prejudicial to peace, welfare, and order of the country. 

 

New Zealand

New Zealand: 1974 Private Investigators and Security Guards Act

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This Act was created to provide for the licensing of private investigators as a means of affording greater protection to the individual’s right to privacy against possible invasion by private investigators, and to provide for the licensing of security guards as a means of ensuring that, so far as possible that those carrying on business as security guards are fit and proper persons to do so, and to regulate the conduct of business by private investigators and security guards.

 

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea: 2004 Security Protection Industry Act

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This legislation establishes the Security Industries Authority and the Security Industries Council to grant permits. The legislation also lays out the duties and responsibilities of a security guard, as well as their permitting, licensing, and training requirements. 

 

Philippines

Philippines: Circular Amending PSC Regulation

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This circular was issued by the Philippines to government agencies in order to provide guidance to prevent "cut-throat competition." This refers to the practice of under cutting competitor's prices with rates below the legal threshold by private security companies. 

Philippines: 1969 Act on Private Security Agencies, Company Guard Forces and Private Detectives

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This legislation regulates the establishment and operation of private security companies. It outlines the requirements for licensing, training, qualifications, fees, firearms regulations, uniform and equipment guidelines, and other pertinent regulations. 

  1. Philippines: 1984 Decree Amending the 1969 Act on Private Security Agencies and Detectives
  2. Philippines: Rules and Regulations on the Implementation of the 1969 Act
 

Singapore

Singapore: Private Security Law

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This act was established to provide for the regulation of private investigators, private investigation agencies, security officers, security agencies, security service providers, and related activities. It repeals and replaces the previous Private Investigation and Security Agencies Act and amends the Central Provident Fund Act, and the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act. The Act provides definitions, licensing regimes, the scope of activity and authorities enjoyed by the entities, and other miscellaneous issues. 

 

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: Private Security Agencies Act

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This Act prohibits the execution of the business of a Private Security Agency by any persons or organization not licensed to do so. It establishes a Competent Authority for the enforcement of the Act's provisions, a licensing regime and relevant procedures and requirements, and the authority of the Minister to regulate the activities of licensed Private Security Agencies. 

 

Taiwan

Taiwan: Security Firm Act 2002

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This Act stipulates that if the private security company is guarding money, a specialized truck has to be used and only certain guards are authorized to undertake the task. Employees must also receive training. 

Taiwan: Security Industry Law 1991

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The Security Industry Law contains 23 Articles and was promulgated by the President on 30 December 1991. The law was enacted with the goals of ensuring sound development of the security industry, and protecting the safety of national life and property. The essential points are:

1)To provide for the definition of security industry and the scope of business (Articles 3 and 4).

2)To provide for the registration procedure to establish a security enterprise and the abolishment of the approval for establishing a security enterprise (Articles 5 and 6).

3)To provide for the necessary equipments, liability insurance and the requirement for minimum paid-in capital for a security enterprise, and impose fines for a violator (Articles 7, 8, 9 and 16).

4)To provide for the requirement for employing security personnel, and impose fines for a violator (Articles 10 and 16).

5)To provide for the disqualifications for directors, supervisors and managers of a security enterprise (Articles 11 and 17).

6)To stipulate that a security enterprise shall sign a contract in writing when practicing business, and impose fines for a violator (Articles 12 and 18)

7)To provide for the competent authorities to inspect the business activities of a security enterprise if necessary, and stipulate that the directors, supervisors, managers and workers of the enterprise shall not refuse the inspection, and impose fin

 

 

Europe

Belgium

Belgium has been involved in the private military and security industry since the mid-20th century. According to a PRIV-WAR report, mercenaries were provided by Belgium during the period of crisis that followed the independence of the Democratic Republic of Congo in the 1960s. They have been used on a number of occasions since then, including by the Congolese government for military support against the rebels in 1996. The principal law regulating the use of private security companies in Belgium was enacted in 1991. It was simplified in 2005 and renamed the Law Regulating Private Security.

