Maintenance of the ITER EC H&CD Upper Launcher (UL) shall be performed through the use of Remote Handling (RH) in the ITER Hot Cell Facility (HCF). The UL design will have to be fully compliant with ITER RH maintenance requirements and the set of RH tooling and services available in the HCF. This paper describes the development of an overall maintenance strategy for the UL, starting from a listing of all conceivable maintenance operations, including hands-on tasks. Components for which design concepts are discussed in this paper are the Blanket Shield Module (BSM), the steering mirror (M4), the mid optics (M1, M2) and the waveguide (WG) feed-through plate. Aspects related to RH documentation, overall maintenance strategy and design concepts for optimizing the maintainability of the UL are presented. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.