The International Traffic in Arms Regulations (22 C.F.R. §§120-130) are administered by the U.S. Department of State through the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), under authority of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. §2778). ITAR place strict controls on the export of "defense articles" and "defense services." Defense articles include any item, software, or technical data on the United States Munitions List (USML). Defense services include the furnishing of assistance (including training) to foreign persons, whether or not in the United States, with respect to defense articles, and the furnishing of any technical data associated with a defense article. Any defense article, service, or related technical data found to be on the USML requires an export license to be exported, i.e., given to a foreign person, whether or not in the United States, unless a regulatory exclusion or exemption delineated by ITAR is available.
Export means sending or taking defense articles out of the United States; disclosing (including oral or visual disclosure) or transferring in the United States any defense article to a subdivision of foreign government; disclosing (including oral or visual disclosure) or transferring technical data to a foreign person, whether in the United States or abroad; or performing a defense service on behalf of, or for the benefit of, a foreign person.
Defense article means any item or technical data designated in the USML. This term includes technical data recorded or stored in any physical form, models, mockups or other items that reveal technical data directly relating to items designated in the USML. It does not include basic marketing information on function or purpose or general system descriptions.
- The furnishing of assistance (including training) to foreign persons, whether in the United States or abroad in the design, development, engineering, manufacture, production, assembly, testing, repair, maintenance, modification, operation, demilitarization, destruction, processing or use of defense articles;
- The furnishing to foreign persons of any technical data controlled on the USML (see 22 C.F.R. §120.10), whether in the United States or abroad; or
- Military training of foreign units and forces, regular and irregular, including formal or informal instruction of foreign persons in the United States or abroad or by correspondence courses, technical, educational, or information publications and media of all kinds, training aid, orientation, training exercise, and military advice. (See also 22 C.F.R. §124.1.)
Significant Military Equipment (SME):
Significant military equipment means articles for which special export controls are warranted because of their capacity for substantial military utility or capability.
Significant military equipment includes:
- Items in USML which are preceded by an asterisk; and
- All classified articles enumerated in the USML.
Technical Data means information, other than software, which is required for the design, development, production, manufacture, assembly, operation, repair, testing, maintenance or modification of defense articles. Technical data does not include information concerning general scientific, mathematical, or engineering principles commonly taught at colleges and universities or information in the public domain, as defined by the ITAR.
*For additional ITAR definitions, see 22. C.F.R. §§120.6-120.32.
U.S. Munitions List
Controlled items on the U.S. Munitions List (USML) are divided into twenty-one (21) categories. Within each category is a listing or description of the controlled items. The USML categories include broad descriptions of controlled items. For a complete listing of the items in each category, please refer to the full text of the USML. The following categories of items and defense articles comprise the USML.
I: Firearms, Close Assault Weapons and Combat Shotguns
II: Guns and Armament
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
XI: Military Electronics
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: Directed Energy Weapons
XX: Submersible Vessels, Oceanographic and Associated Equipment
XXI: Miscellaneous Articles