Arms Export Control is a federal legislation that authorizes the U.S. President to control the import and export of defense articles and defense services. It also places certain restrictions on American arms traders and manufacturers. Arms Export Control prohibits arms traders and manufacturers from the sale of certain sensitive technologies to certain parties and requiring thorough documentation of such trades to trusted parties. It emphasizes public disclosure and review procedures. Arms Export Control is considered to be the most significant piece of arms transfer legislation.
According to 22 USCS § 2778, the President is authorized to control import and export of defense articles and defense services and to provide foreign policy guidance to persons of the U.S. involved in the export and import of such articles and services. The President is authorized to designate items as defense articles and defense services for the purposes of the Act and to promulgate regulations for the import and export of such articles and services.