Understanding ITAR Part 129 Requirements: A Comprehensive Guide

The International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) is a critical component of United States national security and foreign policy, ensuring that defense-related technologies do not fall into the wrong hands. One of the essential parts of ITAR is Part 129, which deals with the registration and licensing requirements for brokers involved in the export of defense articles and services. This blog post will delve into the intricacies of ITAR Part 129, providing a clear understanding of its requirements and implications.

What is ITAR Part 129?

ITAR Part 129 outlines the obligations for brokers who facilitate the export, import, and transfer of defense articles and services covered under the U.S. Munitions List (USML). This part is crucial for maintaining control over sensitive defense technologies and ensuring that only authorized entities engage in such transactions.

Key Definitions

  • Broker: A person who acts as an agent for others in negotiating or arranging contracts, purchases, sales, or transfers of defense articles or services.
  • Defense Articles: Items listed on the USML, including weapons, ammunition, military vehicles, and technical data related to these items.
  • Defense Services: Assistance related to defense articles, such as training, repair, and maintenance.

Registration Requirements

Under ITAR Part 129, brokers must register with the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC). The registration process involves:

  1. Filing an Application: Brokers must submit a completed DS-2032 form to the DDTC, providing detailed information about their business, ownership, and activities.
  2. Paying a Fee: An annual registration fee, which varies based on the size and scope of the business, must be paid.
  3. Renewing Annually: Registration is valid for one year and must be renewed annually, with updated information and payment of the annual fee.

Licensing Requirements

In addition to registration, brokers must obtain approval from the DDTC for each brokering activity involving defense articles and services. This includes:

  1. Submitting a License Application: A detailed license application must be submitted, outlining the specific defense articles or services involved, the parties to the transaction, and the terms of the arrangement.
  2. Receiving DDTC Approval: The DDTC reviews the application to ensure the transaction aligns with U.S. national security and foreign policy interests. Approval must be obtained before proceeding with the transaction.  Certain transactions may qualify for an exemption from DDTC Approval requirements.

Recordkeeping and Reporting

Brokers are required to maintain comprehensive records of their activities for a minimum of five years. These records must include:

  • Copies of all contracts and agreements related to brokering activities.
  • Correspondence with the DDTC, including registration and license applications.
  • Documentation of all transactions involving defense articles and services.

Brokers must also submit annual reports to the DDTC, detailing their brokering activities over the past year. This report must include information on:

  • The defense articles and services involved.
  • The foreign parties to the transactions.
  • The financial details of each transaction.

Compliance and Penalties

Compliance with ITAR Part 129 is non-negotiable. Failure to adhere to these requirements can result in severe penalties, including:

  • Civil Penalties: Fines up to $1,163,217 per violation.
  • Criminal Penalties: Imprisonment for up to 20 years.
  • Debarment: Prohibition from participating in any future defense trade activities.

Best Practices for Brokers

To ensure compliance with ITAR Part 129, brokers should adopt the following best practices:

  • Conduct Due Diligence: Thoroughly vet all parties involved in brokering activities to ensure they are not on any prohibited lists.
  • Implement Internal Controls: Establish robust internal compliance programs to monitor and manage ITAR-related activities.
  • Stay Informed: Regularly review updates to ITAR regulations and guidance from the DDTC to remain compliant with any changes.


ITAR Part 129 plays a crucial role in safeguarding U.S. national security by regulating the activities of brokers in the defense trade. By understanding and adhering to these requirements, brokers can contribute to the responsible transfer of defense technologies and services, ensuring they do not fall into the wrong hands. Compliance with ITAR Part 129 is not only a legal obligation but also a critical component of maintaining global security and protecting U.S. interests.