Posted on 11/17/2018 by FFL Dealer Network

ITAR for the New Weapons Exporter


ITAR for the New Weapons Exporter

Dealing with international security and military equipment (including firearms, telecom hardware, and satellite equipment) brings up several different regulations throughout the world community. 

Depending on the origin nation of the importers and exporters, there are different variables you need to understand. The majority of these legal attributes are monitored and governed by the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). Due to this, when dealing with the firearms, understanding how the ITAR impacts your small business proves essential, as it helps you understand and prepare for any potential issue that might come up with importing and exporting the weapons.

ITAR Regulations

While the ITAR looks at the different arms brought into the nation and the country of origins, it is specifically set up by the United States government in order to regulate what munitions are brought into the country. This means many of the firearms you bring into your shop are going to be directly monitored by different government institutions, including the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security. While these government programs are not going to directly overlook every movement you make with your small business, it does specifically state what you are and aren't able to bring in and sell.

Exporting Firearms

Both the ITAR and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) work hand in hand with one another. Due to this, if you are a small business specializing in the sales of weapons to outside nations, both of these entities are going to come into play, so it is important to know how ITAR could impact your small business. ITAR traditionally covers military and defense items. It also regulates equipment and technology used to kill in combat situations.

With ITAR covering more military weapons and equipment, you need to know if your goods are considered military or commercial products. While the sales, importing and exporting of weapons are still subject to EAR and other government regulations, understanding the difference between commercial and the military is extremely important, not to mention helping save you the trouble of certain ITAR compliance regulations.

Selling Items On ITAR's Regulated List

It is still possible to sell most items found on the ITAR list. You just need to follow through with several specific tasks before this is possible. First, you need to register with the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls. Regardless of if you sell, produce or export items located on the ITAR list, the ITAR is going to affect your small business considerably. After you have registered with the DDTC, you will need to apply for an export license when you have a sale lined up. This is not just a general export license, but a specific license for every sale you have when your small business is selling items found on the ITAR list.

Permits are specific to each sale because the permits are different for each country. During the application process for the export license, other government agencies often look into the potential sale, including the Department of Defense. It is important to know that ITAR does not only deal with firearms but also security and defense hardware as well.

Many small businesses fail to realize their telecommunication and satellite equipment might fall under ITAR jurisdiction, which can lead to trouble when applying for permits. This is why understanding ITAR and what is covered by the ITAR and other government programs is important.

Working with the Foreign Military Sales Program

If your small business makes international sales and doesn't want to go through the often difficult process of making individual applications for each sale, it is possible to work with the Foreign Military Sales program (FMS) in order to improve your sales and application process. FMS offers an easy program for you to use and should help your small business improve its interactions with the ITAR. Through the FMS program, the Department of Defense directly handles the process of obtaining the required license for ITAR restricted items. When the DOD handles the export license application process, it makes it a bit easier on your small business, as you do not have to spend as much time running around attempting to file all of the necessary paperwork for every single sale you want to make.

Regardless of the weapons you sell with your small business, it is very important to know whether or not the items you are selling are listed on the ITAR restricted list or not. The ITAR restricted list is rather extensive, covering everything from firearms, munitions, vehicles and other military-grade items. With such an extensive list, knowing whether or not the items you are selling, exporting or importing are located on the list is necessary. If you discover applying for all of the different trade licenses is not necessary, you are able to save yourself time and possibly improve your chances of landing contracts.


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