On May 1, 2020, the Department of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) issued a Federal Register notice informing companies of the temporary suspension, modification, and exception to several International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) provisions because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

DDTC is now requesting comments from the public regarding the temporary changes announced May 1st, giving companies the opportunity to weigh-in on DDTC policies. The agency is asking commenters to provide feedback on the following topics:

  1. The efficacy of each of the temporary suspensions, modifications, and exceptions to the ITAR on the operating environments of the regulated community members during the COVID–19 emergency.
  2. Expiration dates of suspensions, modifications, and exceptions to the ITAR—for each expiration date, is the period of efficacy sufficient, or should DDTC consider an extension of the expiration date, and why?
  3. Are there additional temporary suspensions, modifications, or exceptions to the ITAR that DDTC should consider in response to specific difficulties in operating conditions under the regulations that have arisen for the regulated community as a direct result of the crisis, and why?

Comments are due by June 25, 2020.

As a refresher, DDTC implemented the following changes on May 1:

  1. A two-month extension from the original date of expiration to renewing registration as a manufacturer, exporter, and/or broker and to pay the required fees. The extension covered companies with a registration date of February 29, March 31, April 30, May 31, or June 30, 2020.
  2. The extension by six months of any license or agreement that expires between March 13, 2020 and May 31, 2020—for six (6) months from the original date of expiration so long as there is no change to the scope or value of the authorization and no Name/Address changes are required.
  3. The requirement that a regular employee work at the company’s facilities, allowing the individual to work at a remote work location, so long as the individual is not located in Russia or a country listed in ITAR § 126.1. This change terminates on July 31, 2020, unless otherwise extended in writing.
  4. Authorization for regular employees of licensed entities who are working remotely in a country not currently authorized by a technical assistance agreement, manufacturing license agreement, or exemption to send, receive, or access any technical data authorized for export, re-export, or retransfer to their employer via a technical assistance agreement, manufacturing license agreement, or exemption so long as the regular employee is not located in Russia or a country listed in ITAR § 126.1. This change ends on July 31, 2020, unless otherwise extended in writing.