An international program is a classified contractual agreement with a foreign entity for the sharing of classified information and/or material. An international transfer is a lawful and authorized government or commercial effort in which there is information and/or technology transferred from one country to another.
All international transfers of classified material shall take place through channels approved by both governments. This is accomplished by Designated Government Representatives (DGRs).
Reference: NISPOM 10-401a. International Transfers of Classified Material
All classified information provided or exchanged, whether it originates in the U.S. or a foreign country, must be protected so U.S. national security and foreign relations are not threatened. For this reason, specific requirements for protecting information in international programs are mandated by laws, executive orders, regulations, and international agreements.
Direct Commercial Sales
Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) are direct contractual arrangements between a U.S. company and a foreign government, international organization, or foreign company (export of defense articles, repairs or maintenance - defense services). The International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) is the licensing authority for export of defense articles and services.
Reference: NISPOM 10-201. Direct Commercial Arrangements
Foreign Military Sales
Foreign Military Sales (FMS) are the government-to-government method for the U.S. Government to sell U.S. defense equipment and services, including training to authorized foreign governments and international organizations. The vehicle for conducting FMS between the U.S. Government and the foreign government is the Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) and the DSP-94 (Authority to Export Defense Articles Sold under the Foreign Military Sales Program). The DSP-94 is part of the LOA package. It gives the authority to export the defense article or services referencing the LOA as the export authorization. The U.S. Customs representative executes the form and returns it to DDTC each time an export occurs. DSS does not have cognizance over FMS because the DSP-94 is an addendum to the LOA and involves government parties only.
Reference: NISPOM 5-405. Transmission Outside the United States and Its Territorial Areas
MISWG 01 document is the recommended template.
Common Discrepancies in Hand Carry (Courier) Plans
A Transportation Plan (TP) outlines the process by which classified material is to be securely transported between governments.
All international transfers of classified material, as freight, will require a TP. The TP should describe the arrangements for the secure shipment from point of origin to the ultimate destination. The TP should identify the U.S. and recipient government Designated Government Representative (DGR), and any requirement for an escort. If there are repetitive shipments, a Notice of Classified Consignment must be used.
To ensure government control, written transmission instructions shall be prepared for all international transfers of classified material. The recommended timeline allows a minimum of 30 days for coordination of approvals.
The TP must clearly articulate procedures for a secure shipment of the material from the point of origin to the ultimate destination. Control of classified material must be maintained until the material is officially transferred to the intended recipient government through its DGR.
Export authorizations and the party responsible (U.S. Company/Foreign Government/Freight Forwarder) for providing the DSP-85 prior to the shipment of produced hardware, must be listed within the transportation plan.
Note: Foreign Governments are not subject to NISPOM. However, they must be compliant with the bilateral agreements which are in concert with the laws and regulations of each respective country.
MISWG 10 document is the recommended template.
Transportation through Embassy (for diplomatic transfer only)
Sample FMS Transportation Plan
Common Discrepancies found in Transportation Plan
Reference: NISPOM 10-402. Transfers of Freight
Reference: NISPOM 5-401. Preparation and Receipting
Reference: NISPOM 10-405. Hand Carrying Classified Material
Reference: NISPOM 10-406. Classified Material Receipts
Reference: NISPOM 10-407.Contractor Preparations for International Transfers Pursuant to Commercial and User Agency Sales
A Designated Government Representative (DGR) is a cleared person designated by a U.S. or Foreign Government agency to act on the government’s behalf to transfer custody or accept custody for classified material and assume security responsibility. As the Cognizant Security Office (CSO), the DGR duties default to the DSS Industrial Security Representative (ISR). However, DSS Field Office Chiefs may appoint contractor DGRs.
The purpose of the DGR:
Reference: NISPOM 10-4. International Transfers
Reference: NISPOM 10-603. Transmission of Classified Material to Employees Abroad