Sensitive Technologies

"Just give me a simple list". If only it were that easy.

The ITAR printed in manual form is about 180 pages, plus anything "designed, developed, configured, adapted, or modified for a military application." The EAR is online, and the Commerce Control List alone is almost 700 pages. Relying on a simple list increases the risk of getting it wrong — thinking you need a license when you don't, or thinking you don't when you really do.

And, since the EAR and the ITAR are different, particularly in their international application, you need to know whether your device is EAR or ITAR. With these caveats, following is a very rough and incomplete map of controlled items—bear in mind that each item may include:

  • Equipment to develop or produce the item
  • Materials required to produce the item
  • Software to develop, produce, or use the item
  • Technology to develop, produce, or use the item
  • Parts, components, attachments, accessories

Partial list of ITAR items:

  • Weapons: sidearms, shotguns, silencers, guns, flame throwers, ammunition
  • Missiles, rockets, launch vehicles, power plants, advanced composite ablative materials
  • Bombs, mines: equipment for detecting/detonating
  • Explosives, propellants, incendiary agents
  • Military ships and naval systems; amphibious vehicles
  • Military aircraft (including surveillance, aerial mapping); inertial navigation systems, inertial measurement units (IMUs), Altitude and Heading Reference Systems (AHRS); unmanned aerial vehicles; ground effect machines
  • Protective personnel equipment (including body armor, radar/infrared-resistant clothing)
  • Military electronics (including underwater sound equipment, radar, military computers)
  • Electronic intelligence, surveillance, or monitoring systems (and systems to counteract these)
  • Infrared sensors (cameras, focal plane arrays, image intensification, night sighting)
  • Carbon/carbon billets and preforms with 3+D reinforcement
  • Carbon/carbon and metal matrix composites
  • Chemical agents (nerve agents, vesicant agents, incapacitating agents) and their precursors; biological agents; tear gases, defoliants; equipment to handle or protect against any of these
  • Spacecraft (including satellites); radiation-hardened integrated circuits;
  • Nuclear weapons; military radiation detection/measurement
  • Directed energy weapons (laser, particle beam, radio)
  • Submersible vessels (manned or unmanned, tethered or untethered)

Partial list of EAR items:

  • Nuclear reactors, equipment for nuclear fuel production or heavy water production
  • Composite structures or laminates,
  • Body armor
  • Reduced observable (stealth) materials
  • Human, animal, and plant pathogens, genetic elements, genetically-modified organisms
  • Chemical weapons, chemicals, precursors
  • Numerically controlled machine tools and optical finishing tools
  • Radar, microwave systems and components
  • Mass spectrometers
  • Semiconductor devices: compound semiconductor, high temperature, radiation hardened
  • Semiconductor device manufacturing equipment, materials, technology
  • Telecommunications systems, surveillance devices
  • Encryption systems, software
  • Infrared sources and detectors
  • Inertial navigation systems
  • Autonomous submersible vehicles
  • Gas turbine engines
  • Space launch vehicles
  • Unmanned aerial vehicles

Need help?

Contact the MIT Export Control Compliance Team at, or by phone at 617-253-2762 (Janet Johnston).