What is ITAR?

What is ITAR or International Traffic in Arms Regulations? What does it mean?

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- everything RF

Feb 16, 2021

ITAR or International Traffic in Arms Regulations is a set of United States regulatory protocols that govern the export of defense and military related technologies to uphold US national security and promote US foreign policies. All businesses falling under the purview of ITAR are handled by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Political Military Affairs’ Directorate of Defense Trade Controls or DDTC. The Homeland Security Investigations Special Agents undertakes the ground-level enforcement of the ITAR.

ITAR dictates that information or materials related to defense or military technologies may only be shared with US Persons, who are legally-identified residents or organizations. This includes citizens, aliens, US-incorporated corporations/associations with a significant number of US citizens or aliens. 'Aliens' are lawfully admitted people having permanent US residence.

ITAR does not extend to principles of general science, mathematics or engineering falling under the curriculum of educational institutions or those under the public domain.

Since ITAR was created to protect and safeguard technologies crucial to US national security interests, export of ITAR-tagged products for commercial purposes is not encouraged and may be considered a breach of ITAR regulations which result in fines up to $500,000 or criminal fines of up to $1,000,000 with 10 years’ imprisonment, per violation. However, export of ITAR products may be possible after a review by the interagency of the US Departments of State, Defense, and Energy. Also, ITAR products may fall under the scanner of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), which is a US Presidential-level enactment to regulate export of munitions.

Click here to learn more about ITAR from the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls.