ITAR Definitions Changes for 2020

ITAR definitions

Changes in ITAR Definitions

The U.S. State Department has made changes in important definitions of what constitutes an export under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).  These changes are due to take effect on March 25, 2020 and will effect the manner in which companies with ITAR classification must conduct business.  These definitions concern what activities are deemed exports, reexports, retransfers, or temporary imports.  Additionally a new definition has been created concerning “Access Information”.

ITAR definitions

Five Key Changes

Under § 120.54, five new provisions have been made for activities that do not require authorization from the Department of State.  These provisions are as follows:

  1. Items launched into space are now not deemed a controlled event.  A controlled event is defined as an export, reexport, retransfer, or temporary import.
  2. It is not deemed a controlled event to transfer technical data to a U.S. Person within the United States from a person in the United States.
  3. The third provision was added as a result of public comments to proposed rule changes in 2015.  It states that transmissions or other transfers of technical data between and among only U.S. Persons in the same foreign country will not be deemed a reexport provided they do not provide that information to a Foreign Person or a person otherwise prohibited from receipt of such information.
  4. It is now not a controlled event to move a defense article between states, possessions, or territories of the United States.
  5. It is now not deemed a controlled event to send, take, or store technical data when it is appropriately end to end encrypted.  Encryption must be executed in a manner that is certified by The U.S. National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), or must exceed a 128-bit security strength.

Definition of Access Information

The Department of Stated has added § 120.55 to define “access information.”  Access Information is defined as methods of unlocking data security parameters.  These would include decryption keys, network access codes, and passwords.  It is important to note that an authorization for release of technical data is required through access information to the same extent as other provisions of data transfer under ITAR,

Definition of Release

Clarifications as to what constitutes a release of technical data have been provided as well.  These controlled events which require authorization include the aforementioned access information.  The definition of release include:

  • The release of access information to cause or enable a foreign person to have access to controlled data.
  • To use access information in a foreign country in a manner that would cause technical data to be in an unencrypted form, including when these actions are performed by a U.S Person abroad.  There is an exemption however, in ITAR § 125.4(b)(9) that allows most U.S. Persons abroad to release technical data to themselves or over their employer’s virtual private network.

CVG Strategy

Our ITAR experts can guide you through the changing requirements of ITAR to keep your company compliant.  We offer a wide array of services to help you keep on track with this important legislation.


Product Liability and Testing – Safety Critical

Product liability and testing
Product liability and testing

Product Liability Issues Can be Prevented

Product Liability and Testing are areas that are of increased concern for product developers and manufacturers.  As products become more complex, properly designed test and evaluation programs must verify designs to prevent product liability issues that can greatly damage a company’s reputation.

Product Liability arises from incidents where a product’s performance departs from its intended design.  These incidents often involve serious injury or wrongful deaths.  These incidents can be caused by design defects, manufacturing defects, and failure to warn or marketing defects. 

Penalties imposed for cases of product liability vary from nation to nation and vary between states in the United States.  As a trend however, manufacturers are being held to more stringent standards around the world.

The Role of Test and Evaluation

Increased dependency on electronic products in every sector of our lives has created a greater potential for vulnerabilities that may cause serious injury or even death.  Product safety standards can and do address a good many of these vulnerabilities.  However, because a standard cannot address the wide range of environmental, electrical, and EMI/EMC effects that may be present in a product’s real world applications, it is often beneficial to conduct evaluations over and above those required for compliance to a given marketplace.

Environmental Causes of Product Failures

To assess testing requirements it can be helpful to conduct climatic and dynamic evaluations to examine the environmental stresses likely to occur in the lifetime of a product.  A useful tool for this analysis is a Life Cycle Environmental Profile (LCEP).  The LCEP is the method employed by MIL-STD-810 to identify stressors in all phases of a product lifetime, from leaving the shipping dock to final disposal. 

Although MIL-STD-810 is a DOD standard it is often used in commercial products where safety critical performance is a necessity.  Once an LCEP has been performed, realistic environmental issues and criteria can be established that will provide guidance for a test matrix that will be able to identify design deficiencies before production.

EMI/EMC and Electrical Product Failures

Because of the high volume of electronic devices in today’s world, the radio frequency environment is much denser across the spectrum than it ever has been.  This also causes abnormalities and disturbances on power distribution systems that these devices share.  Susceptibilities to electromagnetic interference are a major cause of operational anomalies. 

The causes of these anomalies can be very difficult to predict and reproduce in the lab.  Additionally, extreme care must be given to the design of monitoring equipment to catch intermittent failures in an EMI/EMC chamber while the equipment is under test.  Furthermore, selection of appropriate methodologies for evaluation can be challenging.  A susceptibility analysis can often assist in selection of relevant methods of evaluation.

CVG Strategy Can Help

CVG Strategy has decades of experience in product test and evaluation for equipment with safety critical requirements in a wide array of industries.  We have the expertise in both Environmental and EMI/EMC to provide thorough analysis of your product’s potential vulnerabilities.  We can then offer a wide array of services to verify a design before release to manufacture so that product liability concerns can be minimized.