As detailed in a prior post, the Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) recently announced significant changes to its policies on exports of munitions items to Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Liberia, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. Last Thursday, DDTC codified these changes in the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), eliminating any uncertainty within industry regarding the treatment of the four countries.

Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam had been identified in section 126.1 of the ITAR (i.e., ITAR-prohibited countries), which generally lists countries subject to U.S. and/or United Nations arms embargoes and imposes a number of restrictions on ITAR-controlled exports to such countries. Although DDTC previously announced that it now would consider export license applications for the four countries on a case-by-case basis, rather than a general policy of denial, it did not formally amend section 126.1 of the ITAR until last week. Up until that time, the section 126.1 restrictions, including the requirement to obtain a license or other approval before even making a proposal or presentation to sell defense articles to these four countries, regardless of whether or not such proposal or presentation contains controlled technical data, and the prohibition on use of most ITAR license exemptions for such countries, technically were still in effect in the regulations.

DDTC’s recent amendment to the ITAR puts U.S. exporters’ minds at ease, as it is now explicitly clear that the special restrictions in section 126.1 of the ITAR no longer are in place for Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. Along with opening up potential defense-related trade with these four countries, DDTC also designated Tunisia as a major non-NATO ally in the ITAR and created new exceptions to its policies of denial for license applications to export ITAR-controlled items to current section 126.1 countries Somalia, Eritrea, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.