 > Belgium is not a signatory to the UN Convention Against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > Belgium is a signatory to the Montreux Document


Belgium: Law of 10 April 1990 Regulating Private Security Services and Private Guards

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This 1990 law on private security services entered into force in 1991 and has been amended several times. It was simplified in 2005 and renamed ‘law regulating private security’. According to a Priv-War report on Belgium, the original text excluded from its scope individuals bound by a labor contract or close family ties, as well as companies counting no more than four associates exercising the said activities. 

 

Bosnia and Herzegovina

 

Bulgaria

While the private security industry in Bulgaria was initially associated with organized crime, a series of regulatory changes introduced by the government over the last eight years have helped to change this perception. A 2005 SEESAC report on private security companies operating in South Eastern Europe notes that the industry has advanced to a stage where international companies are operating in Bulgaria and Bulgarian firms are starting to export their services abroad, including to Iraq. In 2012, Bulgaria provided a response to the UN Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries National Legislation Survey.

 > Bulgaria is not a signatory to the UN Convention Against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > Bulgaria is a signatory to the Montreux Document


 

Croatia

The private security sector in Croatia is expanding at a rate of 10% per year according to a 2005 SEESAC report on private security companies operating in South Eastern Europe. The report states that although a cross-industry code of conduct has not yet been agreed, the nature and strength of state regulation has alleviated some of the concerns surrounding the regulation of the private security sector. However, there are enduring worries regarding the industry's links with organised crime and its affiliation with some political parties.

 > Croatia is a signatory to the UN Convention Against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > Croatia is a signatory to the Montreux Document


Croatia: Law of 9 April 2003 on Private Security

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This law regulates the activities of individuals and agencies providing private security services in Croatia. Its provisions include regulations on the training and standards of security guards as well as the monitoring of their activities. 

 

Estonia

According to a PRIV-WAR report on Estonia, the rules governing the regulation of private military companies and security services are stipulated in the Estonian Constitution. However, no laws specifically proscribe provision of services by Estonian PMCs operating abroad. Therefore, the report focuses on issues that would be relevant if Estonian private military and private security contractors operated abroad.

 > Estonia is not a signatory to the UN Convention Against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > Estonia is not a signatory to the Montreux Document


Estonia: Security Act of Estonia of 1 May 2004

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This Act provides the conditions and procedure for those companies providing security services, the rights and obligations of security guards, the guarantees for security guards, the conditions and procedure for organising in-house guarding, the procedure for exercising supervision over the activities of security firms and in-house guarding units, and liability for violations of this Act.

 

Finland

The PMSC sector in Finland is relatively small. A 2009 PRIV-WAR report lists a number of reasons for why this might be the case, including a belief against outsourcing defense, constitutional limits on delegating tasks to private authorities, and the limited role of Finland armed forces abroad. As Finland lacks specific legislation on private military and security companies, the PRIV-WAR report consequently examines the regulation of domestic security services and various legal fields that might be applicable to the industry.

 > Finland is not a signatory to the UN Convention Against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > Finland is a signatory to the Montreux Document


 

France

France considers the use of armed force to be an inherently state function. It is reluctant to contract out security and military services abroad, although it has robust legislation governing its domestic private security law. As the government does not believe that security will be contracted out overseas, the domestic legislation is considered "distinct" and separate from private security abroad. 

The private military and security sector in France has been described as "Etatist" by a PRIV-WAR report on France. This implies that the government has sought to align the behavior of PMSCs with the state's own security and foreign policy interests. According to the report, the French government often gave tacit authorization to activities conducted by French mercenaries between the 1960s and the 1980s in Africa. The regulation of private security services in France has evolved since the enactment of the 1983 law regulating private security activities. This law remains key to the regulatory framework of PMSCs in France. Information on France's regulations on maritime private security can be found in its response to the IMO's questionnaire on national private security regulations. 

