Export-controlled technical data is any information or related data that cannot be released or transferred to foreign countries or representatives of a foreign nation, without first obtaining approval or license. “Technical Data” refers to technical information beyond general and basic marketing materials about a controlled commodity. It does not refer to the actual product or the controls that accompany it. Some examples include technical documentation for software, or blueprints, photograms, or diagrams that include technical specifications.
To transfer any of these materials internationally, it is necessary to be compliant with Export Control Regulations. Export Control Regulations have existed since the 1940s and differ depending on what export a certain enterprise may deal with. Some of the predominant regulations include the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) implemented by the Dept. of Commerce, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) implemented by the State Department, and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) implemented by the Treasury Department.
ITAR, for example, is a set of United States Government regulations on the export and import of defense-related articles and services. In a global marketplace, many U.S. prime contractors are requiring their suppliers to be “ITAR compliant.”
These regulations exist as a means to protect national security interests, the unregulated transfer of technology could aid international threats and enemies of the state. These regulations do not solely apply to the purchasing and selling of products and the associated technical data but also include the collaboration of foreign partners and even non-us citizens within the United States.