Technical data under the ITAR

A simple definition of Technical data under the ITAR

This week I am going to deviate from the Essentials of Export Controls blog posts to provide information on technical data and how to determine if your information may be considered technical data.

The definition comes straight from the ITAR, 22 CFR 120.10. U.S. Customs and Border Protection provide additional guidance on some common ITAR questions. This blog post will be helpful to all of those people just diving into the ITAR world and who don’t understand when information may be considered technical data.

Technical Data Definition

For ITAR purposes, the term “technical data” means:

  1. Information, other than software as defined in 22 CFR 120.10(4), which is required for the design, development, production, manufacture, assembly, operation, repair, testing, maintenance or modification of defense articles. This includes information in the form of blueprints, drawings, photographs, plans, instructions or documentation.
  2. Classified information relating to defense articles and defense services;
  3. Information covered by an invention secrecy order;
  4. Software as defined in 121.8(f) of this subchapter directly related to defense articles;
  5. This definition does not include information concerning general scientific, mathematical or engineering principles commonly taught in schools, colleges and universities or information in the public domain as defined in 120.11. It also does not include basic marketing information on function or purpose or general system descriptions of defense articles.

Is your information technical data?

Here are some key points you need to ask yourself and your engineers to determine if the information you have should be considered technical data. It may be considered technical data if it:

  1. Contains quantitative information;
  2. Is  not found in the public domain, either in whole or in part;
  3. Was generated by independent R&D for military application;
  4. Was generated under a DoD contract;
  5. Is a genuine engineering scale drawing,  not a “cartoon”;
  6. Provides understanding of sensitive capabilities (e.g. stealth characteristics), or vulnerabilities (e.g. EMI problems);
  7. Provides meaningful insight in the areas of design or manufacturing;
  8. Contains answers to questions involving “how to” and “why”;
  9. Is extracted unabridged from technical documents directly relating to defense articles or defense services;
  10. Goes beyond general scientific, mathematical or engineering principles commonly taught in universities.

These are just a few of the points you should consider when determining if something may be considered technical data. Technical data should not be released to a foreign person without prior written approval from DDTC.

Contact TCS if you need assistance determining if you information is considered technical data or if you need to obtain a license or an agreement to provide the technical data to a foreign person.

Trade Consulting Services  – [email protected] or at 214-810-0204.