Archive for the ‘Sri Lanka’ Category

Update on Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam Embargoes

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016 by Danielle McClellan


Effective November 4, 2016 the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has amended the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to implement changes in controls on the arms and related material to Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam.  Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam will be removed from Country Group D, this change means that the countries will no longer be subject to additional restrictions including de minimis US content, license exception availability, and licensing policies for specific items.

This final ruling has also added the addition of India as a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) which occurred on June 27, 2016.

The changes are:

  • Supplement No. 1 to part 738 ‘‘Commerce Country Chart’’ is amended by removing the footnote notation number 1 from ‘‘Cote d’Ivoire’’ and ‘‘Liberia’’
  • Supplement No. 1 to part 740, Country Group D, is amended by:
    • Removing the entries for ‘‘Cote d’Ivoire’’, ‘‘Liberia’’ and ‘‘Sri Lanka’’; and
    • Removing the ‘‘X’’ under column D:5 ‘‘U.S. Arms Embargoed Countries’’ for ‘‘Vietnam’’
  • Section 742.5 is amended by removing the clause ‘‘, and India as an MTCR adherent,’’ from the first sentence of paragraph (d)
  • Section 746.1 is amended by removing ‘‘Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast),’’ and ‘‘Liberia,’’ from the list of countries in paragraph (b)(2)

Federal Register Notice:

Letter to the Editor from R. Edelstein

Monday, May 19th, 2008 by John Black


By: John Black

Reading your (slightly) tongue in cheek article on the ITAR status of Sri Lanka sent my deranged mind wandering on strange interpretations for the ITAR exemption permitting Americans to export three weapons and a thousand rounds of ammo temporarily “for personal use”. Now a gun exported and returned would be a temporary exportation, in the spirit of the regulations.

But if you USE the weapon abroad, you would expend some of the rounds, so wouldn’t that constitute a permanent export? Even if you picked up your brass and recovered the bullets, the powder would be gone and it would be in a vastly altered state. And if you fired the bullets into another person, wouldn’t that constitute a transfer of ownership? Or are you presumed to own the bullets even after they reside inside the body of another?

What if you were to fire the weapon across the border with another country. Wouldn’t that be a “reexport”? Or if you shoot someone and they manage to drag themselves across the border into another country? (Some of those countries are so small that just in falling, you could cross the line!) The “Expended Round Report” could become quite complicated.

Ronald E. Edelstein, CHB
Global Trade Compliance Manager
Freescale Semiconductors

Thanks for you insight regarding the potential trap of using the ITAR exemption for temporary exports of 3 guns and 1000 rounds of ammo for personal use. I like the way you think.

For the record, ITAR 123.17(e) authorizes permanent exports of ammo for personal use and 123.17(c) authorizes temporary exports of ammo for personal use. So, if you plan to not bring any of the ammo home, you might want to use the 123.17(e) exemption.

You pointed out the risks of using 123.17(c) for a temporary export of ammo. I guess the risk is that if you declare 123.17(e) for your 1000 rounds of ammo for permanent export, you can’t bring it back home with you and, since 123.17(3) is personal use only, I guess you gotta load all of it into your gun and shoot it off until you use up all 1000 rounds because you can’t give the ammo to somebody else overseas. (And don’t forget to destroy those spent shell casings!)

John Black

No ITAR Exemptions for Sri Lanka – Unless You Want to Carry Some Guns When You Visit

Friday, May 16th, 2008 by John Black


By: John Black

The US Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) amended the International Traffic in Arms Regulations to add Sri Lanka to the list of prohibited countries. Effective March 24, 2008, DDTC will not approve any licenses or agreements for Sri Lanka. There will be a possibility that licenses may be issued for technical data or equipment for maritime or air surveillance and communications, but only after a case-by-case review by DDTC.

Importantly, this means that exemptions may not be used for Sri Lanka.

