What is ITAR Compliance & Why is it Important? | Quality Certifications | Defense Industry | Mueller Corporation

When a manufacturer creates parts for the US government, their work is held to the highest standards. This includes being held to security regulations that ensure the parts and designs don’t fall into the wrong hands. When manufacturers uphold a ITAR compliance, it helps ensure the security of the information and parts being produced.

The ITAR, or International Traffic in Arms Regulations, are set forth by the US government to help control the manufacture, sale, and distribution of parts and information related to defense and space programs. These regulations are in place to ensure that:

  • Only US citizens or specially-designated people are allowed access to parts or information
  • Only trusted companies are allowed to manufacture parts for the military
  • The highest standards of quality are kept in the manufacturing process
  • Parts and information are only shared with those who need to have access
  • Parts and information are secured from start to finish

The ITAR spells out in detail the types of security measures required when manufacturing or distributing parts being built for the US government.

ITAR compliance applies to everyone involved in a project

While manufacturers absolutely need to be ITAR compliant in order to have the right to make parts, everyone involved in the process must be compliant, as well. Wholesalers, contractors, software providers, distributors, and third-party vendors all must be ITAR compliant. If anyone within a project is not ITAR compliant, penalties may be assessed on anyone within the chain.

The United States Munitions List (USML)

The US government has a list of 21 defense articles that fall under ITAR compliance. Manufacturers producing guns, ammunition, ground vehicles, aircraft, military electronics, and many other items must be ITAR compliant.

Penalties for breaking ITAR compliance

The penalties associated with breaking ITAR compliance vary from situation to situation. Civil fines up to $500,000 per violation are allowed, as well as criminal fines up to $1,000,000. Imprisonment up to 10 years per violation is also a possibility for those who break compliance.

ITAR compliance penalties are very high due to the sensitive nature of the parts being produced. If the designs, information, or parts were to fall into the hands of an enemy nation, the consequences could be dire. The ITAR helps ensure that everyone involved with the development process is securing their aspect of the project as well as possible.

Obtaining ITAR compliance

Manufacturers that want to create parts for the US government need to obtain ITAR compliance status. They need to implement a documented ITAR compliance program that fits the standards of the regulations. This can include tracking, monitoring, and auditing technical data related to every aspect of production and distribution.

Companies that wish to make parts for the US government must also register with the DDTC (Directorate of Defense Trade Controls). This is a registration that must be renewed annually.


Manufacturers who are ITAR compliant show that they take the security of their information very seriously. They can be counted on for top-quality work and the highest levels of secrecy when dealing with sensitive information.

Mueller is proud to be ITAR compliant, having developed parts for a wide range of government agencies. You can count on us to keep our work ITAR compliant in every way.


About Mueller Corporation

Founded in 1955, Mueller Corporation offers customers a diversity of vacuum metalized and industrial coatings to satisfy any decorative or functional finishing needs. Mueller Corporation maintains the highest customer satisfaction and quality assurance by continuously investing in its products and its people. With an emphasis on developing innovative coatings through research and development and continual improvement of our process through emerging technologies and applications, Mueller Corporation remains the leader in functional and decorative coatings for brands across the globe.