What Is ITAR Registration?
The International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) is a set of regulations that oversee the export and re-export of specific commodities, defense services, and technical data. ITAR registration is how the U.S. Government tracks the shipment and activities of companies involved with defense-related products, services, and data.
A company is subject to ITAR if they ship or transmit items or technical data that has been designed, developed, adapted, or modified for military use under the United States Munitions List (USML) — even if those transfers occur between a U.S. Person and a Foreign Person within the United States. This means that companies looking to ship or transmit items that fall under the USML need to go through the proper ITAR registration steps.
Most people only think about exporting physical goods like firearm parts, tanks, and missiles when they think of ITAR, but regulations also restrict sharing information and technologies between U.S. Persons and Foreign Persons.
With that in mind, remaining compliant can be a confusing and challenging undertaking, but compliance is necessary for a variety of legal reasons, including national security, U.S. foreign policy and other priorities.
Who Must Register With DDTC?
In most situations, the ITAR will require manufacturers, exporters, and brokers of defense articles, data, and services found on the USML to register with the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC).
Registration requirements vary based on the purpose and destination of your products or technical data, and there are many additional ITAR requirements that must be considered beyond simply registering.
That said, for most companies, registration with DDTC is an important first step. You cannot obtain an ITAR export license without first registering with DDTC.
Companies selling or servicing ITAR-controlled items need to ITAR registered with the DDTC and renew their ITAR registration each year. There is a registration fee associated with becoming an ITAR registered company, but merely paying the ITAR registration fee does not mean that your company is compliant.
Your company is responsible for complying with all aspects of the ITAR and must undergo ITAR registration if you are:
- Federal contractors engaged with protection, intelligence, safety, homeland security, and energy contracts.
- Subcontractors and second/ third-grade providers of components, subsystems, attachments, and accessories used in these contracts.
- IT, computer, software, information protection and related companies involved with defense software and/or technical data.
- Firms engaged in jobs involving classified data (USML Category XVII is “Classified Articles, Technical Data, and Defense Services”).
- Firms involved in the repair, refurbishment, and maintenance of defense products, services, and logistics actions associated with these things.
- Companies that perform military instruction or offer military information.
- Companies that receive study grants and contracts in the DOD such as under SBIR and related applications.
- Producers of guns, ordnance, and ammunition.
- Faculties (especially the ones that receive study grants and contracts from defense agencies).
- Businesses involved with technical and engineering solutions associated with defense jobs.
Registration is done via a central online platform called DECCS, which stands for Defense Export Control and Compliance System. . Once you have successfully registered, you will be able to use DECCS for licenses, Commodity Jurisdictions and Advisory Opinions. Becoming an ITAR registered company is a vital step to ensure your business does not get hit with severe civil or criminal fines as a result of a government audit.
You should work with an ITAR compliance company to ensure that your business is covered under various requirements imposed by the ITAR registration process.
ITAR Registration vs. ITAR Compliance
Many companies will (falsely) believe they are ITAR compliant simply because they have registered with DDTC. However, after a closer review of the regulations, they realize that they have not taken the proper steps to comply with all aspects of the ITAR that impact their business. Once you are an ITAR registered company, you will need to ensure that your business remains compliant. This can be difficult since ITAR laws are constantly changing, so you would keep a close eye on ITAR registration requirements and the type of products that your company ships that are subject to ITAR regulations.
If your company is involved in any way with ITAR-controlled items, then it is your responsibility to ensure that your business follows the rules. This will often mean training for personnel and the development (or improvement) of a compliance program (policies, procedures, processes, etc.) to follow.
The truth is that most organizations violate several parts of ITAR, and this makes them vulnerable to steep fines. The best way to correct this error is to develop and implement a plan to make sure that all ITAR requirements are being met.
What Happens If You Fail To Complete DDTC Registration?
The Arms Export Control Act (AECA) specifies various civil penalties of up to $500,000 and criminal penalties of up to 10 years in prison and $1 million for each ITAR violation.
Export Solutions has earned the reputation as leading ITAR consultants because we have worked with hundreds of companies just like yours to build compliance programs for a variety of industries. We can help you through the entire process to make sure you are successfully ITAR registered, and we offer other services to keep you safe, including:
- In-depth training for key personnel who are responsible for compliance. Developing policies, procedures, and processes to comply.
- Training all employees in the basics of ITAR and how to follow the company’s program.
- Monitoring exports and applying for licenses as needed.
Be Sure That You Are ITAR CompliantDon’t get caught in the trap that many businesses find themselves in! ITAR registration is a crucial step to achieve compliance, but registration is not enough in and of itself. ITAR compliance means much more than supping the proper forms online and paying the annual fee to the DDTC.
You can’t risk violating ITAR, and the best way to ensure your ongoing success is by partnering with the ITAR consultants at Export Solutions.
Take the first steps to secure your business and prevent unnecessary headaches so you and your employees can focus on your business.
Our ITAR specialists are standing by and ready to talk with you today. Claim your consultations today with our team!