A Step-by-Step Guide: Registering as an Exporter under ITAR with DDTC


For companies engaged in the export of defense-related articles and services, compliance with the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) is not just a legal requirement but a crucial aspect of doing business responsibly. One of the fundamental steps in ensuring ITAR compliance is registering as an exporter with the U.S. Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC). In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the process of registering as an exporter under ITAR, providing a comprehensive guide to navigate the registration process seamlessly.

Understanding the Importance of Registration:

Under ITAR, any person or entity engaged in the manufacturing, exporting, or brokering of defense articles or services is required to register with the DDTC. Registration serves as a means for the U.S. government to regulate and monitor defense trade activities, ensuring compliance with export control laws and safeguarding national security interests.

Step-by-Step Guide to Registering as an Exporter with DDTC:

  1. Preparation and Eligibility Assessment: Before initiating the registration process, conduct an eligibility assessment to ensure that your business meets the criteria for registration as an exporter under ITAR. Eligible entities typically include manufacturers, exporters, and brokers of defense articles or services.
  2. Access the DDTC Registration Portal: Visit the DDTC’s official website to access the Defense Export Control and Compliance System (DECCS), the online portal for registering as an exporter. Create an account on DECCS if you don’t already have one, and familiarize yourself with the registration requirements and guidelines provided by DDTC.
  3. Complete the Registration Application: Begin the registration process by completing the online registration application within the DECCS portal. Provide accurate and detailed information about your business, including its legal name, address, ownership structure, primary activities, and relevant certifications or licenses.
  4. Submit Required Documentation: Along with the registration application, you’ll need to submit certain supporting documentation to DDTC. This may include corporate documents, such as articles of incorporation, organizational charts, and details of key personnel responsible for ITAR compliance.
  5. Payment of Registration Fee: As part of the registration process, you’ll be required to pay a registration fee to DDTC. The fee amount varies depending on factors such as the type and size of your business. Ensure timely payment of the registration fee to avoid any delays in processing your application.
  6. Review and Verification: Once you’ve submitted the registration application and supporting documentation, DDTC will review your submission for completeness and accuracy. Be prepared to respond to any additional information or clarification requests from DDTC during the review process.
  7. Approval and Issuance of Registration: Upon successful review and verification, DDTC will approve your registration as an exporter under ITAR. You’ll receive a registration code and certificate from DDTC, confirming your status as a registered exporter authorized to engage in defense trade activities.


Registering as an exporter under ITAR with DDTC is a foundational step towards ensuring compliance with U.S. export control regulations and facilitating responsible defense trade practices. By following this step-by-step guide and adhering to DDTC’s registration requirements, companies can establish themselves as authorized exporters of defense articles and services, contributing to the promotion of international security and stability while conducting business ethically and responsibly.