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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Third Party Transfer Process Step-by-Step


Third Party Transfer Process

Step 1: The divesting government submits an official request to either sell, transfer, change the end-use, or dispose of U.S.-origin equipment acquired via a U.S. Government security assistance program such as Foreign Military Sales (FMS), Excess Defense Articles (EDA) or Military Assistance Program (MAP) to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Office of Regional Security and Arms Transfers (PM/RSAT).

Requirements for Consideration:

Options for sending requests to PM/RSAT:*

  • Via the U.S. Embassy in country;
  • Via the U.S. Office of Defense Cooperation (i.e. SAO, ODC, JUSMAG );
  • Directly to PM/RSAT by email or fax 202-647-9779;
  • Via the divesting government’s embassy based in Washington D.C.

*State recommends sending applications via either U.S. Embassy Security Assistance Offices abroad or through relevant Washington, DC-based foreign Embassy Defense offices to PM/RSAT to ensure efficient processing.

Step 2: PM/RSAT reviews the request to ensure all information is accurate and complete and that the request meets the requirements of U.S. laws and regulations, as well as Department of State policies.

Step 3: If the legal and policy requirements have been met, PM/RSAT conducts an interagency research/analysis of the articles requested for transfer and proposed recipient(s). The research/analysis process includes, but is not limited to, Department of State regional, functional and legal bureaus/offices, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), Department of Defense weapons and disclosure authorities (e.g. SAF/IA, NAVY/IPO, and USASAC), and other U.S. agencies. Once all responses are received, PM/RSAT prepares a recommendation for decision by the Assistant Secretary, State Department Bureau of Political-Military Affairs for most requests. Some requests require a decision by the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security.

Step 4: After the Assistant Secretary (or Under Secretary, as appropriate), provides the final decision to PM/RSAT, notification of approval or denial is provided via e-mail to the applicant.


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