On December 5, 2022, the Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) released updated Compliance Program Guidelines that provide an overview of what it considers an effective compliance program. The document also provides both an introduction to the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), and the manufacturing and export of defense articles and services. 

The guidelines outline the key elements of an effective ITAR compliance program, including: corporate Board and management commitment, conducting risk assessments, providing sufficient compliance education and training, compliance monitoring, and undertaking periodic audits. The guidelines also discuss how to implement such a program for companies that manufacture, export, broker, or temporarily import defense articles and defense services identified on the U.S. Munitions List (USML). The ITAR Compliance Program Guidelines are available here.

In releasing these new guidelines, DDTC notes that it provides a basic structure, is not exhaustive, is intended only as a guide, and that, “to the extent there is any discrepancy between these guidelines and either the AECA or the ITAR, the AECA and ITAR will prevail.”