What is a Technical Assistance Agreement or TAA?
CVG Strategy’s ITAR Experts have prepared many a Technical Assistance Agreement for U.S. defense contractors over the years. The U.S. Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) specifies that a Technical Assistance Agreement be submitted via DTrade2 using the DSP-5 License Vehicle.
As described in §124.1, a Technical Assistance Agreement must be approved prior to the release of restricted technical data, by the U.S. State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls Licensing (DTCL) for a U.S. person to provide a defense service to a foreign person. The export or temporary import of defense articles (technical data) are specified to be addressed in the scope of an Technical Assistance Agreement.
Activities Frequently Requiring a Technical Assistance Agreement
- 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 §120.9 a defense service is defined in three areas: “the furnishing of assistance,” providing “military training” and “furnishing . . . any technical data.” So 120.9 clearly states that if you provide someone with technical data, you are providing a defense service. 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.
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.
Here is one example of a corporate situation where a TAA is required:
Not too long ago, we 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. They weren’t exporting products nor 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.
Here is another example of a corporate situation requiring a TAA:
We had a client last year that 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
In order to process a TAA, CVG Strategy has developed procedures, forms and templates designed this purpose, based on the U.S. Government’s Guidelines. With a Technical Assistance Agreement, you are not applying for a license to export of “X” number of physical products to another country. Instead, you are applying for permission to discuss and share restricted technical data with an foreign person, whether located inside or outside the United States.
Generally, a TAA would address these three issues:
- Who do you want to send technical data to?
- Why do you want to send it?
- What type of information will you be sharing?
Properly written, a Technical Assistance Agreement, prepared in accordance with the DDTC Guidelines will authorize your company to transmit or communicate technical data (provide a defense service) lawfully.
CVG Strategy has the experts and experience to help you with your TAA, contact us to schedule a consultation.