International Traffic-in-Arms Regulations (ITAR)
The export of “defense articles” or performance of “defense services” that are inherently military in character, or specially designed, modified or engineered for military applications are regulated by the International Traffic in-Arms Regulations (ITAR) and enumerated in the U.S. Munitions List (USML) and require licensing.
Never rely on the sponsor to determine if foreign students or researchers are permitted to access to defense articles or technical data.
ITAR Researcher Responsibilities
- “Know what you are getting into” by understanding that defense research may be subject to ITAR restrictions,
- When requested, assist Sponsored Programs in identifying if technology in a SOW is listed in the ITAR U.S. Munitions List (USML),
- Follow Office of Export Compliance notifications and Technology Control Plans for safeguarding ITAR U.S. Munitions List (USML) articles and associated technical data involved in research,
- Do not allow foreign nationals access to research projects with ITAR U.S. Munitions List (USML) articles or data without approval from the Office of Export Compliance,
- Do not perform sponsored or unsponsored defense research in a foreign country without receiving direction from the Office of Export Compliance. The Office of Export Compliance requires notification when a defense or space related article or technical data listed in the ITAR U.S. Munitions List (USML) are obtained from a third party (government, contractor, or sponsor) outside of the Office of Research & Commercialization approved process.
Primary ITAR Concerns in Research
- When a defense article or data is shipped out of the U.S. (i.e. “exported”),
- Importing defense articles listed in the U.S. Munitions List (USML) Import List,
- Allowing an unlicensed foreign national access to a defense article or related technical data without approval from the Office of Export Compliance. The US Government has a policy of denial for license requests for foreign nationals from proscribed countries,
- Providing technical assistance to a foreign national on how to use a defense article via instruction, presentations, training, or consulting. The transfer of “know how” is considered a defense service.
ITAR Employment Exemptions
Contractual clauses restricting publication or access by foreign participants destroy the Fundamental Research Exclusion.
Bona-Fide Employee Exemption allows university employees to participate in ITAR research if:
- The employee is not a foreign national from a proscribed country
- Is a “full-time” regular employee with benefits,
- Resides at a permanent address in the U.S. while employed,
- Is notified in writing not to disseminate ITAR research data.
ITAR Proscribed Countries
Proscribed countries and foreign nationals from those countries are legally prohibited from receiving ITAR U.S. Munitions List (USML) articles, services, or technical data, nor will the US Government issue a license. Imports may also require a license from Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
|I||Firearms, Close Assault Weapons and Combat Shotguns|
|II||Guns and Armament|
|III||Ammunition / Ordinance|
|IV||Launch Vehicles, Guided Missiles, Ballistic Missiles, Rockets, Torpedoes, Bombs and Mines|
|V||Explosives and Energetic Materials, Propellants, Incendiary Agents and Their Constituents|
|VI||Vessels of War and Special Naval Equipment|
|VII||Tanks and Military Vehicles|
|VIII||Aircraft and Associated Equipment|
|IX||Military Training Equipment and Training|
|X||Protective Personnel Equipment and Shelters|
|XII||Fire Control, Range Finder, Optical and Guidance and Control Equipment|
|XIII||Auxiliary Military Equipment|
|XIV||Toxicological Agents, Including Chemical Agents, Biological Agents, and Associated Equipment|
|XV||Spacecraft Systems and Associated Equipment|
|XVI||Nuclear Weapons, Design and Testing Related Items|
|XVII||Classified Articles, Technical Data and Defense Services Not Otherwise Enumerated|
|XVIII||Direct Energy Weapons|
|XX||Submersible Vessels, Oceanographic and Associated Equipment|
ITAR Decision Tree
ITAR Related Government Policies
Department of State
Department of Defense
- National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) 189 (pdf)
- DoD Policy Memo on Protecting Exemptions for Fundamental Research (pdf)
- DoD Policy on Distribution Statements on Technical Documents (pdf)
- Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC)