EAR and ITAR: What Exporters Need to Know

Do You Need an Export License for Your Product?

Export Administration Regulations (EAR) is where you go to determine if your product is on the Commerce Control List (CCL) and needs a license to be legally exported.  It is the responsibility of the exporter to determine if their product is eligible for a license by reviewing the CCL, which includes such “dual use” items as commodities, software, and technology subject to the export licensing authority of the BIS.

Licensing and other export certification requirements for exporting a product or service, are dependent upon the item’s technical characteristics, the destination, the end-user, and the end-use.

As the exporter, you must determine whether an export requires a license. An export license may be required based on the country, company, or individual that you are doing business with or who ends up with the product or service.

The CCL is broken down into 10 chapters:

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

Don’t see anything that looks like your product in those categories?

If your item falls under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Commerce (is a U.S. product) and is not listed on the CCL, it is designated as EAR99.

Most commercial products are designated EAR99 and generally will not require a license to be exported or re-exported. However, if you plan to export an EAR99 item to an embargoed or sanctioned country, to a party of concern, or in support of a prohibited end-use, you may be required to obtain a license.

Learn more:  Steps to Comply with EAR

When Do You Need to Worry About ITAR?

The Department of State via the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) administers the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), which controls items considered defense articles, services, and technical data.

The Department of Commerce via the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) administers the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), which controls purely civilian items, items with both civil and military, terrorism, or potential WMD-related applications, and items that are exclusively used for military applications but that do not warrant control under the ITAR.

Learn more:  Steps to Comply with ITAR


If you have any questions about EAR, ITAR, or export compliance, contact MITC. We’re here to help with one-on-one assistance, as well as financial support and referrals for export compliance training and consultants, to get the right answers for your business.