As a Defense Contractor, Ten Tec has to jump through major hoops when
they sell parts or equipment to overseas addresses. Our research lab
has also run into this as has the AMSAT national group. It is called
ITAR, International Trafficking in Arms Regulations. Many scientific
parts and electronics parts are considered to be possibly used in
armaments, or any type of war goods, and thus, permits have to be
obtained to sell abroad. The certifications usually employ specialized
lawyers, etc. and thus runs up the cost of parts stocked by
manufacturers. End use to certain countries is flat out forbidden, and
tracking of material is required to insure it does not move elsewhere
via third parties. That is the way a $70 part from the OEM becomes $375
when stocked by a manufacturer who also does business with the U.S.
government. Been there done that. Sorry Rafael, that is the crazy
world we live in today. That is also why AMSAT has suspended joint
project work with overseas SAT national groups. They are in the process
of doing their ITAR certification. There is no blanket exemption for
ham radio parts and equipment possible, unless Congress changes the law.
Unfortunately, the AMSAT electronics comes under the Dept. of State
regulation. Most other ham components would as well.
The original relay manufacturer may deal in large enough lots of these
relays, that they have spread their ITAR costs over a larger stock.
After all, vacuum relays are in all RF generators be they transmitters,
amplifiers, or plasma sources around the world.
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