Posted by Clif Burns at 8:15 am on November 12, 2009
I’ve received some emails from irate subscribers demanding their money back (to steal a joke from Jim Bartlett) due to the paucity of postings lately. Kinder, gentler readers have expressed concern as to whether I have been kidnapped. To the first group, I say, your refund check is in the mail. To the second, I say, I have a brief due this upcoming Monday on an export issue before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and it’s been taking up mountains of time. Posting should be back to normal next week.
In the meantime, for your enjoyment, I offer up two particularly amusing instances, sent to me by readers, of companies that have paid their registration fees to DDTC and are bound and determined to get extra mileage out of their fees with press releases providing novel theories about the benefits of manufacturer registration under Part 122 of the ITAR.
Contestant No. 1 goes for the gold by refusing to call it a registration — no, no, it’s now a “certification.” It demonstrates that DDTC has “certified” that the company “has the knowledge and understanding to fully comply with the Arms Export Control Act (AECA).” I’ll bet you didn’t know there was a test involved, did you? What, you didn’t take one before you sent in your registration form? Uh oh. And for more fun, take a look at the definition of “U.S. person” at the bottom of Contestant No. 1’s press release.
Contestant No. 2 is a company that I at first thought, incorrectly, was the company that froze Ted Williams for future reanimation in 2094. (Even that wouldn’t help the Red Sox at this point.) This company takes a standard approach and merely talks about how it has received registration. Perhaps this company didn’t want such a splashy press release because it looks like it has been providing “specialty cryogenic processing services for sensitive components used in military, aerospace and defense applications” for some time but only became registered just last month. I suppose they are trying to minimize the risk of a directed disclosure.
Contestant No. 1 also serves up this howler: “For practical purposes, ITAR regulations dictate that information and material pertaining to defense and military-related technologies may only be shared with U.S. Persons when approval from the Department of State is received or a special exemption is used.”
Wow. Who knew? I hope DDTC is prepared to receive a few million voluntary disclosures and license applications.
I think Contestant No.1 wins hands down. The link at the bottom of its press release doesn’t exist. Their prize ought to be a “company visit”, which Enforcement division still insists isn’t an audit.
D.C. Circuit? Hmmm. Sounds familiar.
I didn’t know that a “political asylum” could be a U.S. Person. I’m glad CA Design told me.
Is a political asylum where the former political wonks in D.C. go to recuperate?
You would think this would make finding new enforcement cases about as tough as shooting fish in a barrel. A few more fun ones:
“ZESTRON’s ITAR renewal was the result of several weeks of planning to meet the systems crucial security requirements.” http://www.newswiretoday.com/news/52458/
“HighRely is pleased to announce that the United States Department of State has awarded HighRely Incorporated full and complete ITAR registration via Registrant Code MXXXX00 valid through 2009 and beyond via HighRely’s compliance with all aspects of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, Part 122. . . Unlike other companies who are based in the U.S. but owned by foreign companies or non-Americans and with restrictions making them ineligible for ITAR compliance, HighRely is fully owned and operated 100% by U.S. citizens as denoted by HighRely’s ITAR registration.” http://www.prleap.com/pr/129466/
“Renowned manufacturer of circuit boards for military applications, Saline Lectronics has announced the completion of registration under the U.S. Department of State’s International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).” http://www.lectronics.net/itar-registration-for-military.php
I’ve been wondering. How many similarly breathless registration announcements do we see every year? At least half a dozen or so? I’m skeptical that these eager new registrants would all independently and spontaneously decide to issue misleading press releases about a rather pedestrian bureaucratic event. Are there PR or trade consultants out there actually advising clients to hype their DDTC registrations?
I agree with Pat B. A lot of them also seem to be similar in their wording. If registration was published, I would have believed that there is a PR firm out there sending letters much along the same lines as certain (unscrupulous IMO) law firms that send out letters to recent accident victims.
However, being that registration isn’t published, I wonder if some of these companies were at the seminars I have attended where we were advised that being compliant could be used as a marketing tool and they just ran with it.
It is nice to learn from Contestant 1 they have attended 3 trade shows in China since 2008, just for “practical purposes”. My vote is also for Contestant 1. They should spin the big wheel at the DDTC.