DDTC Amends Policy on Review Time for ITAR License Applications

On December 3, 2009, the Department of State's Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) issued a notice in the Federal Register adding a sixth national security exception to the general 60 day license adjudication deadline. 

National Security Presidential Directive-56 signed on January 22, 2008, instructs the Department of State to complete the review and adjudication of license applications within 60 days of receipt, except in cases where national security exceptions apply. In addition to the five national security exceptions published in April 2008, Department of State's experience has shown that an additional exception to the license review time is required. 

Specifically, it has been noted that certain circumstances may require the Department of State to initiate a review of an established export policy relevant to license applications, which might result in cases that have been approvable before the review being returned without action to the applicant while the review is ongoing. In such situations, enforcing the 60-day deadline without ability to account for these types of situations might result in another applicant's license, submitted after the first license but that had not reached the 60-day headline, being approved once the review is complete, thus creating an unlevel playing field. Therefore, the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) issued a notice in the Federal Register adding the sixth exception to account for this issue, and now the following national security exceptions are applicable:

(1)    When a Congressional Notification is required (notification thresholds differ based on the dollar value, countries involved in the transaction and defense articles and services);
(2)    When required Government Assurances have not been received;
(3)    When end-use checks have not been completed; 
(4)    When the Department of Defense has not yet completed its review;
(5)    When a Waiver of restrictions is required; and 

(6)    When a related export policy is under active review and pending final determination by the State Department.