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What Is ITAR?

International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) control the export and import of defense-related articles and services on the US Munitions List (USML). Its goal is to safeguard U.S. national security and further U.S. foreign policy objectives. The related Export Administration Regulations are enforced and interpreted by the Bureau of Industry and SecurityThe Department of Defense is also involved in the review and approval process.

ITAR regulations dictate that information and material pertaining to defense and military-related technologies (items listed on the USML) may only be shared with U.S. Persons unless authorization from the Department of State is received or a special exemption is used. U.S. Persons (including organizations) can face heavy fines if they have, without authorization or the use of an exemption, provided foreign persons with access to ITAR-protected defense articles, services or technical data.

How Does This Affect Me?

If you receive drawings or technical specifications from a prospect or customer and they show, typically in small font at the top of the drawing, that this drawing is controlled under ITAR or EAR, you must comply with these regulations to prevent fines or other action.

All U.S. manufacturers or contract manufacturers, exporters, and brokers of defense articles, defense services, or related technical data, as defined on the USML, are required to register with U.S. Department of State. Registration provides the U.S. Government with necessary information on those involved in certain manufacturing and exporting activities.

Registration does not confer any export rights or privileges but is a precondition for the issuance of any license or other approval for export. Registration fees start at US$2,250 per year. Fines for non-compliance start at around $500,000.

To learn more about registration, and to access the registration form, visit the Registration page on the DDTC Website.

Under ITAR, a "US person" who wants to share ITAR or EAR controlled information with a "foreign person" must obtain authorization from the U.S. Department of State before the export can take place.

A "U.S. Person" Can Be:

  • A U.S. citizen

  • A permanent resident who does not work for a foreign company, a foreign government, or a foreign governmental agency/organization

  • A political asylee

  • A part of the U.S. government, or

  • A corporation, business, organization, or group that is incorporated in the United States under U.S. law.

A foreign person is any person who is not a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. and includes foreign governments and organizations. This means that, for example a foreign person who is visiting the U.S. will remain a foreign person for the purposes of ITAR and any export of USML items to them inside the U.S. must be subject to an export authorization.

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