Archive for the ‘Reform’ Category

Export Controls & ECR Report

2018/10/30

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) released “The U.S. Export Control System and the Export Control Reform Initiative” providing a full report on several aspects of the US export control system. The report provides background on policies and the possible future systems but with very few details (Congress will debate on whether the regulations should eventually have only one licensing agency).

Full Report: https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R41916


Regulatory Revisions to the ITAR

2018/10/29

The Department of State has removed some notification requirements from the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and has revised several entries on the Unites States Munitions List (USML). The goal was to remove items that do not warrant continued inclusion. The rule also adds notes to USML Categories IV and V, revises control text in USML Categories VIII, XI, and IV. This rule was effective October 4, 2018 but interested parties can submit comments by November 19, 2018 by:

  • Email: DDTCPublicComments@state.gov with the subject line, ‘Regulatory Reform Revisions’’
  • Internet: At www.regulations.gov,search for this notice using Docket DOS–2018–0020.

Changes:

PART 121—THE UNITED STATES MUNITIONS LIST

  • Section 121.1 is amended as follows:
    • In Category IV, redesignate Note to Paragraph (d) as Note 1 to Paragraph (d) and add Note 2 to paragraph (d): This paragraph does not control thrusters for spacecraft.
    • In Category V, add Note 3 to USML Category V: Items controlled in this Category, except for materials described in paragraph (c)(6), (h), or (i), are licensed by the Department of Commerce when incorporated into an item subject to the EAR and classified under ECCN 1C608.
    • In Category VIII, revise paragraph (h)(12): Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flight control systems and vehicle management systems with swarming capability (i.e. UAVs that operate autonomously (without human input) to interact with each other to avoid collisions, fly in formations, and are capable of adapting in real-time to changes in operational/threat environment, or, if weaponized, coordinate targeting) (MT if for an aircraft, excluding manned aircraft, or missile that has a ‘‘range’’ equal to or greater than 300 km)
    • In Category XI, add Note to Paragraph (a)(3)(i), revise Note to Paragraph (a)(3)(xii), and revise paragraph (c)(4)
      • Note to Paragraph (a)(3)(i): This paragraph does not control radars that: (1) Are incapable of free space detection of 1 square meter Radar Cross Section (RCS) target beyond 8 nautical miles (nmi); (2) contain a radar update rate of not more than 1Hz; and (3) employ a design determined to be subject to the EAR via a commodity jurisdiction determination (see § 120.4 of this subchapter).
      • Note to Paragraph (a)(3)(xii): This paragraph does not control radars not otherwise controlled in this subchapter, operating with a peak transmit power less than or equal to 550 watts, and employing a design determined to be subject to the EAR via a commodity jurisdiction determination (see § 120.4 of this subchapter).

* * * * * * * *
(c) * * *
(4) Transmit/receive modules, transmit/receive monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs), transmit modules, and transmit MMICs having all of the following:

(i) A peak saturated power output (in watts), Psat, greater than 505.62 divided by the maximum operating frequency (in GHz) squared [Psat > 505.62 W * GHz2/fGHz2] for any channel;

(ii) A fractional bandwidth of 5% or greater for any channel; (iii) Any planar side with length d (in cm) equal to or less than 15 divided by the lowest operating frequency in GHz [d ≤ 15cm * GHz/fGHz]; and

(iv) At least one electronically variable phase shifter per channel.

  • Note 1 to Paragraph (c)(4): A MMIC: (a) Is formed by means of diffusion processes, implantation processes, or deposition processes in or on a single semiconducting piece of material; (b) can be considered as indivisibly associated; (c) performs the function(s) of a circuit; and (d) operates at microwave frequencies (i.e., 300 MHz to 300 GHz).
  • Note 2 to Paragraph (c)(4): A transmit/ receive module is a multifunction electronic assembly that provides bi-directional amplitude and phase control for transmission and reception of signals.
  • Note 3 to Paragraph (c)(4): A transmit module is an electronic assembly that provides amplitude and phase control for transmission of signals.
  • Note 4 to Paragraph (c)(4): A transmit/ receive MMIC is a multifunction MMIC that provides bi-directional amplitude and phase control for transmission and reception of signals.
  • Note 5 to Paragraph (c)(4): A transmit MMIC is a MMIC that provides amplitude and phase control for transmission of signals.
  • Note 6 to Paragraph (c)(4): USML Category XI(c)(4) applies to transmit/receive modules and to transmit modules, with or without a heat sink. The value of length d in USML Category XI(c)(4)(iii) does not include any portion of the transmit/receive module or transmit module that functions as a heat sink.
  • Note 7 to Paragraph (c)(4): Transmit/ receive modules, transmit modules, transmit/ receive MMICs, and transmit MMICs may or may not have N integrated radiating antenna elements, where N is the number of transmit or transmit/receive channels.
  • Note 8 to Paragraph (c)(4): Fractional bandwidth is the bandwidth over which output power remains constant within 3 dB (without the adjustment of other operating parameters), divided by the center frequency, and multiplied by 100. Fractional bandwidth is expressed as a percentage.
  • In Category XV, revise the second and third sentences of paragraph (f).
    • (f) * * * Defense services include the furnishing of assistance (including training) to a foreign person in the integration of a satellite or spacecraft to a launch vehicle, including both planning and onsite support, regardless of the jurisdiction, ownership, or origin of the satellite or spacecraft, or whether technical data is used. It also includes the furnishing of assistance (including training) to a foreign person in the launch failure analysis of a satellite or spacecraft, regardless of the jurisdiction, ownership, or origin of the satellite of spacecraft, or whether technical data is used.

