On 31 October 2017, the aerospace company Airbus stated that, following a review of its US regulatory compliance procedures, it discovered it may have breached US arms export regulations in filing inaccurate reports to the US State Department.

In particular, Airbus may have violated Part 130 (Political Contributions, Fees and Commissions) of the US International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), providing inaccurate information on payments to middlemen.

ITAR provides for a regulatory regime restricting and controlling the export of defense and military related technologies and implements the US Arms Export Control Act (AECA). Among the obligations imposed by ITAR, there is the declaration of the use of sales agents by companies dealing in goods which fall under the ITAR.

Airbus is cooperating with the US authorities. It is also cooperating with UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and France’s Parquet National Financier (PNF) in their ongoing investigations relating to the company’s use of agents to win jetliner sales. If, as a result of these investigations, an infringement is found the company risks receiving significant monetary penalties.