DSP-5 License Preparation

DSP-5 – License for Permanent Export

The following information provides an overview and considerations in preparing a DSP-5 license for permanent export as defined by the International Traffic Arms Regulations (ITAR).  It is based on DTC’s license guidelines and through lessons learned from our years of defense export license preparation.  The intent of the information is to be brief so please drop us an email or give us a call if you have additional questions.  The ITAR is administered by Defense Trade Controls (DTC) which is a directorate under the U.S. Department of State.

  • A Permanent Export License (DSP-5) is for the permanent export of unclassified articles or hardware as found in the U.S. Munitions List (USML) under the ITAR. The DSP-5 can include hardware, software, or documents as well as approval for marketing and the hiring of foreign employees.
  • Your organization must be registered with DTC and the empowered official must digitally sign the application. The other option is to have Excelerate obtain the license and coordinate the delivery for you.
  • If the permanent export is for classified content then a DSP-85 must be submitted for approval instead of a DSP-5.
  • Defense articles or hardware can only be exported to the country and end user defined on the approved export license. Re-export or transfers to other countries or foreign parties is not allowed.
  • The license application must include all consignees and carriers that will receive the articles or data for any reason. This is called the chain-of-custody which begins with the supplier and ends with the ultimate end user.
  • The applicant maintains the export license while it is active. The AES filing reduces the quantity and value of the approved license content upon export.
  • Supporting documentation must be submitted with the license application.
  • DTC can make three choices regarding the license application: Approval, Denial, or Return Without Action (RWA).  If a denial or RWA is received DTC will tell you why and you can rectify the situation and resubmit the license application.
  • Processing time is directly related to DTC staffing and if the license application is staffed plan on a minimum of two (2) months for license processing. If not staffed the license usually is returned within the month.  Our experience is that 95% of new licenses are staffed.
  • The DSP-5 does not allow for the export of manufacturing information or technical assistance. Training can be provided on the use or maintenance of a hardware/software delivery but not for topics such as integration with an existing system.
  • It is the responsibility of the company to inform employees of the scope and purpose of the DSP-5 when working with foreign parties.
  • DTC will provide a set of provisos and limitations when the license is approved. These are important and should be carefully reviewed and understood.
  • Keep in mind that you will only be able to export the quantity and the value approved in the export license.
  • Significant Military Equipment (SME) as determined per the U.S. Munitions List requires that DSP-83 (Non-Transfer and Use Certificate) be submitted with the DSP-5 application. The DSP-83 basically has everyone agree not to transfer or use the delivered articles except for how the license defines. The DSP-83 requires a signature from the end user, any consignee, the manufacturer, and the government.  Some countries sign the DSP-83 quickly while others have great concern.  Excelerate can help with the DSP-83.


Here is how Excelerate can assist with the DSP-5 license application.

  1. Is your company registered with DTC? If so, then we will need your registration number. If not, we can help get you registered.
  2. You will need an Identrust certificate on the DECCS website to digitally sign your license application. We can assist with obtaining this certificate if you do not have one.
  3. Excelerate will provide a DSP-5 license application checklist to collect the data needed to prepare your DSP-5 application.
  4. Excelerate will populate your DSP-5 application form on your DECCS site and let you know when it is ready for digital signature by your empowered official.
  5. Once submitted, Excelerate will track and keep you informed of the progress.
  6. Excelerate will review the provisos and provide insight once the license is approved.
  7. We will remain available to support your export questions as necessary.


The following checklist provides the initial information required to prepare a DSP-5.  There may be more information needed but the list below satisfies the typical application required content.

  • Your legal company name, address, and phone number as shown on your DTC registration.
  • The organization DTC registration number.
  • The complete name, address, and phone number of the ultimate end user. For instance, if the delivery is to a company in France, say Thales, but they will deliver the system to the French Air Force then the ultimate end user is the French Air Force.
  • The complete names, addresses, and phone numbers of any foreign consignees – agents, brokers, companies, etc. Whoever will touch the delivered article before it arrives to the ultimate end user.
  • The US freight forwarder responsible for the export. We typically list a few freight forwarders – there is no limit.  The only stipulation is that the freight forwarder you will use MUST be listed on the license with the correct address.
  • You must have a purchase order or letter of intent from the end user that shows end user name, end user address, items to be purchased, quantity, price, and end use.
  • If the PO does not contain a description of the end use and end user then a separate signed document must be obtained detailing the end use and user. We can provide an example end use statement.
  • Any descriptive literature of a product that will be exported – sales brochures, flyers, etc. in .pdf format. We will need to understand exactly what will be exported.
  • A description of the delivery and end use. If appropriate, and it is in 90% of licenses, we will include an additional write-up based on a discussion with you that provides DTC a clear understanding of the license request.  It helps to give DTC an understanding of the history, what the use will be, any past deliveries, etc.
  • Attach a copy of the signed form DSP-83 for all significant military equipment (SME).
  • Are their any precedent licenses related to this export? If the articles have been exported before, all or in part, then please provide the license number(s).
  • If appropriate, provide the name and contact information for a U.S. Government employee that is familiar with the commodity being exported.

Please give us a call at 256-325-4050 or send an email to inquiry@excelerate-inc.com if you have any questions.  Let us know if you need a DSP-5 license application for marketing, foreign employees, and limited defense service.  We do many of these and would be pleased to provide assistance.