 > France is not a signatory to the UN Convention Against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > France is a signatory to the Montreux Document


 

Germany

German military companies primarily provide support services to the German Armed Forces. A PRIV-WAR report on private military and security companies in Germany notes that these companies mostly function in the field of logistics and protection of persons and buildings. A number of German PMSCs also provide backup services for foreign armed services including waste disposal and laundry services. While there appear to be no specific pieces of legislation concerning the activities of German PMSCs abroad, the right to pursue commercial activities is constitutionally protected. The operation of a security or surveillance service business, however, necessitates prior authorization by a governmental authority. In 2012, Germany provided a response to the UN Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries National Legislation Survey.

 > Germany is not a signatory to the UN Convention Against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > Germany is a signatory to the Montreux Document


 

Greece

Greece: Decision 641.36-2/12 

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This law provides authorisation for the provision of security services by private armed guards of companies embarking on and disembarking from Greek merchant ships via foreign ports.

Hungary

In 2012, Hungary provided a response to the UN Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries National Legislation Survey. The 1998 Act on Private Security and Investigation Services strengthens the legal basis for security and private investigation services in the interests of improving public order and safety in Hungary.

 > Hungary is not a signatory to the UN Convention against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > Hungary is a signatory to the Montreux Document.


Hungary: 1998 Act on Private Security and Investigation Services

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The goal of this Act is to strengthen the legal basis for security and private investigation services in the interests of improving public order and safety. Additionally, it aims to increase the efficiency of security services and crime prevention units in Hungary. 

 

Ireland

Ireland: 2004 Private Security Services Act

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This act provides for the establishment of a Private Security Authority to control and supervise individuals and firms providing private security services in Ireland and to investigate and adjudicate on any complaints against them. This act also established the Private Security Appeal Board to hear and determine appeals against decisions made by the Private Security Authority.

 

Italy

There are no specific regulations governing the private military sector in Italy. However, a 2009 PRIV-WAR report on Italy suggests that there are norms that govern the work of and use of domestic private security companies. For instance, a PSC cannot operate without the authorization of the principle governing authority and it must first obtain a license from the Prefetto. The conditions of this license must be respected and if a company fails to respect its terms, then the license can be revoked.

 > Italy is a signatory to the UN Convention against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > Italy is a signatory to the Montreux Document.


 

Kosovo

Kosovo: 2008 Draft Law on Private Security Companies

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This draft law regulates the activities of private security companies in Kosovo. The law states that these companies are prohibited from performing activities or from using means that fall under the scope of the state. 

Kosovo: UNMIK Regulation of 25 May 2000 on Licensing of Security Service Providers

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This decree outlines the licensing requirements for agents providing private security services in Kosovo, and the regulation of their employees. It also states that an international security services provider who wishes to engage in the business of providing security services in Kosovo shall apply to the Department for a license in accordance with guidelines and procedures to be determined by the Department.

 

Latvia

In Latvia, the Security Guard Activities Law regulates the conduct of private security services. This law states that private security services can be performed either by natural persons or legal persons that have obtained a special permit issued by the Minister of Interior. Though private security services such as guards are regulated, a 2009 PRIV-WAR Report notes that Latvian law does not regulate the provision of private military services. Furthermore, the Latvian government has released no official policy statements regarding the use of private military and security services during Latvian missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kosovo.

 > Latvia is not a signatory to the UN Convention against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > Latvia is not a signatory to the Montreux Document.


Lithuania

The Law on the Security of the Person and Property regulates the provision of private security services in Lithuania. This law also regulates the operation of foreign private security companies in the country. If a company is registered to a country belonging to the European Union, it can operate in Lithuania for up to 3 months without a licence. Otherwise, providing security services without a license is prohibited. Furthermore, as noted in a PRIV-WAR report, the Lithuanian Parliament has sole authority to decide on the use of armed forces in the zone of armed conflict and prospective use of PSCs and PMCs abroad.

 > Lithuania is not a signatory to the UN Convention against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > Lithuania is a signatory to the Montreux Document.


Luxembourg

 

Macedonia

 

Malta

Transport Malta- Privately Contracted Armed Security Application Requirements

Author: Transport Malta
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This Circular was issued by the Maltese shipping authority, Transport Malta, to outline the guidelines for requesting the engagement of Privately Contracted Armed Security (PCASP) on board Maltese flagged ships. Though weapons are prohibited on board Maltese vessels, the issue of piracy of the coast of Somalia has made their carriage and use by private security teams an option. The list of requirements contained in this document are used by the administration to authorize the engagement of PCASP on a case by case basis. 

