This would have made an incredibly boring plot twist for a Superman movie, but it is reasonable to assume that if Superman, the super-strong, super-fast native of the Planet Krypton, were to travel to another country to perform a feat of amazement, he would have to apply for an export license first and have to go through restricted parts screening and classified goods. As a matter of fact anyone who deals in goods, services, or intellectual property included in the United States Munitions List (USML), are responsible for ensuring that all related transactions involving these properties conform to the stringent requirements of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). ITAR may seem like just another set of government regulations which a company must comply but the penalties for ITAR violations can be severe unlike other regulations. With ITAR fines reaching $2 million, an ITAR violation can bankrupt a small or medium-sized company, and do serious damage even to larger firms (catastrophic for an aerospace industry especially in such economy). These penalties are not only limited to companies but may also apply to individuals. Employees, if found culpable, are no longer shielded by their employers for their independent violations. Employees charged under ITAR may find them facing extensive jail time.
Looking deeper into ITAR, these regulations are a set of U.S. Government regulations that requires all manufacturers, exporters and brokers of defense articles, defense services and/or related technical data to control their exports of military and defense goods. Military and defense goods are controlled to limit their availability to foreign countries and adversaries. However, employees may mistakenly violate these export controls by not knowing how far they reach. For example, one violation would be allowing a foreign visitor or colleague—visiting an American facility on American soil—to see something that is ITAR -controlled. Unfortunately, even an innocent mistake can be the basis for very substantial civil fines and stiff penalties. It’s not just companies working directly with the U.S. military that need to care about these regulations. One needs to consider ITAR requirements if any of the following are true: The Company is part of the global supply chain for an organization that works with the U.S. military. This includes suppliers who develop military components for larger aerospace and defense organizations. It can also include suppliers involved in non-manufacturing activities, such as translating manuals and designing product brochures. Non-U.S Company sends defense-related information to U.S. recipients, even if the information was developed completely outside of the U.S. And the worst case, if you are an individual who decides to start selling on eBay the military equipment that your brother stole from the U.S. Marine Corps. (Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security)
The consequences for non-compliance are high: fines, possible jail time, and potential debarment from exporting defense articles, a potential business killer for any aerospace and Defense Company. For instance recently an aircraft OEM paid $ 15 million in fines for alleged unauthorized exports of the Quartz Rate Sensor (QRS)-11, a small, lightweight, fully self-contained Direct Current solid-state gyro device. With the ever expanding Airlines & MROs, it means moving the right products, parts, or tools to right place and right time is a prime necessity. In order to succeed, time-critical shipments often have to cross borders and clear customs without delay. This situation further possesses challenge to the airline industry when it comes to imposing ITAR regulations.
Talking about airline industries, out of several steps which a company can take to ensure that they don’t run afoul of the ITAR compliance is to have an IT solution that can automate and streamline ITAR processes. When ITAR checks are performed manually these tasks can be time-consuming, tedious and error-prone, thus echoing the need for robust ITAR compliance software. There are many standalone ITAR compliance solutions available in the market provided by software giants. However, one has to stress on the word ‘standalone’ and that is where the word ‘integrated’ is weighed upon, thus putting forward software solution offered by aviation software vendors like Ramco. Even though these standalone ITAR compliance solutions provides in-depth coverage on ITAR process they still have to be integrated with legacy systems and thus increases the financial burden on the already struggling aviation industry. (Source: Aviation Week)
“It is very important for software to understand the ecosystem of the industry where it is implemented”
Robust features provided by RAMCO aviation software helps in capturing key ITAR processes within the aviation industry ecosystem are as follows:
- Discrete Tracking of ITAR compliant parts, suppliers and customer and capturing key information pertaining to ITAR compliance.
- Ensuring seamless integration between ITAR compliance process and regular business operations involving stock movement transactions. This help to automate ITAR compliance process within the aviation industry ecosystem.
- Maintain a complete audit trail of transaction to show authorities, when required, classification of products, screened partners, and related documentation designed specifically for compliance inspectors.
- Intelligent notification features to compliance inspectors at discrete level for each transaction impacting ITAR processes and thus improving incident response time for managing important documentation related to ITAR process.
With proper compliance management solutions like the one provided by Ramco, it will help aerospace and defense organizations to ensure that intellectual property and technical data is identified, marked and properly protected to comply with ITAR regulations. The fact that regulated parts, suppliers or customers are identified through an automated process makes the work of ITAR specialist relatively easier by allowing them to complete intensive paperwork required for ITAR compliance at much ahead of the process and thus avoiding delays. By using an integrated ITAR solution organisation can save a lot of time and money. The biggest advantage of using an integrated ITAR solution is that it with the identification of compliance information way ahead of the process avoids potential AOG conditions and help’s an airline company save $ 100,000 each day which he may have to shelve out due to delay in shipments of critical parts because of failure to comply by ITAR regulations.