ITAR Compliance and the Manufacture of Printed Circuit Boards
The U.S. Government requires all manufacturers, exporters, and brokers of defense articles, defense services or related technical data to be ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulation) compliant. An increasing number of companies are requiring their supply chain to be ITAR certified or ITAR compliant based on the use of the end product even though they may not be engaged in the “export” of the product or its technical information. When that product has been determined to be included on the United States Munitions List (USML), ITAR compliance is required. Generally, that information is included in contracts, purchase orders and requests for quotes for manufactured products. It is not the responsibility of the manufacturer to make that determination.
However, ITAR compliance is “required” for a manufacturer to accept an Request for Quote (RFQ), Purchase Order (PO) or contract that includes ITAR as part of the contract language. ITAR regulation falls under the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) and manufacturers of those regulated products must be registered with the DDTC. In doing so, the manufacturer is self-certifying that they understand, abide by and operate in accordance with the ITAR. By registering with the DDTC the company is acknowledging that they have processes, programs, management and control structures to safeguard ITAR identified items and technical data.
In the case of manufacturing an ITAR-compliant printed circuit board (PCB), all the information provided by the customer must be handled in such a manner as to prevent access by an unknown or unauthorized source. Similarly, the product itself shall not be made available for review or acquisition by an unapproved party. Additionally, the customer must provide the manufacturer with the systems and/or procedures to communicate questions or pertinent technical data transfer in a safe manner.
There are several resources available on the DDTC website regarding compliance and registration.
Bay Area Circuits is registered with DDTC and is well-suited to handle ITAR requirements for printed circuit board manufacturing projects. For questions, or more information on ITAR-compliant PCB manufacturing, contact us.
The information provided above does not constitute legal advice and is not for attribution. If in doubt as to how this concept applies to your company, you should seek legal advice.