U.S. Munitions Export Controls Need Improvement

ID-78-62: Published: Apr 25, 1979. Publicly Released: Apr 25, 1979.

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The effectiveness of U.S. Government controls over commercial munitions exports and the accuracy of export data being reported to Congress were reviewed.

The U.S. munitions export control system cannot be depended upon to ensure that munitions are not exported without a license or that shipments made under license conform to the license terms. Responsibility for export controls is divided between the Commerce Department, the State Department's Office of Munitions Control (OMC), and the U.S. Customs Service. Coordination between the three agencies is not sufficient to ensure compliance by munitions exporters. Controls over munitions exports are further weakened by errors the Customs Service makes in controlling export licenses and validating shipper's export declarations. The errors by Customs and deficiencies in OMC data processing procedures have caused inaccuracies in the reports on munitions exports that are made to Congress.

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