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U.S. Government Issues Warning to Producers of UAV Parts

Manufacturers are encouraged to implement multiple practices to track items because of methods that laser off identifying information.

The Departments of Justice, State, Treasury and Commerce released an advisory that alerted companies of the threat presented by Iran’s procurement and development of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).

The advisory is intended to inform private industries, exporters, distributors, manufacturers and financial institutions of specific components Iran needs to increase UAV development.

The departments categorized the sought-after items into electronics, components and guidance, navigation and control equipment. Specific items include field programmable gate arrays, RF transceivers, microcontrollers, capacitors, accelerometers, gyroscopes, inertial measurement units and aircraft spark-ignition and compression-ignition internal combustion piston engines.

Manufacturers supplying the items relevant to UAVs were encouraged to implement multiple practices to track items because of methods that laser off identifying information. 

Red flags that indicate a transaction party could be involved in efforts to evade or violate sanctions and export controls include reluctance to share information about the end use of a product, declining standard installation, training or maintenance of the purchased items and last-minute changes to shipping instructions that appear contrary to customer history.

According to the departments, Iran has increased the amount of armed and unarmed UAVs in its program in the last 10 years. The advisory also mentions the impact of Iran’s UAV production, such as supporting Russia in its war with Ukraine and the Houthis’ destabilizing efforts in Yemen, actions that could strengthen bilateral relationships and complicate efforts to constrain Iran’s UAV activities.

The advisory complements a March update to the National Security Division’s voluntary self-disclosure policy. The policy says companies that voluntarily disclose criminal violations, fully cooperate and take remedial steps could receive a non-prosecution agreement and avoid a fine.

However, those who fail to comply with sanctions and export controls could face fines of up to $1 million and 20 years in prison per violation.

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