Logo of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt

CIP (Permanent International Commission for Firearms Testing) General Assembly in Abu Dhabi on the firing of handguns


Every two years, the representatives of the 14 CIP member states meet on the occasion of a full assembly which is held for several days. Germany is part of the 12 European member states. Based on multilateral state treaties and agreements, all signatory countries have committed themselves to carrying out the testing and approvals of firearms, ammunition and powder-actuated tools according to the regulations of the CIP which have been agreed upon jointly.

The CIP prescribes the technical and legal guidelines for the manufacturing, testing and approval as well as the import and export of firearms and ammunition. The national states then duly transpose the CIP's decisions into national law, as in duty bound. In this way, approvals which have been issued in the Federal Republic of Germany according to the guidelines agreed upon at the CIP are recognized in all other member states of the CIP. This mutual recognition permanently requires a solid basis of confidence between the members.

Feierliche Aufnahme des Emirats in die Gemeinschaft der C.I.P.

Figure 1: Accession ceremony of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi into the CIP community

25 November 2010 was the first time that an Arab state hosted the plenary session. An unwritten rule is that a new accession candidate has to organize the next full assembly. The Abu Dhabi Emirate provided an excellent background for the meeting; it fully met the acceptance criteria required and was officially assimilated into the CIP community. On that occasion, Mr. R. J. Hancox, Head of the "Birmingham Gun Barrel Proof House" was elected the new president of the CIP.
PTB (WG 1.33) participates in diverse working groups of CIP in order to provide its support for the elaboration of testing procedures and regulations with regard to gas pressure measurement on ammunition as well as the elaboration of the corresponding decisions. For the first time, Dr. Schönekeß from PTB Working Group "Dynamic Pressure Measurement" took part as a member of the German delegation; he succeeds Dipl.-Ing. Franke who led this working group for many years but has now retired.
One of the issues addressed was PTB's successful designation as a "Notified Body" by the European Commission within the scope of the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC. This directive prescribes an approval with CE marking for category A powder-actuated tools. Until the end of 2010, only the CIP approval was relevant; from now on, this approval can be applied for by the manufacturers on an optional basis, but the CE approval is binding. Besides PTB, also the proof house in St Étienne/France is in charge of the Europe-wide certification of powder-actuated tools according to the Machinery Directive. The exchange between these "Notified Bodies" is to be further intensified in the future.
After the election of the new CIP president, the next full assembly will be held in the UK in 2012.

Contact person:

Holger Schönekeß, Dept. 1.3, WG 1.33, e-mail: holger.schoenekess@ptb.de