What Is International Traffic in Arms Regulations – ITAR?
For exporting and importing, there are always regulations and requirements you have to follow and meet to qualify not only as a company that can perform both or one of them. Also, you need to do it to avoid any penalty and issues in the future and protect the data and information from both your company and the government. If you want a simple explanation or concept about ITAR or International Traffic in Arms Regulations, it is a regulatory regime that controls exports.
But, what type of exports?
Since there are regulations for exports in general, you might know by now that ITAR focuses on a specific item or several of them. And this is quite true. This regulation makes sure to protect and control the exports that have military technology—items or services—related to them. This is with the main purpose of protecting the information of the government and also, yours as the company that exports them.
Anyone who is involved in the export or even import process needs to follow and get certified in ITAR in order to continue operating. For example, you might be the direct exporter, which we all know could be your only part of the process: offering them to other countries.
However, manufacturers, distributors, and any company that meets a function or role in the process to get to the final part of exporting and needs to get certified in ITAR as well. Therefore, if your company is related to military technology or, to be more specific, with the articles and services found on the USML (United States Munitions List), you have to worry about this regulation.
Companies outside the industry don’t have to follow this standard but rather search for the one that corresponds to them. Now, does your company have to worry about this standard from now on? This is something you can determine alone. Or with some assistance if you not only want to make sure you qualify for this but also, to get more information about it.
What is involved in following the ITAR regulatory regime?
Most standards and normative include having to deal with the entire requirements that appear on the document. This is just natural in any case or situation, which is why you should be already familiar with this need. However, ITAR takes extra work, and let’s call them “steps” due to all the aspects and processes involved.
Starting with the fact that your company really needs to be built up around it in order to avoid any penalty or issues in the future. This is something important about the standard: you cannot violate it. Most of the time, it is enough to get certified and the seal of approval that shows organizations, people, and clients your capabilities and guarantee them you are following the regulation.
But with most ISOs, normative or standards, you don’t really need to worry—too much—about violating or missing something related to them. You just need to get a periodical evaluation—if the standard and the certification require it—, or some standards only take one time to get certified with them.
In the case of ITAR, it is much more complicated since following the regulations takes more than a simple certification—which is still important. You have to make sure your company isn’t missing any detail and that every export operation is completely clean.
Otherwise, you will have to pay a penalty and feed for the violation of the normative. And those feeds are quite high for any company to pay. All this is involved and included in owning a company that needs to be ITAR certified compliant.
But if we move to the other steps in the implementation itself, let’s start with getting registered with the DDTC (State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls). This is previously obtaining the certification and while implementing or following the regulations.
The difficult part of ITAR is all the documentation and paperwork you will have to deal with. And, of course, making sure that everyone in your company is following the right standards have you have established and need to implement. After all, you won’t be the only one dealing with the company and therefore, exports, so making sure that your security policy in items and ITAR collected-data is tough.
What does USML include?
This is one of the parts we know companies have more problems about when they start researching about the regulation or standard, we have discussed so far. The list is quite long and the classification is important even if you won’t deal with all the defense articles that are written or considered in the document.
And let’s not forget about the services as well. Since this is something you need to get familiar with and will take a lot of time from your daily routine, we can mention only a few categories:
- Firearms, close assault weapons, and combat shotguns.
- Materials, chemicals, microorganisms, and toxins.
- Military electronics.
- Auxiliary military equipment.
- Nuclear weapons.
- Directed energy weapons.
- Launch vehicles, guided missiles, ballistic missiles, rockets, torpedoes, bombs, and mines.
You can have a good idea of all the articles and services included due to a word or the entire name of the standard or regulation. We want to make it simple for now, so let’s just say that every weapon you can imagine and have an idea of is included in this regulatory regime.
However, there are other standards and normative aiming and involved in the export of these articles. For now, just worry about ITAR and how you can get everything done about it. Our company, ISO Pros, is here to support and assist you for you to get certified in this.
If you need more information or want to dive deeper into the regulation before starting to deal with it, just visit the rest of the sections of our website. Or feel free to contact us and ask your questions, inquiry about anything and let our experts know your doubts.