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IPC to launch educational campaign on ITAR and printed boards

Washington, D.C. Meetings and IPC White Paper Kick Off Initiative to Raise Awareness

On July 25, IPC will launch its new educational campaign, Follow the Law, Protect the Board, to raise awareness and compliance with federal regulations on the export of printed boards (PCBs) designed for International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) controlled equipment. During the campaign kick-off meeting in Washington, D.C., IPC’s new President and CEO John Mitchell and executives of IPC member-companies in PCB manufacturing will brief members of Congress, senior staff at the Department of State and other executive branch officials. In addition, IPC will unveil a white paper on the applicability of U.S. defense trade controls to printed boards.

“IPC’s educational campaign seeks to clarify the importance of applying  ITAR controls to printed boards given that each printed board is specifically designed for the larger defense item of which it is a part,” says Mitchell.  “We view this effort as a pivotal private sector-government partnership on an important policy issue that ultimately bolsters national security.”

Although not listed explicitly in the United States Munitions List (USML), the export of printed boards and their designs for military equipment is nevertheless regulated by ITAR because the printed boards are “specifically designed parts and components.” IPC wants to ensure that defense contractors and procurement staff clearly understand that each printed board contains important information about the military equipment for which it is designed.

At the core of the educational initiative is an IPC white paper, Applicability of U.S. Defense Trade Controls to Printed Boards. The paper was authored by Peter Lichtenbaum, a partner at Covington & Burling LLP and one of the nation’s foremost ITAR experts. Lichtenbaum, former Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration, was commissioned by IPC to explain in plain language and with concrete examples companies’ ITAR obligations with respect to printed boards.

Additional outreach events will be held in the coming months. On August 22, Fern Abrams, IPC director of government relations and environmental policy, will provide an overview of key issues and changes in U.S. export controls regulations at a joint meeting of IPC and the Chicagoland Circuit Board Association that will be held in conjunction with IPC Midwest Conference & Exhibition, in Schaumburg, Ill. In September, a Washington, D.C. roundtable will be held for senior export control officials at leading defense OEMs. On October 3, IPC will hold a full-day event, ITAR/EAR Compliance for PCB Manufacturers Workshop — Complying with U.S. Export Controls, in Irvine, Calif. IPC’s efforts will culminate in February at IPC APEX EXPO® 2013 in San Diego, Calif.

For more information on IPC’s educational initiative, Follow the Law, Protect the Board, or any of the upcoming meetings, contact Abrams, at FernAbrams@ipc.org. Following the July 25 meetings in Washington, D.C., the IPC white paper will be available on the IPC website at www.ipc.org/export-controls.

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