But, of course you can use the ITAR 123.17 exemption to carry three guns and a thousand rounds of ammo with you if you travel to Sri Lanka, or to any other ITAR 126.1 country for that matter. You gotta love the 123.17 availability so that Americans can be fully armed when they take a vacation to Venezuela or Belarus. No sir, you can’t use the temporary import exemption in ITAR 123.4 to fix a broken military radio, but you can be packing heat when you go to see Panduwasnuwara in Sri Lanka. Only in America would we require an export license for a company to send some spare parts to the US Army fighting a war in Iraq but let me carry a thousand rounds of ammo and 3 guns on my family vacation to Costa Rica.

More information:

Man Gets Five Years for ITAR Violations Related to Tamil Tigers

Thursday, January 10th, 2008 by Danielle McClellan


By: Danielle McClellan

On January 10, 2008, Thirunavukarasu Varatharasa, a citizen of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, was sentenced to 57 months in prison and three years of supervised release after being convicted of conspiracy to provide material support to a the Tamil Tigers, a designated foreign terrorist organization and attempted exportation of arms and munitions.

From April to September 29, 2006 Varatharasa and his associates, Haji Subandi, Haniffa Osman, and Erick Wotulo, conspired to export state of the art firearms, machine guns and ammunition, surface to air missiles, night vision goggles, and other military weapons to the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka. The weapons would have been used to fight against the Sri Lankan government forces.

The defendants aided the Tamil Tigers by requesting price quotes and negotiating purchases for the military weapons on their behalf. They contacted a Maryland business run by undercover agents and sent an itemized list of 53 military weapons. On September 25, 2006 Varatharasa and Osman met undercover officers in Saipan and later in Guam to inspect the weaponry that was ordered including various machine guns and surface to air missiles. They agreed to arrange for the transfer to the money into the undercover agents bank account as payment.

Robert Craig, the Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, quoted that, “DCIS will continue working with out partners in law enforcement to ensure that DoD weapons systems and technologies are secure.”

More information:

New Policy for ITAR Applications for Sri Lanka

Friday, January 4th, 2008 by Danielle McClellan


By: Danielle McClellan

Effective December 26, 2007, it is the policy of the U.S. to deny applications for licenses and other approvals to export or transfer defense articles and services to Sri Lanka. The only exception will be that certain licenses will be issued for technical data or equipment made available for the limited purposes of maritime and air surveillance and communications. These licenses will be subject to case by case review.

Legislation explains that the embargo will continue until three conditions are met:

  1. members of the Sri Lankan military alleged to have engaged in human rights violations are suspended and brought to justice;
  2. journalists and humanitarian organizations are given access to all parts of the country consistent with international humanitarian law;
  3. the Sri Lankan government has consented to a field office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights with sufficient access to monitor and to report allegations of human rights abused in Sri Lanka.

Human Rights Watch, a humanitarian organization, released a report last August giving great details of documented cases of attacks on displaced civilians, extrajudicial executions, “disappearances” and abductions, and failure to take action against the allied Karuna group’s forced enlistment of child soldiers.

More information:

DDTC Policy

Human Rights Watch report (PDF)

Gonzales and Justice Department Raises Their Export Control Enforcement Profile

Saturday, June 30th, 2007 by Guest Author


The first-ever National Export Control Coordinator for the Department of Justice was appointed last June 20, 2007. Steven W. Pelak, a veteran prosecutor for 18 years, has been an Assistant U.S. Attorney and Senior Litigation Counsel in the National Security Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and, since September 2001, has served as the Anti- Terrorism Coordinator for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Mr. Pelak is detailed to the Counter-espionage Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, wherein he will have some of the following responsibilities:

  • development of comprehensive training materials on export control investigations and prosecutions for federal prosecutors nationwide
  • solicit and receive regular progress reports from U.S. Attorneys’ offices on the development of export control cases
  • coordinate between the Justice Department and the many other U.S. law enforcement, licensing and intelligence agencies that play a role in export enforcement.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales mentioned in his June 11 speech on nuclear terrorism that the Justice Department’s National Security Division where federal prosecutors were provided instruction and guidance on export control cases, with trainers from the Justice Department and the relevant investigative agents on hand providing comprehensive prosecutorial instruction.