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

Bruce Robertson ve9qrp at gmail.com
Mon Oct 19 04:38:57 PDT 2009

Thank-you, Daniel for this helpful reply. Your 'diode' analogy was excellent.

Using the links provided by Samudra above, I was able to find some
parts of ITAR that exempt Canada. Specifically, 126.5(b), which in
turn has restrictions on *it* in the following passages. One of these
restrictions is on "all spacecraft in category XV(a) except commercial
satellites". This is a bit frustrating, since it seems likely that the
regulation means by 'commercial satellites' 'satellites with no
national security implications'; but for we amateurs, if we read the
letter of the law, 'commercial' excludes us as an apparent

I fully admit that I might have misunderstood the regulations, since
they are, quite appropriately, written in a particular sub-dialect of
legal language. Obviously any speculation on this list is no
substitution for the professional opinion of a lawyer.

Finally, let me say that I really appreciate the board tackling this
issue so directly. It must seem pretty tangential to the corp's larger
project, and I know if I were in their shoes I'd find it rather
frustrating work.

73, Bruce

On Mon, Oct 19, 2009 at 1:11 AM, Daniel Kekez <va3kkz at amsat.org> wrote:
> 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 1999 the previous exemption was revoked, but that in 2001 there were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
> http://www.ssi-iss.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/dmc-cgd/apropos-about/apercu-overview-eng.html
> 73,
> -Daniel, VA3KKZ

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