Three areas of export control laws. The International Traffic in Arms Regulations or ITAR, which is administered by the State Department. These apply to military products. The Export Administration Regulations or EAR, administered by the Commerce Department. These apply to commercial products that have some use in the military or intelligence area and the U.S. Sanctions Laws, administered by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.
The first cornerstone concept under ITAR – ITAR contains a list of products called the U. S. Munitions List (USML) If your product is on this list, it is subject to these controls. This is a key concept. If your product is on the list, everything else flows from this. If you look down the list, you will see that the majority of headings- a lot of the items in the beginning of the list are truly defense items: firearms, guns, explosives, naval vessels. But, if you look farther down the list, you will see that the categories start to overlap with commercial items – training, electronics, chemicals, satellites. So it is sometimes difficult to determine if your product is on the list or not
Another cornerstone concept is that these controls apply not just to physical products, but also to software and technical data, as well. So, if an item is on the list such as a navigational device – the software used to run that device is also on the list, and the technical data related to the device is on the list. Technical data refers to drawings, algorithms, manuals, any information on the design, manufacture, or use of the item. So, if the product is on the list, then the electronic files are on the list, the specification sheets, the technical manuals – are all on the Munitions List and subject to ITAR.