Monthly Archives: August 2017

Montenegro Joins NATO: What it Means for Agreements and ITAR Exemptions

Montenegro officially joined NATO on June 5, 2017.  The State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) published a notice that “it is the policy of the Department of State that the term “North Atlantic Treaty Organization” (“NATO”) in the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (“ITAR”) includes Montenegro for the purpose of any subject transactions.”  An amendment to the NATO country list at ITAR section 120.31 is expected.

For existing agreements that include NATO member states, but not Montenegro, amendments would be required to add Montenegro as a transfer territory (see section 3.14 “Use of Collective Language” in the Guidelines for Preparing Agreements):

Using collective terms based on a collective organization (e.g., NATO, EU, AU, ESA) without defining territories for the transfer of defense articles or the provision of defense services is not authorized. Any proposed agreement submitted to DTCL must specifically list the countries of the collective organization since membership in such collective organizations is subject to change.

Notable ITAR exemptions available to Montenegro as a NATO member include 123.9(e) (reexports or retransfers of U.S.-origin components incorporated into a foreign defense article), 124.2 (maintenance training), and 126.18 (dual and third-country national employees of foreign parties).  NATO members are also subject to the higher Congressional Notification thresholds under 123.15 ($25 million for Major Defense Equipment and $100 million for defense articles and services generally).

(None of the information is intended to be authoritative official or professional legal advice. Consult your own legal counsel or compliance specialists before taking actions based upon this blog or other unofficial sources.)