All You Need to Know About ITAR Compliance

If you’re in the business of manufacturing or exporting defense-related articles, you’re likely aware of ITAR compliance. But what does it entail, exactly? And why is it so important?

los empresarios debaten sobre las medidas de cumplimiento de la itar

What Does It Mean to be ITAR Compliant?

The International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) compliance is all about safeguarding US defense technology and intellectual property. According to the United States Munitions List (USML), the restricted defense article and military data include some of the following:

  • Launch Vehicles, ballistic missiles, torpedoes
  • Military electronics
  • Guns and armament
  • Aircraft and related articles
  • Spacecraft and related articles

The list also contains diagrams, plans, photos, and other documents for building and making ITAR-controlled military gear.

In order to protect this information, any company that wants to do business with the US government (or just with government contractors) must adhere to these regulations.

Failure to comply with ITAR can result in hefty fines, loss of export privileges, and even criminal charges. For this reason, it’s essential for companies to understand and implement ITAR compliance procedures.

Why is it Essential to Your Business?

Your business may not be aware of this, but there is an entire set of regulations known as ITAR governing the export of military and defense-related items and technical data.

ITAR compliance is essential because non-compliance can result in grave penalties, criminal charges, and even imprisonment. Just one violation can result in any of the following sanctions:

  • Up to $500,000 worth of civil fines for each violation
  • Up to $1 million worth of criminal penalties
  • Up to ten years of imprisonment per violation

The best way to avoid these consequences is to ensure your business fully complies with ITAR. This means implementing the right procedures and training your employees on how to comply with the regulations.

Ignorance of the law is no excuse, so make sure your business is taking the necessary steps to comply with ITAR today.

Who Needs to be ITAR-Compliant?

Who Needs to be ITAR-Compliant

Any business manufacturing or exporting defense-related must follow ITAR compliance. The Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) has a list of companies that deal with USML goods and services required to comply with ITAR regulations. The list includes the following:

  • Wholesalers
  • Contractors
  • Computer Software
  • Hardware Vendors
  • Distributors
  • Third-party Suppliers

How Do I Get ITAR Compliance?

There are people who mistake being ITAR certified when getting compliant; this is a common misconception as there is no such thing as being ITAR-certified. Instead, there is only a regulatory requirement to be registered and compliant.

To adhere to these standards, you must undergo a registration process required by the State Department’s DDTC.

So how do you get to register? According to the DDTC, below are some steps you can follow:

  1. Log in to the Defense Export Control and Compliance System (DECCS) website.
  2. Fill out an unsigned DS-2032 Registration Form.
  3. Provide supporting documentation.
  4. Monitor your registration status.
  5. Pay the registration fee.
  6. Get your registration letter.

Please keep in mind that these steps are only the registration process and do not mean that your company is immediately ITAR-compliant. 

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How Do I Ensure My Company Complies with ITAR Regulations?

The best way to ensure your company is ITAR compliant is by comprehensively understanding the regulations and taking the necessary steps to implement them.

You’ll need to create and enforce policies and procedures that meet ITAR compliance and designate an individual or team responsible for it. You’ll also need to regularly audit your systems or use an ITAR Compliance Checklist to ensure they’re still compliant.


ITAR Compliance FAQs

No. There are no restrictions under the ITAR or Export Administration Regulations (EAR) that would limit an employer’s ability to hire U.S. citizens.

Items developed or modified for military or space applications are subject to the ITAR and may require a license for export. These items are included in the US Munitions List.

The countries that are ITAR-restricted include:

  • Afghanistan
  • Belarus
  • Cuba
  • China
  • Haiti
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Libya
  • Liberia
  • North Korea
  • Syria,
  • Vietnam
  • Myanmar
  • Rwanda
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • The Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Any United Nations Security Council (UNSC) arms-embargoed country (e.g., for certain exports to Rwanda)
SafetyCulture Content Team
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SafetyCulture Content Team
The SafetyCulture content team is dedicated to providing high-quality, easy-to-understand information to help readers understand complex topics and improve workplace safety and quality. Our team of writers have extensive experience at producing articles for different fields such as safety, quality, health, and compliance.