On January 6, 2020 The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published an interim final rule amending the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to classify software specially designed to automate the analysis of geospatial imagery under the Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) 0Y521 series, specifically under ECCN 0D521. This change makes a license required to export or reexport the software to all destinations, except Canada.

What the change looks like:

Specifically, the items that will be subject to these new controls are described under ECCN 0D521 in the 0Y521 series table found in Supplement No. 5 to part 774 of the EAR, as follows:

ECCN 0D521 No. 1 Geospatial imagery ‘‘software’’ ‘‘specially designed’’ for training a Deep Convolutional Neural Network to automate the analysis of geospatial imagery and point clouds, and having all of the following:

  1. Provides a graphical user interface that enables the user to identify objects (e.g., vehicles, houses, etc.) from within geospatial imagery and point clouds in order to extract positive and negative samples of an object of interest;
  2. Reduces pixel variation by performing scale, color, and rotational normalization on the positive samples;
  3. Trains a Deep Convolutional Neural Network to detect the object of interest from the positive and negative samples; and
  4. Identifies objects in geospatial imagery using the trained Deep Convolutional Neural Network by matching the rotational pattern from the positive samples with the rotational pattern of objects in the geospatial imagery.

Technical Note: A point cloud is a collection of data points defined by a given coordinate system. A point cloud is also known as a digital surface model.

Consistent with other 0Y521 series items, license requirements for the items described under the first entry for ECCN 0D521 of the 0Y521 series, appear in § 742.6(a)(7) of the EAR. The U.S. Government currently plans to propose to an appropriate multilateral regime, in this case the Wassenaar Arrangement, that multilateral controls be placed on these items.

License Applications for the New ECCN 0D521 No. 1: License applications for these items may be submitted through SNAP–R in accordance with § 748.6 (General instructions for license applications) of the EAR. Exporters are directed to include detailed descriptions and technical specifications with the license application, and to identify the item’s ECCN.

Since this is an interim rule BIS will accept comments from industry regarding this change. They must be made by March 6, 2020.

You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

  • Federal rulemaking portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. The regulations.gov ID number for this rule is BIS–2019–0031. All comments (including any personally identifying information) will be made available for public inspection and copying.
  • Address: By mail or delivery to Regulatory Policy Division, Bureau of Industry and Security, U.S. Department of Commerce, Room 2099B, 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230. Refer to RIN 0694–AH89.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Aaron Amundson, Director, Information Technology Division, Office of National Security and Technology Transfer Controls, at email Aaron.Amundson@ bis.doc.gov or by phone at (202) 482– 5299.

Federal Register Notice: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-01-06/pdf/2019-27649.pdf