Member States and industry cooperate under the umbrella of ENNSA on improvement on harmonization of Member States’ qualification practices ENNSA offers communication between national ammunition safety authorities and related experts.
- Identification of national procedures and organisations involved in the different steps of the munitions safety qualification process (i.e definition of specification, assessment, validation, qualification decision, release of information etc);
- Appreciation, assessment and evaluation of the use and implementation of ammunition safety standards and procedures in relation to pMS military requirements;
- Analysis of national ammunition safety standards/procedures used or the way that international standards on ammunition safety are being implemented at a national basis;
- Communication and discussion on ammunition safety related issues;
- Explore possibilities of achieving a level of harmonisation, or to take coordinated action, on ammunition safety requirements and analysis-procedures;
- Investigation of best practices on ammunition safety analysis-procedures
- Development of guidelines;
- Sharing and availability of information and expertise on ammunition safety issues;
- Recommendations to the pMS for a coordinated approach, where feasible, or for the improvement of harmonisation, on ammunition safety analysis/procedures (i.e. on testing failure, faulty analysis, etc).
While working on the EDTIB pilot test case on Ammunition and more specifically in the area of qualification procedures used by European Defence Agency (EDA)’s Member States, it was agreed that ammunition safety policies and procedures are important factors, having a direct effect not only on safety, but also on procurement cost and interoperability.
Ammunition Safety is important from all operational, financial or industrial perspectives. European harmonization in this field would contribute to the implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) by enhancing among others interoperability and interchangeability, facilitating cooperation amongst MS especially on Pooling & Sharing, strengthening the ammunition European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB), improving harmonization among Member States while supporting also their coordination and finally creating the prerequisites for a common European ammunition market.
Member States and industry as well agreed that there is a room for improvement on harmonization of Member States’ practices and that more communication between national ammunition safety authorities and related experts would be a good start. It was then when the idea of the establishment of a European Network of National Safety Authorities on Ammunition (ENNSA) came in, with a view to improve the situation in Europe and fill the identified gaps.
On 14 October 2010, the EDA Steering Board approved the establishment of the European Network of National Safety Authorities on Ammunition (ENNSA). ENNSA is planned to be used by the Member States as a stand-alone platform for better communication among national safety authorities on ammunition and to improve harmonization of national practices on ammunition safety standardization and test procedures where feasible.
In 2017 the Steering Board adopted, the “Strategy for Achieving Harmonised Certification Requirements for Ammunition Safety”.
A three-level organization was established for the ENNSA network, which includes:
- at the first level, the Executive Level (EL) ENNSA group, which represents the decision-making body of the ENNSA;
- at the second level, the Senior Level (SL) ENNSA group, providing the so called ENNSA Qualification Forum, in charge of planning of specific activities;
- at the third and lowest level, the T&E Activities Working Groups (TAWG), which are ad-hoc WG established for specific activities and held at subject matter expert level.
The Terms of Reference of the Executive Level (EL) and the Senior level (SL) ENNSA groups have been approved by the Steering Board in February 2019.