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.