Guidelines for DSP-85 Applications- Updated


By: Anna Barone

DSP-85 Guidance as of 6/21/2011:  DSP-85 Applications – Supplemental Guidance. DSP-85s are for transactions involving classified defense articles and technical data. DSP-85s have an option for all export and import transactions – permanent export, temporary export and temporary import – as requested in Block 3 of the form. Only one type of transaction can be requested per form.

Facility Security Clearance Code (FSC)

For each entry which requires the identification of an entity – domestic or foreign – the FSC or foreign country equivalent must be provided if that entity will have access, title, custody or control of the defense articles. This information is not required for foreign governments but must be provided for non-government entities.

If an entity has not received a FSC, the phrase “Application Pending” may be entered. However the applicant must notify the assigned Licensing Officer of the
code information once received. If the information is not received when the application is ready for final review it will be considered for Return Without Action.

If the FSC is not identified for a required entity, a letter of explanation must be provided by the applicant requesting an exception.

Defense Security Service (DSS)

Block 22 requires the identification of the cognizant DSS office for all U.S. entities identified on the license application. If multiple U.S. entities are identified, each DSS entry should identify which U.S. entity it relates to. Embassies are not covered by a specific DSS office so the information entered may be the cognizant U.S. military service for the subject defense articles.

Country of Ultimate Destination

Block 4 requires the applicant to identify the country of ultimate destination (permanent export) or temporary sojourn (temporary export). For the permanent export of defense articles, only one country can be identified. For temporary exports, multiple countries can be identified. The country(ies) identified in Block 4 must match the information provided in Block 17.

Block 5 relates to temporary import applications only and requires the applicant to identify the country from which the subject defense articles have been imported. The country to which the subject defense articles will be shipped or returned must be identified in Block 4 as the country of final destination.


Block 12 of the license application requires the identification of the subject defense articles. The accepted classification terms are: TS for Top Secret, S for Secret, C for Confidential, U for Unclassified and R for Restricted. Restricted is only used by foreign governments. If Restricted is identified, then the initials FGI (Foreign Government Information) and the classifying country must be entered after Restricted.

Any submission of an application containing classified information must comply with the marking and packaging requirements of the National Industrial Security Procedures and Operating Manual (NISPOM).

Supporting Documentation

Per the instructions for completion of the DSP-85, all applications must be submitted with an original and 5 (five) copies of the full application. It is requested that the original not be stapled.


Any amendments in accordance with 22 CFR 123.25(b) will continue to be processed utilizing the DSP-119 form.

Empowered Official Signatures

The signature required per 22 CFR 126.13 in Block 24 does not need to be an original, ink signature. A copied signature is acceptable.

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