What Is ITAR Compliance Checklist?
The United States International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) cover all American military products – everything from firearms and ammunition to military vehicles, such as tanks and naval vessels. ITAR covers missiles, military satellites, and chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. If a product is on the United States Munitions List (USML), it is subject to ITAR. And it’s not just the physical products – the USML also includes all software, technical data, training, and other services. Everyone involved needs to follow ITAR compliance requirements to ensure that these products remain secure and don’t fall into the wrong hands.
Using an ITAR compliance checklist is an efficient and time-saving way to check and monitor whether requirements are being met. A regular assessment of the current status helps to identify problems in the system at an early stage and to eliminate causes. In addition, by involving employees in the process, awareness of the importance of compliance with ITAR regulations can be raised.
In this article, the following points are explained:
Does my company need an ITAR Compliance Checklist?
If your company is involved in the manufacture, export, import, or brokering of American military articles and/or services, it is subject to ITAR and needs an ITAR compliance checklist. You’ll also need to register with the U.S. Department of State Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) and apply for the necessary licenses. Even if you only manufacture military products inside the U.S., you still need to register.
If you’re not sure if your products or services are on the USML, you can submit a Commodity Jurisdiction Request to the State Department and they’ll tell you. Keep in mind that all information associated with a product on the USML is covered by ITAR. For instance, any drawings, algorithms, specification sheets, and manuals, as well as any information on the design, manufacture, or use of the product, would be included.
The ITAR and the USML change from time to time, too, so it’s a good idea to go over your ITAR compliance audit checklist regularly. This is not something you can forget about once you’ve set up your company. Fulfilling ITAR compliance requirements requires continuous oversight.
What counts as export under ITAR?
“Export” doesn’t just mean sending products overseas. The State Department counts all the of the following as exporting information about a product – and this is by no means a complete list:
- Giving a speech about it in a foreign country or in the presence of a foreign national
- Having a private face-to-face conversation about it with a foreign national
- Discussing it with a foreign national via email, fax, phone call, or internet
- Carrying it with you into a foreign country, even if you don’t share it with anyone
- Allowing a foreign national who is working for you access to it
- Performing services on a USML item for a foreign party or in a foreign country
A foreign national is any non-citizen of the US who doesn’t have permanent resident alien status (a green card).
The ITAR Compliance Requirements
An ITAR compliance audit checklist will help make sure you follow the DDTC Compliance Program Guidelines. First of all, you would need to appoint someone within your company (or a whole department) who will be responsible for fulfilling ITAR compliance requirements. They’d supervise, record, and implement things such as…
Corporate structures, policies, and personnel involved in maintaining compliance
Management needs to give full support to the ITAR compliance program to allow it to succeed.
Methods used to track ITAR-controlled information and products
You’ll need to keep a complete record of all ITAR-related activities for at least 5 years (9 years in some cases).
Staff training in ITAR requirements, ensuring they’re kept up to date on any changes
All of your staff need to know what is required of them and what to expect. And they should understand the importance of maintaining compliance and what could happen if things go wrong. They’ll also need a good interpretation of what changes to the laws or licensing requirements will mean for them on a day-to-day level. Training should cover all your staff and consultants, including people in traffic, marketing, contracts, security, legal, public relations, and engineering departments. Your office administration and cleaning staff should be included as well.
All personnel who might gain access to ITAR-associated information will need a thorough screening. The compliance administrator will also need to ensure that your customers and carriers are screened, as well as the countries you’re dealing with. You’d also need risk assessments to make sure all transfer and storage procedures remain secure.
How your products will ultimately be used and who will use them
Who are your end users? And who are they sharing your products or information with?
Performance of regular audits
Your compliance administrator would be responsible for performing regular audits, perhaps with the assistance of an ITAR compliance audit checklist, to make sure that your compliance program remains effective.
You’d need effective reporting procedures to make sure compliance is constantly maintained. Your people should know what suspicious behavior looks like and exactly what to do if they see anything. An ITAR compliance checklist might be helpful here.
What can happen if I don’t follow ITAR compliance requirements?
An ITAR compliance checklist can help you avoid the penalties for violating ITAR. These can include the following:
- A fine of up to $1,000,000 and up 20 years imprisonment for each violation
- Debarment from performing contracts with the U.S. government
- Loss of export privileges
- Seizure of assets and goods
- Publication of your violation by the U.S. government, which can ruin your reputation
This is why you need an ITAR Compliance Program
If you find that you’ve been in violation of ITAR compliance requirements, you can do a voluntary disclosure to the State Department. You’d tell them about the violation and, most importantly, how you intend to ensure it never happens again. If you make a convincing case they might decide not to penalize you, or at least reduce your penalty.
Use digital ITAR compliance checklist for better monitoring
Companies can easily comply with ITAR regulations by successfully leveraging digital technologies. Lumiform, the mobile and powerful inspection software, can help compliance officers identify ITAR-required items and services, conduct compliance audits, and avoid costly penalties. Empower your officers to:
- Capture photo evidence of ITAR-required products and assign corrective actions
- Easily access all checklists anytime, anywhere, and on any mobile device.
- Send and receive notifications for scheduled audits.
- Generate automatic ITAR compliance reports and share them with key employees.
- Easily analyze compliance results to uncover and address vulnerabilities early.
Try Lumiform for free