USC Office of Compliance

Overview of the EAR and ITAR

The Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”) regulate exports of commercial items with potential military applications (so called “dual-use” items), and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (“ITAR”) regulate exports of items and services specifically designed for military applications.
In addition to these export control regulations, university activities also may be subject to the U.S. government’s economic sanctions against certain countries, entities and individuals.  These economic sanctions programs are administered by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Controls (“OFAC”).  Please click on the OFAC link for additional detail.
Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”)
The EAR regulate exports of commercial and “dual-use” goods, software and technology (e.g., items intended for non-military applications that nonetheless may be useful for military purposes).  These regulations are administered by the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”).
The specific items subject to the export control restrictions under the EAR are identified on the Commerce Control List (“CCL”), which is divided into 10 categories:

  • Category 0 Nuclear Materials, Facilities & Equipment and Miscellaneous
  • Category 1 Materials, Chemicals, “Microorganisms” and Toxins
  • Category 2 Materials Processing
  • Category 3 Electronics
  • Category 4 Computers
  • Category 5 Telecommunications and Information Security
  • Category 6 Sensors and Lasers
  • Category 7 Navigation and Avionics
  • Category 8 Marine
  • Category 9 Propulsion Systems, Space Vehicles and Related Equipment

Exports of items identified on the CCL may require a specific license from the Commerce Department.  Consult with the Office of Compliance for guidance.

International Traffic in Arms Regulations (“ITAR”)
The ITAR regulates items and services that are considered to be “defense articles” or “defense services,” as well as certain temporary imports of foreign-made defense articles and “brokering” activities that have been identified by the U.S. government as being inherently or predominantly suited for military applications.
The defense articles and defense services subject to the ITAR include those goods, software and “technical data” that appear on the United States Munitions List (“USML”).  Examples include firearms, ammunition, explosives, propellants, and military training equipment and any hardware, software, or related technical data.  Even if a specific item does not appear on the USML, it is controlled under the ITAR if it has been specifically designed, developed, configured, adapted or modified for a military purpose and does not have “predominant civil applications.”
With very few exceptions, the ITAR require exporters to obtain prior written authorization from DDTC before exporting or re-exporting defense articles or defense services or engaging in “deemed exports” of ITAR-controlled technical data.
Finally, note that the ITAR includes a list of countries that are subject to U.S. arms embargoes.  The State Department maintains a general policy of denying license applications for exports of ITAR-controlled items to the proscribed countries.  The list of ITAR proscribed countries is available at