The International Trade Blog

Kathryn Toomey

Articles Written By Kathryn Toomey

Understanding ITAR: The International Traffic in Arms Regulations

A variety of U.S. laws and regulations exist to monitor and controls exports from the United States. These laws and regulations are designed to comply with trade agreements, embargoes, sanctions and other political measures the U.S. has with other countries. Most importantly, the laws and regulations are designed to protect U.S. national security so the most sensitive information and technology don't get into the wrong hands.

This is where the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) come in. ITAR is part of a web of laws and regulations prohibiting U.S. individuals and companies from engaging in business with prohibited/sanctioned countries and persons for various economic, financial, anti-terrorism and human rights issues.

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Why the Deemed Export Rule Is So Critical: EAR and ITAR

As a former defense company employee, I remember when our company would schedule a guided tour for many of our client visitors or foreign national contract employees.

Most employees would not mind being the babysitter tour guide, as we were referred to, but occasionally there were those who felt it wasn’t their job to escort others and that the current security procedures in place were sufficient enough to keep visitors from going into unauthorized areas.

After briefing those skeptical employees on the security and deemed export rules, they still refused to acknowledge the importance of protecting our technology and continued to believe that the deemed export rules were nothing more than someone at our firm trying to hype their position to justify their existence at the company. I’m sure many of you out there know people like this at your companies or have run across those who think this way.

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What Exporters Need to Know about the U.S. Munitions List (USML)

In a previous article, I explored and discussed what the International Traffic In Arms Regulations (ITAR) are, why they exist, and what items (by category) they control.

In summary, the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), 22 U.S. 2778, authorizes the President to designate items that could be considered defense articles and services. These items constitute the United States Munitions List (USML).

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An Overview of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)

Today, many defense companies have already expanded their client base worldwide by selling their military goods or services abroad. While this may be good business for the company, it may not be good for the national security of the United States.

All businesses dealing in exports or imports of defense articles and services of any nature must first always ensure that they are fully compliant within the rules and regulations of the United States Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, the International Traffic in Arms, the United States Munitions List, the United States Code, and the Code of Federal Regulations.

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Registration Requirements under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations

In previous articles, we explored what the International Traffic In Arms Regulations (ITAR) are and the items controlled under the United States Munitions List (USML).

To help you understand the registration requirements of ITAR, it’s worth stating again the reasons why the ITAR exists.

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