Under the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), training on a defense article is a defense service generally covered by the U.S. Munitions List (USML) category in which the defense article is enumerated.  In other words, training on a firearm controlled by Category I of the USML is also covered under Category I.

This year, as part of its ongoing Export Control Reform effort, the U.S. Department of State amended Category IX of the USML, including changing the title from “Military Training Equipment and Training” to “Military Training Equipment” to reflect this general rule.  What State did not address, however, was how to classify military training activities that do not directly relate to defense articles (e.g., hand-to-hand combat training) but are still considered controlled “defense services” in section 120.9(a)(3) of the ITAR, leaving many service-oriented defense companies in a quandary.

In a recent amendment to the ITAR (available here), State issued a fix.  It revised Category IX by adding subparagraph (e)(3), which specifically covers military training not directly related to defense articles or technical data enumerated in the USML.  State also added the term “training” back into the title of Category IX to clarify the coverage of this category.

Now, defense companies have a clear USML category to cite in license and agreement applications and no longer need to strain to fit “article-free” military training services into other USML categories.  This change provides companies with a definitive classification to reference in their internal compliance programs and should help stem delays in licensing decisions by State that may result from confusion as to which Licensing Division should be handling the license or agreement application.