Malta: Private Guards and Local Wardens Act

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This Act was created to provide for the licensing, regulation and control of persons operating, engaged in, or employed by, private guard and warden services. It also addresses other activities and issues related to the exercise of these services, including definitions, limitations and scope of authority, and licensing. 

 

Moldova

Moldova: Law No. 283 on Private Detective and Security Activity

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This Act establishes the principles, objectives, actors and licensing of private investigators and security services, for individuals and organizations. This Act also applies to foreign ones security and investigation service providers. The Act regulates process of contracting private investigative and security services in such a way as to protect the rights and interests of clients, ensure the social protection of detective and security organizations, to promote the interests of the state and public order, and to ensure state control over the provision of private investigators and security services. The Act is also designed to mitigate the risk of criminal activity within detective and security agencies.
 

Netherlands

There are no specific laws that regulate the activities of private security and military companies in the Netherlands. In order to provide such services, a company must obtain a license from the Ministry of Justice. According to a 2008 PRIV-WAR Report, the Dutch government has hired private contractors to protect officials and diplomats abroad.

 > Netherlands is not a signatory to the UN Convention against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > Netherlands is a signatory to the Montreux Document.


Norway

Following a steady increase in violent acts of piracy off the coast of Somalia and in the Indian Ocean, the Norwegian Government has taken a number of steps to ensure that ships registered in Norway are able to protect themselves adequately. A Security Association for the Maritime Industry Report on the use of armed guards on board Norwegian ships notes that this process has involved making changes to standing regulations such as Regulations of 22 June 2004 No. 972 and the Provisional Regulations of 25 June 2009. In 2012, Norway provided a response to the UN Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries National Legislation Survey.

 > Norway is not a signatory to the UN Convention against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > Norway is a signatory to the Montreux Document.


Norway: Provisional Guidelines for the Use of Armed Guards on Board Ships

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This provisional regulation was enacted to provide guidance for ship owners on the use of armed guards on Norwegian flagged ships. This guideline offers explanatory comments on relevant provisions of the Security Regulations and the Firearms Regulations relating to applications for firearms permits, the selection and use of armed guards, and reporting to public authorities on the use of force in connection with pirate attacks. These guidelines are not exhaustive, and it is recommended that companies and any hired security firms/guards engage professional, qualified advisers to establish the scope of the legal rules to which they are subject under Norwegian law.

Norway: Ship Safety and Security Act of 2007

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This Act was designed to safeguard life, health, property and the environment by facilitating a high level of ship safety and safety management. It also includes provisions to prevent pollution from ships, to ensure a good working environment and safe working conditions on board ships, and to provide appropriate public supervision of ships. This act applies to Norwegian flagged ships, and to the extent permissible within international law, to foreign ships operating in Norwegian territorial waters, in the Norwegian EEZ and on the Norwegian continental shelf. 

Poland

Poland: Law on Private Detective Services

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This Law regulates economic activity involving detective services, the rights and responsibilities of investigators, and the rules and procedures for vesting detective services.  Some provisions of this Law do not apply to activities involving the obtaining, processing and transmitting of information from publicly available data sets.

Poland: The Protection of Persons and Property (OJ No. 114, item 1997. 740)

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This Act specifies the areas, facilities and equipment that are subject to mandatory protection. It then establishes the principles for the establishment and function of the internal security services, and the rules of doing business in the field of security services. Additionally it outlines the required qualifications and powers of security personnel, and a means for supervising the protection of persons and property. Further it creates a principle for the protection and transport of weapons, ammunition, explosives, arms, and military equipment.

 

Portugal

Portuguese Law does not provide for the specific regulation of private military companies. However, private security services are regulated by the Decree-Law governing Private Security Activity 2004, which was amended in 2008. According to a 2009 PRIV-WAR report, personnel hired by PSCs are subject to the general regulation of possession and use of weapons as established by the Law on Weapons and Ammunitions. In 2009, there were 400 PSCs registered at the Portuguese Central File of Legal Persons. In 2012, Portugal provided a response to the UN Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries National Legislation Survey.

