As part of the agreements negotiated within the Forum for Security Co-operation, the OSCE participating States exchange detailed information on their military forces and activities on an annual basis.
The participating States exchange information on the organization and the personnel and equipment holdings of their military forces. Information is also provided on major weapons and equipment systems and their planned deployment for the coming year.
The participating States annually report their intentions regarding the size, structure, training and equipment of their armed forces; their defence policy and doctrines; and their military budgets and expenditures of the previous year.
The Vienna Document 1999 calls for extensive contacts and co-operation between participating States, including visits to air bases and other military facilities, observation visits and demonstrations of new types of major weapons systems.
The global exchange covers information on major weapons and equipment systems and personnel on all forces worldwide, including those outside the territory of the participating State.
The Document on Small Arms and Light Weapons requires information exchanges covering:
In addition, the participating States exchange information on an annual basis on numbers of small arms seized and destroyed and, most significantly, quantities of small arms imports to and exports from other OSCE participating States during the previous calendar year.
Under this exchange, the participating States share information each year on their exports and imports of conventional weapons, including battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles and missile launchers. These categories are identical to those of the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms. The participating States also complete a questionnaire on their policy, practices and procedures for the export of conventional arms and related technology.
The Code of Conduct on Politico-Military Aspects of Security places certain commitments on the participating States regarding the conduct and control of their armed forces. Participating States also agreed to share information on the implementation of these obligations through a questionnaire. The questionnaire was adopted in 2003 and reviewed in 2009.
In 1996, the participating States agreed to provide information on their ratification process for the Chemical Weapons Convention. By 2005, all participating States had ratified the convention and submitted the questionnaire.
Similarly to the Chemical Weapons questionnaire, the participating States share information on their policies and practices regarding anti-personnel landmines. This questionnaire now gathers information on accession to, and ratification of, the Ottawa Convention and Protocols II and V to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, as well as national legislation and assistance programmes.