How Does ITAR Affect Me?

What is ITAR?

ITAR stands for International Traffic and Arms Regulations. It's the set of laws that the government uses to regulate the sale and movement of military or defense related goods internationally.

It's important to follow ITAR rules closely because violating them can result in hefty fines or prosecution. This is because these laws are meant to protect national security by making sure military goods and technology don't fall into the wrong hands.

We've compiled a list of the most common questions on our FAQ Download page.

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Who does ITAR Apply to?

The DDTC says that registered exporters, manufacturers, brokers, and others engaged in defense trade all fall under ITAR. There are specific kinds of materials and data that are regulated by the ITAR, and the US Munitions Lists has 21 categories that your product could be classified under:

  1. Firearms, Close Assault Weapons and Combat Shotguns
  2. Guns and Armament
  3. Ammunition/Ordnance
  4. Launch Vehicles, Guided Missiles, Ballistic Missiles, Rockets, Torpedoes, Bombs and Mines
  5. Explosives and Energetic Materials, Propellants, Incendiary Agents and Their Constituents
  6. Surface Vessels of War and Special Naval Equipment
  7. Ground Vehicles
  8. Aircraft and Related Articles
  9. Military Training Equipment and Training
  10. Personal Protective Equipment
  11. Military Electronics
  12. Fire Control, Laser, Imaging and Guidance Equipment
  13. Materials and Miscellaneous Articles
  14. Toxicological Agents, Including Chemical Agents, Biological Agents and Associated Equipment
  15. Spacecraft and Related Articles
  16. Nuclear Weapons Related Articles
  17. Classified Articles, Technical Data and Defense Services Not Otherwise Enumerated
  18. Directed Energy Weapons
  19. Gas Turbine Engines and Associated Equipment
  20. Submersible Vessels and Related Articles
  21. Articles, Technical Data and Defense Services Not Otherwise Enumerated
To be certain if ITAR applies to your business you can check if the products you sell are on the US Munitions List.

What Does it Mean to Be ITAR Compliant?

The bottom line is that to be ITAR compliant you have to have a program in place and make sure that you are following all aspects of ITAR rules and regulations. There are three core areas to execute to be fully compliant.

  1. You are legally required to have an ITAR policy that your business uses to ensure compliance. The program needs to be:
    • Clearly documented in writing
    • Customized to fit your business
    • Regularly reviewed and updated
    • Fully supported by the leadership of your company
    Pragmatically this means you need a policy manual and a training program to educate your staff. Putting this together is often a stumbling block to the process as it requires exhaustive research. Our core product offering is designed to address two of these initial requirements, and is tailored to exporters in your position.

    You can download your required Policy Manual Template and Training Program here:

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  2. You have to register with the DDTC (Defense Department Trade Controls).

    This includes paying a registration fee as well as completing a registration packet of forms.
  3. You'll need to obtain the appropriate licenses, agreements, and exemptions for the products you'll be shipping

    License refers to a document bearing the word "license", issued by the Director Office of Defense Trade Controls, or their authorized designee, permits the export or temporary import of a specific defense article or defense service controlled by the ITAR.

    An agreement referes to a Manufacturing License Agreement (e.g., contract) whereby a U.S. person grants a foreign person an authorization to manufacture defense articles, abroad and which involves or contemplates (a) the export of technical data or defense articles or the performance of a defense service, or (b) the use by the foreign person of technical data or defense articles previously exported by the U.S. person.

    An exemption refers to relief from the securing of an export license or other written approval from the Office of Defense Trade Controls to export defense articles or defense services.
  4. Lastly, you'll need to keep records of all of your activities. You'll need a tracking system for every shipment that you make. This needs to include details for what was shipped, where it was going and to whom, as well as details about the license/agreement/exemption used.

Visit our Policy Builder Tool and get started organizing your ITAR Compliance Program

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