ITAR [International Traffic in Arms Regulations]

Excerpts from

Globalization, terrorism and threats of proliferation have led to an increase in the enforcement of U.S. export control laws by the federal government. These laws provide for severe civil and criminal penalties for the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive technology to foreign citizens. Any transaction between regulated technology and a foreign national may invoke export control laws. Compliance is the responsibility of the exporter and it is necessary to be aware of the dangers of disclosing sensitive technology in order to avoid inadvertent violation since some of the penalties are criminal in nature and lack of intent is not a defense.

In export control parlance, “export” includes not only the shipment of products abroad, but also technical data which is deemed an export by its mere disclosure or transfer to a foreign national, even if within U.S. borders. Electronic storage and transfer, particularly for software and technical data, are also problematic, since transfer over the Internet or travel to a foreign country may run afoul of export control laws.

Export control laws provide for substantial penalties, both civil and criminal. 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. Given the ease with which violations can occur, inadvertent violations by unaware companies and their officers can have drastic consequences.

My Thoughts…

One of my customers has put in place a process to manage their ITAR compliance.

They understand that ‘compliance is the responsibility of the exporter’ and they are ‘aware of the dangers of disclosing sensitive technology in order to avoid inadvertent violation and that lack of intent is not a defense’.

Since they are a contract manufacturer that sells to companies that sell all over the world, they must assume the responsibility of their compliance to ITAR. So, they have put a process in place to make sure that any widget they manufacture will be ITAR compliant. They are using BPM software to provide the necessary control and visibility to manage that process.

As you can imagine, they are sleeping better at night.

Since not managing ITAR compliance is very risky, I feel that it is important to share this story with my readers.

How is your company addressing ITAR?

Process Management – Keeping it Real!


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