ITAR & EAR Compliance

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The International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) are two important United States export control laws that affect the manufacturing, sales and distribution of technology. The legislation seeks to control access to specific types of technology and the associated data. Its goal is to prevent the disclosure or transfer of sensitive information to a foreign national. Failure to comply with ITAR can result in civil fines as high as $500,000 per violation, while criminal penalties include fines of up to $1,000,000 and 10 years imprisonment per violation.

The ITAR is fraught with complications that make it easy for companies to make mistakes if you are not vigilant. The key elements of an ITAR compliance program include

  • Management directive indicating the importance of compliance and the consequences of non-compliance;
  • Register with the State Department and make sure you keep your registration current;
  • Establish a human reporting structure–who will handle what aspects of compliance and designate empowered official for ITAR compliance
  • Classify all known products and services, and set up a system for classifying new products;
  • Set up a system for ensuring products and services subject to the ITAR cannot be exported without a license, and bring business development into that process to ensure that proposals to sell defense articles are not made unless any approvals necessary are also obtained;
  • Establish a system for identifying ITAR-controlled technical data and a control plan for controlling it: a) in hard copy; b) in soft copy on computers, LANs, e-mail messages, etc. (involve your information technology department for this); c) by business travel; and d) by visits and meetings;
  • Involve human resources so that any licenses can be obtained for foreign nationals;
  • Involve procurement to ensure that ITAR parts are not procured abroad without ITAR review and licenses, if required;
  • Put in place record keeping procedures and reporting procedures;
  • Audit all of the above systems
  • Security awareness training for employees handling export controlled data
  • Documented policies and procedures for receipt, handling, storing and shipping of ITAR-controlled items and dealing with foreign nationals