 > Portugal is not a signatory to the UN Convention against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > Portugal is a signatory to the Montreux Document.


Portugal: D.L. 35/2004 on Private Security

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This law sets the foundation for the practice of private security activities in Portugal (with added alternations by decree law of 10 November 2005 and 8 August 2008) and states that private security services in Portugal have a subsidiary and complementary function in relation to the activity of the State’s public security forces. However, given the nature of some institutions, they are obliged by law to have a private security system in place. These institutions include National Banks and financial institutions. A full of report on Portugal’s private security legislation was published by PRIV-WAR in 2009. 

 

Romania

Romania: Elements of Law Applicable to Private Security

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This document was provided by the government of Romania in response to the OHCHR's request for information regarding member states' national regulatory framework toward private military and/or security companies, their personnel, and their activities. The document summarizes the regulatory framework and applicable laws.

 

Russia

In the Russian Federation, there are no laws specifically regulating the conduct of private military companies. According to a 2009 PRIV-WAR report, due to the lack of specific regulation, it is technically possible for a Russian private military company to be hired by a foreign employer and sent abroad. On the other hand, private security and investigation services are regulated by Federal Law No 2487, which was adopted on 11 March 1992. In 2012, Russia provided a response to the UN Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries National Legislation Survey.

 > Russia is not a signatory to the UN Convention against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > Russia is not a signatory to the Montreux Document.


 

Serbia

NA

Slovenia

Slovenia has employed significantly more private security personnel alongside the development of its law enforcement sectors in recent years. The foundation of Slovenian regulation on private security is found in the 2003 Law on Private Security Services, and the 2002 Law on Private Detective Services. Slovenian private security corporations engage in a broad range of security operations ranging from diplomatic and personal security to maritime security operations.

 > Slovenia is not a signatory to the UN Convention against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > Slovenia is a signatory to the Montreux Document.


 

Spain

Spanish law maintains that it is the sole obligation of the state to provide for security. However, to accomplish this end, the law leaves open the possibility that Spanish security forces can be complimented by the activity of private security companies. According to the PRIV-WAR report on Spain, this legal foundation for Spanish private security is derived primarily from the Spanish Constitution, the Organic Law on the Protection of Citizens' Security of 21 February 1992 the Law on Private Security of 30 July 1992 and the Organic Law on National Defence of 17 November 2005. Most Spanish use of private security is domestic, with contractors providing support to the Spanish military primarily in a logistical capacity. Contractors may be used abroad to protect military bases, but there is restrictions on the amount of risk they may undertake. In addition, Spain responded to the IMO's questionnaire on maritime private security. 

 > Spain is not a signatory to the UN Convention against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > Spain is a signatory to the Montreux Document.


Spain: Law of 30 July 1992 on Private Security

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Law 23/1992 of 30 July regulates the provision of private security services in Spain. It outlines a series of checks and administrative conditions that must be satisfied before a company can provide private security services. This law has undergone a number of amendments. 

  1. Spain: Law of 29 January 1999 Amending the 1992 Law on Private Security
  2. Spain: Royal Decree of 11 January 2008 Amending the 1992 Law on Private Security
 

Sweden

Swedish legislation does not provide any specific rules aiming at regulating private military and security companies offering their services abroad. Despite this, the Swedish military has utilized local national, and Swedish national private security to assist in the guarding of installations and personnel abroad. According to the PRIV-WAR report on Sweden, such use of private security is likely to expand. A lack of specific regulation does not leave a regulatory void however, as existing national legislation in different fields may be relevant for such business.

 > Sweden is not a signatory to the UN Convention against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > Sweden is a signatory to the Montreux Document.


 

Switzerland

Visit the Switzerland page for more information on Switzerland's national regulations and reports. As a principal supporter of multi-stakeholder initiatives to regulate PMSC companies, Switzerland is deeply involved in efforts to establish a governance framework for PMSC activity globally.

