By: Maarten Sengers
Buried in the DTC web page guidance on AES, DTC published some interesting and painful clarifications on how you should export technical data under a license and report it to DTC, as is required by ITAR Part. Interesting, mostly for a few die-hard ITAR freaks, painful for all exporters of ITAR-controlled tech data.
Many defense exporters have argued, with reason, that the first shipments of technical data under a TAA or MLA does not need to be reported. They argue that the actual ITAR 123.22(d) and 123.24 language only requires reporting of the first shipment under a license, not an agreement because those ITAR paragraphs are in the ITAR Part 123, which has the title “Licenses for the Export of Defense Articles” and agreements are not licenses. Exporters also cite Part 124 “Agreements..” as the ITAR Part to look to for requirements for exporting tech data under agreements.
(John Black here. For the record, I am starting to wonder what relevance logic and using dictionary definitions of words has to understanding the ITAR. For example, since Part 125 is “Licenses for the Export of Technical Data,” that would seem to be the logical place to find the requirements for exports of tech data under licenses. Instead of reading the ITAR you just ought to know what it says. This approach of not basing the meaning of the ITAR on the words of the ITAR and requiring exporters to just know what the ITAR says is irresponsible government. If it is important to the security of our country that we apply the ITAR like the State Department interprets it, the State Department is putting the country at risk by not writing the ITAR to say what the State Department wants it to say because some exporters are not plugged into the State Department and might just read the ITAR.)
Reading the guidance, it’s clear DTC disagrees. “[T]he initial export of technical data and defense services using an agreement will be by letter,” the guidance reads. “For ease in handling these requests, the letter should have an attention line reading “ATTN: Initial Export Notification for Agreement [insert agreement number].”
For shipments of technical data under a license, the guidance states you should notify State of the first shipment of technical data by decrementing the license and returning it to DDTC. If you need to ship technical data thereafter, State says to use an exemption in “124.5.” Presumably they are they are referring to exemption regarding copies of technical data previously authorized exemption in 125.4(b)(4).
(Sorry, John Black here again. Gee whiz, what is going on here? So, I get a DSP-5 for offshore
procurement, export data once, and then use the copy of tech data exemption for the next 50 for the offshore procurement? If what I export is not a copy of what was previously exported, but it falls within the description on my DSP-5, can I use the copy exemption for my non-copy. Interesting use of the English language. In the ITAR the word “copy” includes things that are not copies. I sure wish DTC would revise the ITAR to reflect this. I don’t know about you, but I might forget this sometime over the next couple of years and make the mistake of reading the ITAR and thinking “copy” does not include “non-copies.” Back to you Maarten.)
Finally, State reaffirmed that technical data hand carries under a license still require an SED. You should present a copy of an SED to US Customs “upon request” and one copy should be immediately sent to DTC. The guidance appears to indicate that you don’t have to specifically hunt down a Customs officer to submit an SED, as US Customs would never request an SED for technical data unless the traveler brought it to their attention.
The good news is that all these paper technical data notifications should disappear in January 2004. At that time, State hopes to have in place a system whereby all AES entries for shipments of technical data are automatically routed to State. For more information, see: www.pmddtc.state.gov/aes.htm
(I apologize for interrupting Maarten’s analysis of the new AES requirements with my editorial comments. Sometimes I just can’t keep my mouth shut. –John Black)