The U.S. Government requires all manufacturers, exporters, and brokers of defense articles, defense services or related technical data to be ITAR compliant. If your company falls under these categories, the following information will help answer some of your questions.
More and more companies are requiring that members of their supply chain be ITAR CERTIFIED or ITAR COMPLIANT. Language to that end is often contained in contracts, on purchase orders and request for proposals. Nowhere in the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) is it spelled out what “ITAR certified” means. If you speak to different staff members of the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), you may get slightly different answers, but the “not for attribution” acceptable, generally safe definition is as follows:
For a company involved in the manufacture, sale or distribution of goods or services covered under the United States Munitions List (USML), or a component supplier to goods covered under the USML, the stipulation or requirement of being “ITAR certified (compliant)” means that the company must be registered with the State Department’s DDTC, if required as spelled out on DDTC’s web site and the company must understand and abide by the ITAR as it applies to their USML linked goods or services. The company themselves is certifying that they operate in accordance with the ITAR when they accept being a supplier for the USML prime exporter.
In other simpler words, to be ITAR COMPLIANT, a company needs to register with DDTC and know what is required of them to be in compliance with the ITAR, and self certify that they possess this knowledge. This explanation does not constitute legal advice and is not for attribution. If in doubt as to how this concept applies to your company, you should seek legal advice.
The ITAR can be found at: ITAR Regulations
Article from Government Contracts Blog: New DOD Rule Imposes Contractual Requirement For Contractors To Comply With U.S. Export Laws
What is important to understand is that even though you may register your company with the DDTC to sell your products or services in the ITAR industry, you must also not violate ITAR compliance regulations. You are expected to be educated and trained in ITAR regulations. Violating the ITAR may result in criminal or civil penalties, debarred from future exports, as well as imprisonment.
The International Import-Export Institute at Dunlap-Stone University offers the TRD-306 Understanding the ITAR six-week online class. Many companies new to the ITAR industry choose this class for gaining a practical knowledge and to help protect their company (and employees) from violating ITAR regulations. For more information regarding the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, and our online ITAR classes, please do not hesitate to contact us. Learn more about trade compliance.