Export controls are federal laws that regulate the shipment of goods or the release of technological data to foreign nationals or foreign countries. The primary regulations controlling export activities include the following:
International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) The ITAR, implemented by the Department of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) under the U.S. Department of State, control items listed on the U.S. Munitions List. The ITAR covers both research on defense articles and training, or assistance related to the manufacture or production of defense articles. See 22 CFR 121.1. a description of items listed on the U.S. Munitions List.
Export Administration Regulations (EAR) The EAR, implemented by the Bureau of Industry and Security under the U.S. Department of Commerce regulates the export and re-export of most commercial items. Many times, such items are referred to as “dual-use” – items that have both commercial and military or proliferation applications. Commercial items without an obvious military use may also be subject to the EAR. Other U.S. government agencies regulate more specialized exports, for example, the U.S. Department of State has authority over defense articles and defense services (see ITAR above).
Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) The OFAC, a part of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, administers and enforces boycotts that have been imposed against specific countries. The scope of such boycotts varies and they are subject to change. Summaries of all countries currently subject to a boycott are available on the OFAC site list above.