540 Munitions (Defense Articles) and Related Technical Data

541 Licensing Requirements

541.1 Individual Licenses

541.11 Exporting Defense Articles

The exportation of defense articles requires a license or license exemption authorized by the U.S. Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC). Requirements for the exportation of defense articles are contained in the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) in 22 CFR Part 120130. Further information, including the ITAR, is available at the DDTC Web site at

See certain sections of the CFR for specific information relating to defense articles, as follows:

  1. For information concerning defense articles subject to the license requirement, see 22 CFR Part 121.
  2. For information concerning licenses for the export of defense articles, see 22 CFR Part 123.
  3. For information concerning license exemptions for the export of defense articles, see 22 CFR Part 126.
541.12 Exporting Technical Data

The exportation of “technical data” as defined in 541.121 requires a license issued by the Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC). Information related to DDTC can be found at its website at Information concerning licenses for the export of technical data can be found in 22 CFR Part 125 of the ITAR.

Information concerning licenses for the export of technical data can be found online in 22 CFR Part 125 of the ITAR at

541.121 Technical Data — Definition

According to § 120.10 of the ITAR, “technical data” is defined as follows:

  1. Information, other than software as defined in § 120.10(a)(4), that is required for the design, development, production, manufacture, assembly, operation, repair, testing, maintenance, or modification of defense articles. This includes information in the form of blueprints, drawings, photographs, plans, instructions, and documentation.
  2. Classified information relating to defense articles and defense services.
  3. Information covered by an invention secrecy order.
  4. Software as defined in § 121.8(f) directly related to defense articles.

“Technical data” does not include information concerning general scientific, mathematical, or engineering principles commonly taught in schools, colleges, and universities, or information in the public domain as defined in § 120.11. It also does not include basic marketing information on function or purpose or general system descriptions of defense articles.

541.122 Technical Data — Exempt From Licensing

Technical data that has been published or that is otherwise exempt from licensing under 22 CFR Part 125 of the ITAR does not require a Department of State license for exportation. However, the sender must mark the outside of the mailpiece, identifying the specific subsection under which the exemption is claimed (e.g., “22 CFR 125.4…APPLICABLE,” if 22 CFR § 125.4 is the citation for the relevant exemption).

541.2 Prohibited Countries

Technical data exemptions under 541.122 and requests for licensees to export defense articles under 541.11 may not be made for items destined to or originating in certain prohibited countries. These countries are listed in 22 CFR § 126.1 of the ITAR. The mailer should visit the DDTC website at for a current listing. As of April 2010, these countries include the following:

  1. Belarus.
  2. Burma.
  3. China.
  4. Congo, Democratic Republic of the.
  5. Cote d’Ivoire.
  6. Cuba.
  7. Eritrea.
  8. Iran.
  9. Iraq.
  10. Lebanon.
  11. Liberia.
  12. Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of (North Korea).
  13. Sierra Leone.
  14. Somalia.
  15. Sudan.
  16. Syria.
  17. Venezuela.

Note: Mailers are advised to check the current version of 22 CFR § 126.1 of the ITAR for an updated list before mailing, as the list is subject to change.

541.3 Exporting of Government Shipments

Shipments mailed by or for any U.S. government agency do not require an individual license from the Department of State so long as all requirements of 22 CFR §126.4 can be met. The sender must mark the mailpiece with the applicable subsection of §126.4 (e.g., “22 CFR 126.4(a) APPLICABLE”).

541.4 Obtaining Additional Information

The sender may obtain information from the DDTC Response Team, regarding the applicability of the Department of State requirements and application for an individual license. In addition, the DDTC Response Team handles process and status questions, and it assists mailers and other exporters with more complex questions involving export control issues. The DDTC Response Team should provide substantive responses within 24 hours of receiving inquiries. The DDTC Response Team can be contacted by telephone at 202-663-1282 or by e-mail at