On August 6, 2009, the Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) issued a final rule in the Federal Register amending the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). The new rule, effective immediately, adds an exemption for the temporary export of body armor covered by 22 CFR 121.1, Category X(a)(1). The new rule exempts U.S. individuals who wear body armor for personal safety when traveling to hazardous areas from obtaining a license.
To qualify for the exemption, the body armor must be used exclusively by the individual and must be returned to the U.S. The individual may not re-export the protective equipment to a foreign person or otherwise transfer the ownership. Upon departure, such exports must be declared by filing CBP Form 4457 and require inspection by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer.
Such body armor may be exported to countries not subject to restrictions under ITAR §126.1 and also specifically to Iraq and Afghanistan. For temporary exports to Afghanistan, the rule requires that the general conditions of the rule be met. For temporary exports to Iraq, the U.S. person utilizing the license exemption must either be affiliated with the U.S. Government or, not affiliated with the U.S. Government but traveling to Iraq under direct authorization by the Government of Iraq and engaging in humanitarian activities on behalf of Government of Iraq.