International Agreements

DoDD 5530.3 governs International Agreements (IAs), and specifically prohibits DoD personnel from initiating or conducting negotiations of an international agreement without the prior written approval of the appropriate DoD official. In the case of cooperative RDT&E and cooperative production programs, this authority lies within USD(A&S), delegated to Director, International Cooperation. International Agreements are the formal agreements between cooperating nations that delineate respective commitments and responsibilities.

IC has a well-defined and structured process that governs the development, negotiation, coordination, and implementation of acquisition-related (cooperative) IAs that is based on statutory, regulatory, and policy requirements. In this context, IAs include:

  • Memorandums of Agreement/Understanding (MOAs/MOUs);
  • Projects Agreements/Arrangements (PAs);
  • Loan Agreements/Arrangements; and
  • Equipment and Material Transfer Agreements/Arrangements (E&MTAs).

IAs are used to establish any of the following:

  • Information exchanges;
  • Personnel exchanges;
  • Loans of equipment;
  • Cooperative research, development, testing, and evaluation;
  • Cooperative acquisition, sustainment, and follow-on development;
  • Cooperative production (including licensed coproduction); or
  • Cooperative and reciprocal logistics support.

IAs are used when the cooperation between the DoD and one or more foreign partners requires a commitment of resources (e.g., funds, equipment, labor, information, etc.) or actions. All IAs must have an underlying legal authority, the selection of which depends on the scope of the cooperative effort and the partner(s) involved. The primary acquisition-related authorities are: 22 U.S.C. 2767 (Arms Export Control Act (AECA) Section 27), 10 U.S.C. 2350a, 10 U.S.C. 2350(l), 10 U.S.C. 2358, and 22 U.S.C. 2796d (AECA Section 65).

The development and execution of acquisition-related IAs are governed by and must be consistent with DoDI 5530.03, DoDI 5000.02T, and the Defense Acquisition Guidebook, Chapter 1 Supplement, Section 6 (International Agreement Procedures). OSD(A&S)/IC ensures that any IA submitted to it for approval is in the DoD’s best interests, is allowed by U.S. law, and adheres to DoD policies and procedures. To do this, IC staff thoroughly review all IAs submitted to it for authority to negotiate or conclude, then staff it to other OSD stakeholders, including the Office of General Counsel, the Comptroller, and the Defense Technology Security Agency, to ensure their equities are adequately addressed. IC also coordinates with the Departments of State and Commerce, and notifies Congress, as required.