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ITAR: International Trafficking in Arms Regulation


ITAR, which has been in place since 1976, was put in place for U.S. national security and other foreign policy objectives; therefore, the government can impose criminal and civil penalties. Civil and criminal penalties have grown since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Any technology used for space–commercial, NASA-related, or defense–typically is ITAR controlled because it is integrated with launch vehicles, such as the Titan, which automatically come under the ITAR.

A mistake that results in a vast number of violations is company failure to classify long-term products as ITAR.

In the ITAR world, you need to make sure you identify all the potential problems.

Foreign Nationals Under ITAR

Another area that may not be understood is, where and when a foreign national is allowed to be involved on defense technology development.

If they become U.S. citizens or permanent residents, they are no longer foreign nationals. However, if they are not U.S. Citizens or have a permanent residency, they are considered foreign. All persons entering the facility will be asked if they are a U.S. Citizen. If they are not, they will be escorted by management and all employees will be notified of such an issue.

There are some countries that are currently off limits that we cannot purchase product from. Also, who we may NEVER be able to share information with.

• Iran
• Cuba
• Syria
• Sudan
• North Korea
• Countries such as China (for defense) and Iran (more broadly) will most likely not be coming off the restricted list anytime soon

ITAR Compliance Program

The key elements of our ITAR Compliance Program are:

  • Having management issue a policy indicating the importance of compliance and the consequences of non-compliance.
  • Establish a human reporting structure–who will handle what aspects of compliance;
  • Classify all known products and services, and set up a system for classifying new products;
  • Establish a system for identifying ITAR-controlled technical data a) in hard copy; b) in soft copy on computers, LANs, e-mail messages, etc.
  • Put in place record keeping procedures and reporting procedures
  • Train employees on all of the above systems
  • Audit all of the above systems.


  • Do not share any information with anyone who is not a U.S. Citizen or who is not authorized to view or see any ITAR regulated items. This would include email correspondence, drawings or product.
  • Our goal is to make sure that our U.S. Military products or documents do not fall into the hands of a foreign national. It is our responsibility to make sure that we never let any of military items or documentation into the hands of a foreign national. This is our way of protecting our military and defense team.

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