A Modern Information Technology (IT) System for Export Controls

“An effective, integrated IT infrastructure is an essential enabler of any robust export control system. But we currently have a number of IT systems across the licensing and enforcement agencies. This fuels . . . our stove-piped processes, in which the U.S. Government has no way of knowing what it has collectively authorized or denied for export to any specific end-user. This increases the risk that wrong decisions can be made.” – General James L. Jones, USMC, Ret., National Security Advisor, June 30, 2010

Current System

Each USG agency involved with export licenses maintains its own internal database for collecting and reviewing license applications. The information technology (IT) systems are, for the most part, not compatible with one another. At the same time, enforcement authorities also have their own databases and have access to a separate database, the Automated Export System (AES), which is within the International Trade Data System (ITDS), which tracks actual exports.

Proposed System

The solution is a single IT system that would house comprehensive information related to controlled items to facilitate the processing of export license applications across the USG and is interoperable with the export enforcement systems and AES. It will provide the USG with end-to-end visibility from the filing of an export license application to an actual export. The result will be seamless export control information sharing between all relevant agencies, and enhanced enforcement capabilities.


The Administration completed a review and decided to migrate the licensing and reviewing departments and agencies to a single licensing database, USXPorts, a Department of Defense system that was deployed in 2003.

As a first step, the Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, which processes the largest volume of licenses, is in the final stages of migration to the Defense system. The Department of Commerce is migrating to the system, with deployment to be completed in 2012. Preliminary assessments have already been made to plan for the migration of other departments – including the Treasury, and the other bureaus within the Department of State.

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