The Encyclopedia is a project of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights launched on 2 December 2013. The Enyclopedia aims to provide accurate, up-to-date information on weapons, the effects of their use, and their regulation under public international law, in a format that is accessible to non-specialists.+ Find out more
For the purposes of the 2003 Protocol V on explosive remnants of war to the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), explosive ordnance (EO) is defined in Article 1(1) as
conventional munitions containing explosives, with the exception of mines, booby traps and other devices as defined in Protocol II of this Convention as amended on 3 May 1996.
Munitions that are nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons are not dealt with in the context of the CCW. Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are excluded from the definition of explosive ordnance under CCW Protocol V because these fall within the ambit of 1980 CCW Protocol II on mines, booby-traps and other devices and 1996 Amended Protocol II.
In contrast, the definition of explosive ordnance given in the Glossary of the International Ammunition Technical Guidelines is not limited to conventional munitions and includes IEDs:
all munitions containing explosives, nuclear fission or fusion materials and biological and chemical agents. This includes bombs and warheads; guided and ballistic missiles; artillery, mortar, rocket and small arms ammunition; all mines, torpedoes and depth charges; pyrotechnics; clusters and dispensers; cartridge and propellant actuated devices; electro-explosive devices; clandestine and improvised explosive devices; and all similar or related items or components explosive in nature. (§3.101) Glossary of terms, definitions and abbreviations, IATG 01.40:2011(E) 1st Edition (2011-10-01).
According to the United States Department of Defense, explosive ordnance means simply
All munitions containing explosives, nuclear fission or fusion materials, and biological and chemical agents.
Last updated on: 30 November 2013