RCGI-Do I Need to Register My Company with the DDTC under the ITAR

Did you know that The International Traffic in Arms Regulations affects more than just exporters? You may need to register with the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls even if you do not export.

 Registration and the ITAR 

The Department of State is responsible for the export and temporary import of defense articles and services governed by the Arms Export Control Act (AECA). The International Traffic in Arms Regulations ("ITAR," 22 CFR 120-130) implements the AECA, and section 122 of the ITAR regulates the Registration of both Exporters AND Manufacturers. You must register with the Department of State if you manufacture or export United States Munitions List (USML)-controlled items also known as “defense articles” and “defense services”. 

    • Even if you never export – you must register
    • Just technical data – you must register
    • Defense services to foreign persons – you must register
    • Only one occasion of manufacturing or exporting or temporarily importing a defense article or furnishing a defense service – you must register 

The State Department wants to gather this information so they are aware of this activity for National Security reasons. 

Defining “Defense Articles” 

What is considered a defense article on the USML? The ITAR says “defense article” means anything controlled on the USML, The United State Munitions List. If it is listed on the USML, it is controlled by the ITAR, even if it is also on the Commerce Control List under the EAR. 

The ITAR controls “defense articles” (ITAR 120.6), which are: 

    • Items enumerated (specifically mentioned) on the USML, such as missiles, including some non-military items like satellites, materials and instrumentation.
    • Includes technology and software, electronics, protective equipment, some firearms.
    • Items “specially designed” or specifically designed for enumerated items or applications (catch-all)
    • Parts, components, accessories, etc. 

The ITAR also controls Technical Data (ITAR 120.10): 

  • Information required for the design, development, production, manufacture, assembly, operation, repair, testing, maintenance or modification of defense articles.
  • This includes information in the form of blueprints, drawings, photographs, plans, instructions and documentation
  • Software directly related to defense articles 

The ITAR controls Defense Services (ITAR 120.9), providing services related to items on the USML

Exemptions from Registration 

There are four exemptions from this registration requirement, listed in ITAR 122.1(b)

    • Officers of U.S. Government
    • Only produce unclassified tech data
    • All activities covered by Atomic Energy Act
    • Fabricate articles for scientific (R&D) purposes 

Registration Guidelines 

If you decide that you should register, you can follow the guidelines found in: www.pmddtc.state.gov/registration.Submit the following documents electronically: 

  • Form DS-2032 – downloaded from website
  • Copy of certificate of incorporation or authorization to do business
  • Electronic payment of fee (minimum $2,250) for the first year; subsequent years (minimum $2,500) include 10 free license applications; can increase based on number of license applications you apply for
  • Only register for one year at a time; annual registration required 

Registration just gets your organization set up to be involved in ITAR activities. Your organization needs to also designate individuals who have the lead responsibility for ITAR compliance, known as Empowered Officials. The Empowered Official must: 

  • U.S. citizen
  • Directly employed by the company
  • Employee having authority for policy or management
  • Designated written authorization from the organization to sign applications (Others can submit, only empowered official can sign)
  • Know the rules – ITAR, EAR, OFAC, etc. – must have some training
  • Have authority to enquire, verify and refuse without retribution within your company 

Redstone Government Consulting—DDTC/ITAR Support

For further information, contact Redstone Government Consulting. Our experts can assist you with the ITAR registration process, including determining eligibility, processing documentation, and designating Empowered Officials. We offer consulting packages which can include ITAR registration, training for your leadership team, and monitoring of your required registrations and renewals.


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Written by Carolyn Quinn Turner

Carolyn Quinn Turner Carolyn assists Redstone Government Consulting, Inc. in the area of International Trade and Import/Export Compliance, specifically the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). Carolyn assists a wide variety of contractors with compliance in international trade and ITAR/EAR regulations as well as implementing policies and procedures that assist companies in those areas. Professional Experience Starting in 2002, Carolyn was an International Research Analyst at the Alabama International Trade Center. While here, she conducted country and market analyses and translated trade documents. She then worked at Page & Jones, Inc., handling freight coordination for the NVO imports and exports, gathered freight rates for all customers, both import and export, and acted as the NVO controller by handling training, coordinating shipping rates, and record keeping. Starting in 2008, Carolyn held the position of International Trade Specialist at the Alabama International Trade Center. She assisted small and medium sized companies with international trade, expanded company’s sales via international opportunities, problem solved wide ranging international topics such as ITAR and EAR, classification, regulations, contracts, finance options, risk mitigation, and more. She also conducted country/market analyses for international market research, provided international business training and presented educational industry seminars and oversaw research staff on international trade projects and assignments. During the period of 2011-2016, Carolyn was also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Alabama, developing and teaching online International Business classes. In addition to her international experience, Carolyn has studied in Spain, Chile, and Cuba and has work experience in trade missions in Thailand, Norway, Sweden, and Chile. She can read, write, and speak Spanish proficiently. Certifications In 2005, Carolyn became a Licensed US Customs Broker during her time with Page & Jones, Inc., and focused on HTS and Schedule B Classification as well as Entry Filing. In 2009, Carolyn earned the NASBITE Certified Global Business Professional Certification. She has training on these topics: Incoterms, International Distributor Agreements, How to Prepare for an Import & Export Audit, ITAR and EAR, NAFTA, and other FTA’s, Developing an Import/Export Compliance Program, Import and Export Documentation, Customs Brokers License Training Course with Logistics Training Systems, Hazardous Materials, SBA and EXIM Trade Financing, Trade Promotion Coordination Committee (TPCC) Training, SBIR Grants, International Intellectual Property Rights, and global e-commerce. Education Carolyn has earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce and Business Administration from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. She has also earned her Masters in Management with a Global Business Concentration from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Affiliations She has been a board member of the Japan America Society of Alabama since 2009 and a board member of Destination Hoover International since 2018. Carolyn is also a member of the Export Alabama Alliance.

About Redstone GCI

Redstone Government Consultants are a team of the most senior industry veterans and the brightest new talent in the industry. Many have held senior government positions including leadership roles in the DCAA. Our new talents bring significant accounting and software experience along with fresh perspectives, inspiration and energy to our team. Through our leadership and combined experience, we provide a unique perspective, bringing both government and contractor proficiencies to bear and ensuring rock-solid government compliance for our clients.

Topics: Government Regulations, Export and Import