Ukraine

NA

 

United Kingdom

Visit the United Kingdom section on national regulations. The U.K. is home to a large number of private security companies operating both domestically and abroad. The country is relatively light on legislation on the issue, with the majority of the regulation falling to the guidance provided by a green paper issued upon the subject of private security services.  The UK government and UK-based companies are large clients of private security services. The Government's policy is threefold: raising standards of the UK industry through a Code of Conduct agreed with and monitored by the Government; using its leverage as a key buyer to raise standards; and working towards an international agreement on standards covering all aspects of PMSC operation and organization worldwide. The UK regulatory attempts are analyzed in the UK PRIV-WAR report. The recent rise in British private security companies offering maritime security services has added another element to the complex regulatory discussion in the UK, and as of yet the government has not established specific guidelines for the maritime industry. The UK was subject to a UN Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries Country Visit in May of 2008.

 

Middle East and North Africa

Algeria

Algeria: Decree on the Implementation of the 1993 Decree

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This document details Algeria’s procedure for issuing licenses for distributing and staffing of weapons to security companies involved in the transport of cash and sensitive products. The document corresponds to the decree issued by the Algerian government in December 1993. 

 

Iraq

Visit the Iraq section on national regulations. Another major theater for PMSC operations, Iraq has developed some legislation to regulate their activity within its borders. Most of that legislation was enacted by the Coalition Provisional Authority, and not the Iraq government itself.

Israel

According to a 2010 PRIV-WAR Report, over the last decade the government of Israel has increasingly begun to privatize and civilianize its security forces. Private security contractors in Israel carry out a number of functions including, day-to-day management of the crossings between Israel and the West Bank and guarding the construction of the separation barrier in the West Bank since 2003. The 2005 Powers for Maintaining Public Security Law provided private security companies with the authority to demand that individuals identify themselves, to search personal property, or to detain a person. In 2012, Israel provided a response to the IMO questionnaire on private maritime security regulations. 

 > Israel is not a signatory to the UN Convention against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > Israel is not a signatory to the Montreux Document.


Israel: Legal Commentary on Israeli PMSCs Legislation 2008

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This document provides a brief legal commentary outlining the legal framework applicable to private security companies, and the legal justification for the use of force by entities other than the state for the protection of public order and security.

Israel: 2007 Defence Export Control Act

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The objective of this law is to regulate state control of the export of defense equipment, the transfer of defense know-how and the provision of defense services, for reasons of national security considerations, foreign relations considerations, international obligations, and other vital interests of the State.

Israel: Law on Public Security

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According to the Priv-War report on the use and regulation of private security companies in Israel, this 2005 statute, Powers for Maintaining Public Security Law, provided private security companies with the authority to demand that individuals identify themselves, to search personal property, or to detain a person. It was designed to maintain public security against terrorist activity and violence; and to create an efficient and uniform regulatory framework for security services, with respect to licensing, control, training and standardization.

  1. Israel: The Use and Regulation of Private Military and Security Companies in Situations of Armed Conflict
 

Qatar

Qatar Private Security Company Regulation

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This legislation was provided to the OHCHR in response to a request by the Working Group on Mercenaries request for information regarding national legislative and regulatory framework regarding the use and registration of private military and security companies.

Saudi Arabia

 

Tunisia

This North African country's regulations on private security are primarily related to security guards tasked with transporting valuable goods. Tunisia does, however, have some provisions on the protection of persons as well. Tunisia has no PRIV-WAR or UN Working Group Country Visit. Tunisia is a respondent to the OHCHR Working Group on Mercenaries request for national regulatory frameworks.

 > Tunisia is not a signatory to the UN Convention against the Use of Mercenaries.
 > Tunisia is not a signatory to the Montreux Document.


Turkey

Turkey: 2004 Law on Private Security Companies

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This law was established to define the principles and procedures regarding the private security services which complement public security. The law includes provisions regarding licensing, supervision and the duties and authorities granted, to those persons and organizations that fulfill such services. Other issues covered by the law are firearms restrictions, training, uniform prescriptions, identification cards, and hiring requirements.