State Department Export License Requirements

  1. If you are shipping an item that can be considered a “defense article,” you will need to register with the U.S. Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), and apply for an export license from DDTC.
  2. These items might include firearms and other weapons, protective gear (e.g., body armor), detection hardware (e.g., night-vision goggles), and other military-use equipment and components.

    A list of defense articles that might require this license is available on the United States Munitions List at

  3. For more information on how to apply for a DDTC export license, please see “Applying for a State Department Export License.”
  4. If you determine a license is required, check to see if there is an exception for the item(s) in your shipment.
  5. Note: Hazardous materials, biological or radioactive materials, and inert or replica explosive devices are prohibited or significantly restricted in international mail, regardless of whether you have obtained an export license. Other items might be prohibited or restricted from mailing, depending on the destination country. For more information, please see Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM®) Section 601 and IMM Parts 135 and 136 and the Individual Country Listings — both the DMM and the IMM are available at

    image of requirements map for State DDTC export license