Certifications are one of the ways in which you can narrow down your options when choosing the right electronics contract manufacturer (CM) for your project. Special certifications according to your industry can show a CM’s commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. Lack of certification, on the other hand, can mean the CM’s manufacturing processes might not fulfill accepted regulatory standards – possibly exposing your company to manufacturing inefficiencies and product defects. Always check a CM’s certifications before making your choice.
What Is ITAR?
The International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) is one of the certifications your electronics CM must have if you’re interested in military and aerospace printed circuit board assembly (PCBA). ITAR is a highly-regarded certificate among PCB manufacturers. It contains pages of national and international manufacturing requirements based on the type of equipment, services, and data the enterprise deals with. ITAR may apply to any organization involved in the life cycle of defense-related materials.
The ITAR contains regularly-updated requirements to reflect changes in the current political and security climates, as well as the most recent technologies. The Department of State enforces ITAR, which controls the import and export of defense-related equipment, materials, and electronic products. ITAR restricts sensitive information relating to the design and production of military and intelligence devices. Companies that manufacture such products must have ITAR registration to do so legally.
ITAR registration is a mark of a high-quality, customer-centric manufacturing facility. Having an up-to-date ITAR registration means that an electronics CM has gone to great lengths to ensure the quality and consistency of its manufacturing facility and processes. It shows a dedication to the craft of PCBA, as well as providing a quality guarantee to customers. It also ensures that the facility has the equipment, space, and resources to successfully complete complex military projects. In an industry as delicate as aerospace and defense, ITAR registration can give customers peace of mind in choosing a CM.
What Does It Take to Become ITAR Registered?
The critical nature of the military and aerospace industries make for especially tough guidelines and requirements for CMs. An electronics CM has to fulfill stringent regulations and standards to obtain ITAR registration. If a CM has ITAR registration, it is no small feat. It means the CM has worked hard to make all of its equipment, engineers, designs, tests, and processes compatible with the rigorous prerequisites for this international certification. Some of the requirements for ITAR registration include:
- Registration with the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC). All manufacturers and others that deal with defense articles, services, and technical data must register with the DDTC before they can qualify for ITAR registration. DDTC registration helps the government track who is involved in controlled defense activities. It alone does not give an entity the right or privilege to export or import items.
- Compliance with ITAR expectations. The federal government expects all ITAR-registered manufacturers to possess a knowledge of ITAR regulations. CMs must show that they have the education and training in these rules to receive the registration. CMs cannot violate ITAR regulations in any way, or else risk serious criminal and civil penalties. The ITAR document does not list the exact requirements. CMs must enroll in special training to understand these requirements.
- Self-certification. ITAR registration is unique in that the company itself must certify that it complies with ITAR before they manufacture or supply defense-related materials. The CM will generally need to pay for education on ITAR in the form of a course to gain the knowledge necessary not to breach any ITAR rules. Then, the government will need to see proof of a CM’s certification before granting the registration.
ITAR registration and staying current are not easy tasks for an electronics CM. Complying with ITAR can take months of education and making changes within the manufacturing facility. Yet ITAR registration is what’s necessary for a CM to legally design and develop materials for defense. Always check a prospective CM for ITAR registration if you need products in the military or aerospace industry. ITAR is the gold standard for military and defense manufacturing.
How Do CMs Use ITAR Registration in Business?
Saline Lectronics is proud to be ITAR-registered. We’ve assembled a variety of products for military and defense customers, including data encryption units, black boxes, control systems, detection equipment, and flight control computers. We use our ITAR registration to comply with the law and prove to customers that we’re a trustworthy electronics manufacturer in this sensitive industry. Our company keeps up ongoing ITAR standard updates and registration renewals to stay compliant with federal law. Explore all of our certifications to prove we’re the right electronics contract manufacturer for you.