ARCHIVED – Chapter 10: Joint Certification Program

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1000. General

The United States (U.S.) and Canada share a unique, long-standing military and economic relationship. The two countries are partners in the joint defense of North America and have established a bilateral common structure (NORAD) for mutual defence. Canadian industry is a part of the North American Defense Industrial Base. The United States and Canada consult and cooperate on the development of common industrial security procedures and technology controls. Both governments have entered into numerous bilateral agreements that codify and support this relationship.

In 1985, the U.S. and Canada signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that established the U.S.–Canada Joint Certification Program (JCP). As stated in the program's terms of reference, the program was established "to certify contractors of each country for access, on an equally favourable basis, to unclassified technical data disclosing critical technology" controlled in the U.S. by the Department of Defense. Under the laws of each nation, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and Canada's Department of National Defence (DND) may withhold such technical data from public disclosure.

Contractors must be certified under the U.S.–Canada JCP to be eligible to bid or receive a contract involving access to unclassified militarily critical technical data under the control of DND or DoD. Contractors currently cleared under the Contract Security Program must be certified if they wish to receive unclassified technical data government by the Technical Data Control Regulations or by DoD Directive 5230.25. Participation in the JCP is limited to contractors located in Canada or the United States.

1001. Joint certification process

  1. To become a certified contractor, an organization must complete DD form 2345 and forward it to the U.S.–Canada Joint Certification Office (JCO) at the address provided on the contact the Joint Certification Program webpage. In addition, a copy of the organization's incorporation certificate, state or provincial license, sales tax identification form or other documentation which verifies the legitimacy of the organization must accompany DD form 2345.
  1. When a Canadian contractor intends to request access to unclassified military critical technical data under the control of DoD, it must complete DD form 2345. Technical data transferred to a certified contractor is mailed to the location shown on the form. Each corporate subsidiary or division that is to receive or work with unclassified military critical technical data must be certified separately
  2. To become a certified contractor, an organization must agree to abide by the terms and conditions listed on the form. Once accepted by the JCO, the form constitutes an agreement with the organization and the JCO that unclassified military critical technical data will not be further disseminated to unauthorized individuals. If a contractor violates the provisions of the agreement, its certification for access to unclassified military critical technical data may be revoked
  3. Contractors become certified on the date that the JCO accepts their certification. Organizations approved under the JCO will receive a copy of their agreement form, signed by Canadian and U.S. representatives, showing their 7-digit certification number. The certification number and a statement of intended use must accompany all requests for unclassified military critical technical data submitted to DND or DoD. Certification must be renewed every 5 years. The JCO will provide a renewal notice 120 days before expiration of a contractor's certification
  4. Certification establishes the eligibility of Canadian–U.S. contractors to:
    1. receive unclassified militarily critical technical data having military or space application under the control of DND or DoD
    2. respond to defence-related contract opportunities whose specifications involve technical data that are releasable only to certified organizations
    3. attend gatherings restricted to contractors that are certified by the JCO, such as symposia, program briefings, meetings designed to publicize advance requirements of contracting agencies, pre-solicitation, pre-bid, pre-proposal, pre-award conferences and workshops
    4. arrange unclassified procurement-related visits directly with other certified Canadian and U.S. contractors as well as with DND and DoD military facilities where the visits will involve access to technical data that are releasable only to certified contractors

1002. Unclassified visits

  1. For Canadian contractors, visits between U.S.–Canadian organizations are predicated on the fact that the unclassified military critical technical data is releasable under the Canadian exemption in the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)
  2. Certified contractors wishing to initiate an unclassified visit to a DoD military installation must make arrangements with the installation's security office. By regulation, the commander of the installation retains final approval authority for any visit and may deny it for security or operational reasons

How to get approval for unclassified visits

1003. Contact point

For additional information, including access to DD form 2345:

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