Technical Assistance Agreement or TAA
What is a Technical Assistance Agreement or TAA?
A Technical Assistance Agreement is a document which specifies the arrangement between you and the foreign person who will be the recipient of the defense service. A TAA must be approved prior to the release of technical data or a restricted defense service to a foreign person. A TAA is a requirement under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) when an organization exports a defense service, technical data, or the assembly of a defense article.
A defense article is defined as an item or technical data that is enumerated in the United States Munitions List (USML). Technical data would include information on the design, development, engineering, manufacture, production, assembly, testing, repair, maintenance, modification, operation, demilitarization, destruction, processing or use of defense articles whether or not the technical data is electronic or printed.
Activities Frequently Requiring a TAA
- Supporting Direct Commercial Sales to Foreign Parties
- Providing Overseas Maintenance or Training Support
- Technical Studies, Evaluations, Demonstrations or Consultations with Foreign Parties
- Efforts to Import Technology from Abroad
- Supporting a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Case
- Supporting U.S. government-Sponsored Foreign Contracts
In the ITAR §120.32 a defense service as follows:
Defense services include instances where assistance is provided to foreign persons in the United States or abroad. This could include training activities to foreign persons. This assistance or training is applicable to the design, development. modification, maintenance, production, manufacture, operation, assembly, testing, or repair of defense article.
Defense services also include the furnishing of technical data to foreign persons in the U.S. or abroad. Additionally, it includes the provision of training, education, advise, orientation, or transfer of information by media to foreign military forces
Technical data would include information on the design, development, engineering, manufacture, production, assembly, testing, repair, maintenance, modification, operation, demilitarization, destruction, processing or use of defense articles whether or not the technical data is electronic or printed. If you provide it to a foreign person, it is a defense service and defense services can only be provided under a TAA to a Foreign Person.
CVG Strategy Prepares TAAs for Defense Contractors
CVG Strategy has prepared Technical Assistance Agreements (TAA) for many U.S. defense contractors, allowing them to conduct business in accordance with federal regulations. Below are some examples of projects we have been involved in:
Company with Design and Manufacturing Facilities Outside of the United States
CVG Strategy helped to implement an ITAR and Export Compliance Program for a Florida defense contractor who’s business was the US sale of electronic systems for commercial as well as military aircraft. The company was not exporting products or selling these products to foreign companies. Their primary issue was that their design and development facilities were in Canada.
Essentially every email, phone call, and fax related to their product or the customer’s requirements was subject to the export licensing requirements of technical data. The Vice President of the division told us, “If we have to wait 30-45 days before we can send an email to our Canadian Engineering folks, we’ll have to shut down the product line.” Fortunately we were able to get them a TAA in place which is still in use today.
Company Utilizing Non U.S. Persons for Engineering
A client wanted to hire several engineers from India. They were securing the I-9 Visas for the new employees and wanted them authorized to work on their U.S. Navy Submarine Projects. The employees were to work at their facilities in Alabama, inside the United States.
Their situation required the Indian National Employees to not only have access to design documents but also to work with the production employees on the manufacturing floor. They were to have access to the actual Navy Submarine products. CVG Strategy’s ITAR Experts were able to put a Technology Control Plan (TCP) into place along with securing the company a TAA.
Technical Assistance Agreement Process
CVG Strategy ITAR consultants can create a Technical Assistance Agreement, prepared in accordance with the DDTC Guidelines. This will authorize your company to transmit or communicate technical data (provide a defense service) lawfully. Our experience will help ensure that all required data is included to avoid unnecessary delays in the approval process. Generally, a TAA would address these three issues:
- Who are the party or parties that the technical data would be sent to?
- Why is the disclosure of technical data to occur?
- What specific type of information will be shared?