[amsat-bb] Re: ITAR is interesting to me

Daniel Kekez va3kkz at amsat.org
Sun Oct 18 21:11:14 PDT 2009

Bruce Robertson wrote:
>  Given that AMSAT-NA is by definition a collaboration between amateurs
> on both sides of the US/Canada border, do we have a clear idea where
> ITAR stands with respect to Canadian collaborators? I know that in
> 1999 the previous exemption was revoked, but that in 2001 there were
> some changes again.

To the best of my knowledge, Canada holds no special status with regard
to ITAR.

Consider ITAR to be a "goods and information diode": Canada can sell
space technology to an American company and can provide information.
However, the American company cannot describe their application in
detail or send any information North of the border without a Technical
Assistance Agreement in place between the particular organizations. And
US export permits are needed to send space technology to Canada.

Furthermore, if a Canadian company wishes to use US technology on a
Canadian satellite and then launch with foreign launcher, the country
from which the launch takes place must also be specified (and approved)
on the US Export Permit. The US State department must be satisfied that
all precautions are being taken to protect the technology when it is in
a foreign country.

Canada does have its own restrictions for space technology under the
Controlled Goods Program legislated by the Defence Production Act. And
export permits are needed when sending space technology outside of the
country. The process, however, is far less onerous than ITAR. Details on
the Canadian system can be found at

-Daniel, VA3KKZ

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