What Is The International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)?
The International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) is a set of regulations that the U.S. government uses to oversee exports and re-exports of defense services, technical data, and specific goods.
The Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) is responsible for ITAR compliance. It regulates the export of defense articles and related technical data on the United States Munitions List (USML).
Defense-related articles are outlined on the USML through the Arms Export Control Act (AECA). There are 21 categories of Defense Articles covered under the USML, including:
- Firearms, Close Assault Weapons, and Combat Shotguns
- Guns and Armament
- Launch Vehicles, Guided Missiles, Ballistic Missiles, Rockets, Torpedoes, Bombs, and Mines
- Explosives and Energetic Materials, Propellants, Incendiary Agents and Their Constituents
- Surface Vessels of War and Special Naval Equipment
- Ground Vehicles
- Aircraft and Related Articles
- Military Training Equipment and Training
- Personal Protective Equipment
- Military Electronics
- Fire Control, Laser, Imaging and Guidance Equipment
- Materials and Miscellaneous Articles
- Toxicological Agents, Including Chemical Agents, Biological Agents, and Associated Equipment
- Spacecraft and Related Articles
- Nuclear Weapons Related Articles
- Classified Articles, Technical Data, and Defense Services Not Otherwise Enumerated
- Directed Energy Weapons
- Gas Turbine Engines and Associated Equipment
- Submersible Vessels and Related Articles
- Articles, Technical Data, and Defense Services.
What Agencies Are Involved With ITAR Registration?
Your company must register with the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) based on criteria outlined on the DDTC’s website.
The process can be confusing as you are required to respond to questions about exemptions, specifications, and end-users. Here is a quick overview of different agencies involved with ITAR:
- The DDTC interprets and enforces ITAR.
- Related Export Administration Regulations (EAR) are governed by the Bureau of Industry and Security within the Commerce Department.
- The Department of Defense (DOD) is also called upon for critical review and approvals.
- The Department of Homeland Security handles the physical enforcement of ITAR.
- Customs and Border Protection Offers inspect all exports and imports to maintain U.S. national security at U.S. borders.
How Does ITAR Impact My Business?
The challenging part of ITAR compliance (and export compliance) is in the details. Your company must maintain a compliance program to ensure you remain compliant throughout the supply chain and when exporting goods, services, or associated data.
ITAR has been “on the books” since the 1970s. It is part of a more extensive set of U.S. government regulations to control exports of defense products, defense services, and other items with military application. Here are just a few consequences if you violate ITAR:
- Business Fines: Companies can be fined up to $1 million per violation.
- Personal Civil Penalties: The Secretary of State can pursue civil penalties up to $500,000 per violation to individuals.
- Personal Criminal Penalties: The government can go after individuals with criminal penalties who knowingly violate ITAR.
- Loss of Export Licenses: ITAR violations can result in a company losing their licenses and could prevent exporting of goods.
- Operation Disruptions: ITAR compliance is essential to your business because violations cause unnecessary stress and damage your company’s brand.
Avoid Fines & Penalties With Professional ITAR Services
Unfortunately, for many companies, “ITAR” has become synonymous with other four-letter words we won’t mention here. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be! Our team of specialists has spent their entire careers helping organizations navigate the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).
Whether you’re still trying to figure out what those four letters stand for, or you’ve been in the defense industry for decades, we can help you understand and apply ITAR regulations in ways that are meaningful for your business. We’ve been doing it for years, for companies of all sizes.
The goal is not to make ITAR compliance more complicated than it already is. The goal is to make compliance easy for your team. When you accomplish this, then ITAR becomes part of your company culture, and compliance is something your people “live and breathe every day.”
Let’s tackle the ITAR challenge together and help your organization change the way it thinks about those four simple letters.