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DDTC Suspends ITAR Controls for Certain Capacitors

The State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls this week temporarily suspended export license requirements for certain capacitors on the U.S. Munitions List. The suspension, valid for six months from Nov. 21, could allow DDTC to better “facilitate” commercial transactions involving the capacitors, including for the energy exploration and aviation sectors.

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The change will specifically suspend the “applicability” of  120.11(c) of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations to capacitors described in U.S. Munitions List Category XIXI(c)(5), military electronics, including “high-energy storage capacitors.” DDTC said its targeting capacitors with a voltage rating of 125 volts or less that have been integrated into and “included as an integral part” of any item not described on the USML.

DDTC “assessed” that it’s in U.S. security and foreign policy interests to better facilitate the commercial uses of these capacitors when used in any items not on the USML. The agency stressed that capacitors described in USML Category XI(c)(5) remain subject to ITAR controls “in all other circumstances,” including as stand-alone items. The ITAR also still covers exports, reexports and retransfers of technical data and defense services related to all defense articles described in USML Category XI(c)(5). The Commerce Department has licensing jurisdiction when the capacitors are integrated into items subject to the Export Administration Regulations, DDTC added.

The agency said any violation of the ITAR or violation of an export license issued before the announcement of this temporary suspension remains a violation of the Arms Export Control Act. DDTC “strongly encourages industry to disclose unauthorized exports, reexports, retransfers, or temporary imports of defense articles, including the subject capacitors, that occurred prior to this temporary suspension.” The temporary suspension is scheduled to end May 21 but could end sooner if DDTC gives notice.