International Traffic in Arms Regulations discussed in depth at Military Technologies Conference

Adherence to International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), although time-consuming, prevents costly mistakes that can lead to pricey fines and criminal prosecution.

By Courtney E. Howard

BOSTON - Adherence to International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), although time-consuming, prevents costly mistakes that can lead to pricey fines and criminal prosecution. This was the sentiment of Dean Young, facility security officer at Celestica Aerospace Technologies Corp. of Toronto, in his “ITAR and the Subcontractor” presentation in March during the 2007 Military Technologies Conference in Boston.

In his talk, Young imparted information on reducing risks when dealing with ITAR and ensuring a company’s compliance with ITAR through annual procedures and everyday practices.

The proper management and understanding of current U.S. import and export regulations for the defense industry necessitates the digestion of volumes of data, Young admits. Defense contractors, subcontractors, and systems integrators, in complying with these regulations, must register with the U.S. Department of State, manage ITAR technical data and documentation, set up an IT infrastructure, implement security measures, and, perhaps most importantly, understand 22 CFR 120-130 (ITAR). (Information specific to 22 CFR 120-130 is available online at www.pmddtc.state.gov/reference.html.)

That is not all, describes Young, who discussed the many critical steps to the overall ITAR process. Among them is the submission of the proper paperwork to the U.S. Department of State, along with fees for registration (currently $1,750 for one year’s registration, and $3500 for two years). After completion and submission of state forms, company executives wait to receive approval and then complete all required shipping and customs documentation-which Young recommends double-checking for thoroughness and accuracy.

An export, as described in Young’s talk, constitutes not only hardware and software, but also technology and defense services. In fact, leaving the country with one’s laptop computer, with intellectual property on the hard drive, can constitute an ITAR infraction. As Young points out, even information deleted from a computer system can be recovered. For this reason, Celestica management issues its personnel a travel-only laptop, free of information that could go fall under ITAR.

Common pitfalls that defense subcontractors should avoid include: a lack of training and understanding of the proper handling of ITAR technology, no proper record of employee citizenship status, poor handling of foreign visitors, improper export documentation, and ignoring license provisos. Young recommends professionals not only check with the U.S. Dept. of State Excluded Parties List System (found online at www.epls.gov), but also assume that a license is required for the destination, end user, and end use of all ITAR exports.

The most common export violations include: non-compliance with license provisos, documents containing technical data sent to a company’s foreign office without export authorization, carrying documents or computer disks containing tech data on international trips without export authorization, and showing marketing presentations to foreign governments, companies, or persons in the U.S. or abroad without export authorization.

In addition to avoiding the most common ITAR pitfalls and violations, Young recommends defining the organization’s ITAR management requirements, developing procedural requirements.

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