Export License Requirements

The U.S. Government views the sale, export, and re-transfer of defense articles and defense services as an integral part of safeguarding U.S. national security and furthering U.S. foreign policy objectives. The Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), in accordance with 22 U.S.C. 2778-2780 of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and the International Traffic in Arms  Regulations (ITAR) (22 CFR Parts 120-130), is charged with controlling the export and temporary import of defense articles and defense services covered by the United States Munitions List (USML).

An export license, issued by the U.S. Government, is required for transfer of certain technology, software, and equipment to non-U.S. persons or entities, whether this transfer takes place inside or outside the United States. Any person who intends to export a defense article must obtain the approval of the Defense Trade Controls prior to the export or temporary import, unless the export or temporary import qualifies for an exemption.

Do Defense Export Controls Apply to Me?

  1. Find out if what you want to export is on the United States Munitions List (USML).
  2. Not sure if the item to be exported is on the USML then file a Commodity Jurisdiction request.
  3. If what you want to export is on the USML, then you must be registered with the DDTC.
  4. After you are registered with the DDTC you may apply for your export license.


  1. The company requiring an export license must be registered with the DDTC with a signature of the company’s Empowered Official on the application before submitting a DSP 5.
  2. It is important to note that any manufacturers, exporters, and brokers of defense articles, defense services, or related technical data be registered with the Department of Defense Trade Controls.
  3. Registration is primarily a means to provide the U.S. Government with necessary information on who is involved in certain manufacturing and exporting activities. Registration does not confer any export rights or privileges, but is a precondition for the issuance of any license or other approval for export.
  4. Registrants, in accordance with the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), are charged a fee.

What is a DSP 5?

  1. A Permanent Export License (DSP 5) is for the permanent export of unclassified articles or items found on the United States Munitions List (USML) which is defined in the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).


When submitting your DSP 5 license, the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls may require all pertinent documentary information regarding the potential transaction as follows:

  1. Complete the DSP 5 application form which may require pertinent information regarding the export transaction.
  2. Attachments and supporting technical data or brochures will need to be submitted either in electronic format or seven collated copies.
  3. If the request is limited to renewal of a previous license or for export spare parts, only two sets of attachments and a copy of the previous license should be submitted.
  4. An application for a license under this part for the permanent export of defense articles sold commercially must be accompanied by a copy of a purchase order, letter of intent or other appropriate documentation.
  5. A statement concerning the payment of political contributions, fees and commissions must accompany a permanent export application if the export involves defense articles or defense services valued in an amount of $ 500,000 or more and is being sold commercially to or for the use of the armed forces of a foreign country or international organization.
  6. The DSP 5 does not allow for the export of manufacturing information or technical assistance.
  7. It is the responsibility of the company to inform employees of the scope and purpose of the DSP 5.

Process Steps

  1. Is your company registered with approval of the DDTC? If not, obtain a registration package through http://www.pmddtc.state.gov/registration/package.html.
  2. Does your company have a security certificate from the DDTC to submit a license? If not, obtain a security certificate through http://www.pmddtc.state.gov/dtrade/ documents/DTrade_DSP_5_Instructions.pdf.
  3. Submit the documentation needed for a DSP 5 license with a digital signature from the Empowered Official who then submits to DTC.
  4. D Trade tracks the progress of the submitted license.
  5. D Trade supplies a decision on the DSP 5 application.
  6. Upon approval provisions are reviewed. If not approved the next course of action is decided.

Information Required on a DSP 5 License Application

  1. Legal company name, address, and telephone number.
  2. Company DDTC registration number (if available).
  3. Company name, address, and telephone of end user.
  4. Name(s), addresses(s), and telephone number(s) of foreign consignees, brokers, and agents. Any company or person who will be involved with the article before arriving to the end user.
  5. List the freight forwarder responsible for the export.
  6. Exporting company must have a letter of intent or purchase order from end user showing end user name, address, telephone number, items for purchase, quantity, cost, and end use.
  7. If this is not supplied, the license will be Returned Without Action (RWA).
  8. Return with the license a document that explains end use of end use if there are no documents or brochures available.
  9. Provide descriptive information and brochures.
  10. If there are precedent licenses relating to this export then supply the license numbers.

Processing Time

  1. Up to two months depending on staffing allocations.

Final Notes

  1. When your company is no longer in the business of manufacturing, exporting or brokering defense articles or defense services, you must notify DDTC in writing at least 30 days prior to the expiration of your registration code.
  2. The letter should include a certification made by a senior officer listed on the most current DS-2032 Statement of Registration that your registration code will lapse and that your company will no longer be in the business of manufacturing, exporting or brokering defense articles or defense services.
  3. The correspondence must include the following statement: “Under penalty according to Federal Law (22 CFR 127.2; 22 USC 2778; 18 USC 1001) I (insert name of person signing letter), as authorized by (name of registered entity) warrant the truth of the statements made herein.”

Comments are closed.