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

Bob McGwier rwmcgwier at gmail.com
Mon Oct 26 12:37:53 PDT 2009

Because we asked that we be treated in exactly the manner you described 
and were rebuffed.


John P. Toscano wrote:
> Bob McGwier wrote:
>> ANY aspect dealing with a satellite, software, hardware, ground 
>> stations (hardware, software, protocols, etc.), ideas, random 
>> ejaculations from a diseased mind or whatever that deals with 
>> spacecraft or ground stations are DEEMED EXPORTS when they depart a 
>> U.S. citizen and are delivered to a non-U.S. citizen.  It is a nearly 
>> impossible task to abide by and one that really makes me want to 
>> throw my hands up in despair and walk away.
>> There are exceptions for classrooms and courses taught in U.S. 
>> university's.  A person, even a non-U.S. citizen, who can pay for 
>> taking a course, may go and involve themselves in course work, even 
>> if it is dealing with the design, construction, and control of 
>> spacecraft during the course work.  Some of this applies to your 
>> earlier questions but for US service academies,  there are very few 
>> non-U.S. citizens in them.
> Bob:
> I would not dream of second-guessing you for a moment, since you are 
> fully engaged in this stuff and I am simply an interested observer.
> However, why doesn't the following quotation directly from the ITAR 
> regulations provide the exemption we need? The quotation comes from 
> the section that defines what are the items that are covered by ITAR:
> ITAR Part 121 - The United States Munitions List
> -----------------------< begin quote >-------------------------------
> Category XV - Spacecraft Systems and Associated Equipment
> *(a) Spacecraft, including communications satellites, remote sensing 
> satellites, scientific satellites, research satellites, navigation 
> satellites, experimental and multi-mission satellites.
> *NOTE TO PARAGRAPH (a): Commercial communications satellites, 
> scientific satellites, research satellites, and experimental 
> satellites are designated as SME only when the equipment is intended 
> for use by the armed forces of any foreign country.
> -----------------------< end quote >---------------------------------
> Note that SME refers to "Significant Military Equipment"
> Paragraph (a) seems to cover everything and anything having to do with 
> satellites, but the asterisk and "NOTE" attached to it seems to say 
> that an Amateur radio satellite for use by Amateurs instead of foreign 
> armed forces should be exempted, doesn't it?
> Granted, I realize that we have already lost one argument with ITAR 
> about our past cooperation with AMSAT-DL, but is there some compelling 
> reason why the lawyers didn't point out this exception?
> Just wondering...
> If I had to guess the answer myself, after looking at the horribly 
> convoluted language of the small piece of the ITAR regulations that I 
> have looked at, there is probably another paragraph elsewhere that 
> effectively says, "we were just kidding when we said that it had to be 
> used by foreign armed forces, we really mean it to cover everything"
> John
> W0JT

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