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Can I Export Night Vision? Understanding Laws and Regulations

You need valid U.S. State Department approval in order to export night vision. If you do not have approval, it is a Federal Offense. You will end up in a U.S. Federal Penitentiary. If you are traveling outside the U.S. with your night vision device, this is also considered exportation. You can’t take a night vision device with you out of the country.

Pleading “ignorance” to either “exportation method” will not hold up in court. U.S. Night Vision Devices are tightly controlled and heavily enforced by the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR).

“Export of the commodities described herein is strictly prohibited without a valid export license issued by the U.S. Department of State Office of Defense Trade Controls prescribed in the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), Title 22 Code of Federal Regulation, Parts 120-130.”

You can read more about ITAR here:

It is also a violation of ITAR to allow any non-U.S. citizen to look through U.S. Gen 3 night vision devices even if you are on U.S. soil. Non U.S. citizens are not allowed to have access to any Gen 3 night vision device operator’s manuals or documentation.

Some will say that some US made Gen 2 devices are exportable. However, laws and regulations change often, and it is better to be safe and not export. Currently if you were to export a Gen 1 or 2 device it could never be beyond:

Resolution 65 lp/mm

SNR 20Sensitivity <350FOM <1000

The laws and regulations that govern the exportation of night vision devices are serious business. We hope that you take great care to ensure that you are educated on laws and regulations pertaining to night vision if you own a night vision device and if you are getting ready to buy.

At we take every precaution possible to insure that the 
night vision technology that we sell stays in the U.S. and urge our customers to do the same. Please purchase and own your night vision device responsibly.

Additional information regarding export regulations can be found here:

U.S. Department of Commerce

Bureau of Industry and Security

Office of Exporter Services:

PH (202) 482-4811

U.S. Department of State

International Traffic in Arms Regulations

Office of Defense Trade Control:

PH (202) 663-2714

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