What is Direct Commercial Sales Process to Sell to Foreign Militaries?

The U.S. Government directly, and indirectly, benefits from the transfer of military systems or technologies to end users and foreign governments. The transfers of defense technology equip the country’s allies and international friends with the ability necessary to address both global and regional security issues. Also, foreign sales help to boost the United States industrial base by providing capital for innovation, lowering the overall defense systems, and maintaining productivity.

The Directorate of Defense Trade Controls is responsible for issuing and administering the licenses that permit vendors in the U.S. to sell any type of defense item to a foreign end user. It is the role of the Bureau of Industry and Security to issue the necessary export licenses for the sales of certain and dual-use defense items.

In the export approval process, the department of Defense is required to review the proposed transfers for issues related to national security concerns and then provide one of the following recommendations:

  • Approval
  • Return for additional information
  • Approval with additional measures that help to manage the risk of misuses or diversion by any foreign party
  • Denial

The recommendation from the Department is then forwarded to the licensing agency and is one of the USG Interagency positions Commerce and State consider when deciding whether or not a license will be issued.

DTSA, which is the lead agency of the Department of Defense related to export license reviews will conduct an in-depth national security review of any export license requests for a transfer of defense-related goods from Commerce and State. Also, DTSA works very closely with the International and Industry counterparts prior to licenses being requested to find any possible foreign disclosure or technology security problems.

The recommendations for license distribution is assessed by many different departments and offices throughout the government. Also, DTSA even has an in-house staff of technologists, information security specialists, and foreign affairs specialists that offer technology security recommendations. This ensures the license is only issued to companies proven to accept and meet all regulations and requirements for exporting goods – of any type – to foreign militaries.

In some cases, the DTSA Licensing Specialists have opposing positions regarding the issuance of the licenses. This results in the DoD having the final say-so to ensure that the U.S. technological edge held by the military is maintained and protected.

If you plan to export goods to a foreign military then going through the licensing process to do so, is a must. While it may seem intensive, it is only because it is in an effort to protect sensitive data and information and ensure it does not fall into the wrong hands. There are also countless agencies and services that can help those who have goods to export acquire the needed licensing and then meet all requirements for acquiring goods.

Need assistance in navigating Direct Commercial Sales rules and other export compliance programs? Contact DXL Solutions, your international defense sales turn-key partner.