PART 123—LICENSES FOR THE EXPORT AND TEMPORARY IMPORT OF DEFENSE ARTICLES

  • Section 123.22 is amended by revising paragraphs (b)(3)(i) and (c)(2) to read as follows:
    • 123.22 Filing, retention, and return of export licenses and filing of export information. * * * * * (b) * * * (3) * * *
      (i) Technical data license. Prior to the permanent export of technical data licensed using a Form DSP–5, the applicant shall electronically provide export information using the system for direct electronic reporting to DDTC of export information and self-validate the original of the license. Exports of copies of the licensed technical data should be made in accordance with existing exemptions in this subchapter. Should an exemption not apply, the applicant may request a new license.
      * * * * *
      (c) * * *
      (2) Licenses issued by DDTC but not decremented by U.S. Customs and Border Protection through its electronic system(s) (e.g., oral or visual technical data releases) must be maintained by the applicant in accordance with § 122.5 of this subchapter.

Federal Register Notice: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-10-04/pdf/2018-21422.pdf


The Export Control Reform Act and Possible New Controls on Emerging and Foundational Technologies

2018/09/27

By: Kevin Wolf, Partner, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, kwolf@akingump.com

(Former) Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration (2010-2017)

Key Points

ECRA became law on August 13, 2018. It is the permanent statutory authority for the EAR, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s BIS. The new law codifies long-standing BIS policies and does not require changes to the EAR, such as to its country-specific licensing requirements.

However, as part of the larger effort to reform the authorities governing CFIUS, the law effectively requires BIS to lead an interagency, regular order process to identify and add to the EAR controls on “emerging” and “foundational” technologies that are “essential to the national security of the United States.”

Although the types of emerging and foundational technologies to be identified are not yet publicly known, anyone involved in emerging and foundational technology areas, such as artificial intelligence, driverless vehicle technology, advanced computing, additive manufacturing or microelectronics, should begin preparing comments on possible new controls in line with the standards in the new law. Commerce will likely soon publish a notice seeking such comments, and the formal comment period will likely be short relative to the complexity and the significance of the issue. The submission of thoughtful and well-supported industry comments will be absolutely critical to the creation of properly scoped and clearly described controls that are consistent with the statutory standards.

  1. Introduction

The Export Control Reform Act of 2018 (ECRA) and the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018 (FIRRMA) became law on August 13, 2018, as part of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (NDAA). One of the primary policy motivations behind both acts was the need to enhance U.S. export and investment controls to address concerns regarding the release of critical technologies to end uses, end users and destinations of concern, primarily China. (FIRRMA is described in a prior alert.)

Another motive behind ECRA was the creation of permanent statutory authority for the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). The EAR primarily control the export, reexport, and transfer of commercial, dual-use and less sensitive military items to end users, end uses and destinations of concern. They also include the antiboycott regulations that the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) administers. Part I of ECRA is titled “Export Controls Act of 2018” (ECA) and is the authority for the administration of the export controls that BIS administers. Part II of ECRA is titled “Anti-Boycott Act of 2018” and is the authority for the antiboycott regulations that BIS administers.

For most of the last two decades, the statutory authority for the EAR—the Export Administration Act of 1979—has been defunct. The EAR have been kept in effect through Executive Orders and an emergency declaration issued under the authority of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) that was renewed by annual presidential notices. (A description of this issue, the export control system generally and the issues motivating the introduction of the legislation can be found in the March 2018 testimony of Kevin Wolf before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.)

The new law essentially codifies existing written and unwritten BIS practices, policies and definitions as they have evolved since 1979. It also gives BIS enforcement officials more authority to investigate possible violations of the EAR. Because the new law essentially preserves the status quo from an exporter’s perspective and does not, for example, change any country-specific licensing policies, it is primarily of interest to export control practitioners. It, however, includes one section, Section 1758, that should be of particular interest to those who do not normally consider themselves affected by the EAR (i.e., those involved in the development or export of emerging and foundational technologies that are not now identified in the EAR or other export control regulations).

  1. ECA Section 1758 Requires the Administration to Identify and Control in the Export Control Regulations Emerging and Foundational Technologies of Concern

BIS has always had the authority to impose unilateral controls on items for national security and foreign policy reasons. (Unilateral controls are those that only the United States imposes, as opposed to controls that BIS publishes to implement agreements of the multilateral export control regimes.) In 2012, BIS provided more structure around the process of identifying and imposing unilateral controls when it created the “0Y521” series. As further described in this notice, BIS has the authority to impose controls over the export of any previously uncontrolled commodity, software or technology that provides the United States with at least a significant military or intelligence advantage, or for any foreign policy reason, so long as the government works to make the controls multilateral within three years (i.e., to get our regime allies to control the same item). The 2012 notice stated that such items are “typically emerging technologies.”

Section 1758 of the ECA essentially codifies this regulatory process and gives the administration a statutory mandate to make the effort a priority. This statutory instruction evolved in response to concerns about a key element of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) reform legislation, FIRRMA, which, as introduced, would have given CFIUS jurisdiction over outbound investments, such as overseas joint ventures, by U.S. critical technology companies that would involve the transfer of intellectual property and associated support. The sponsors’ policy objective with this provision was to give the U.S. government the opportunity to determine and, if necessary, alter or block such outbound investments if they could result in the release of critical emerging or foundational technologies not controlled by the export control system. (More detail about this issue can be found here.)

Over the course of many congressional hearings and other discussions, a consensus emerged that addressing the concern through CFIUS would result in both over-controls and under-controls. The approach would have been an over-control because many benign outbound investments would become subject to CFIUS jurisdiction, which would have placed unnecessary burdens on CFIUS and U.S. industry, and would likely have discouraged welcome foreign investments. It would have been an under-control because it would have regulated only the transfer of the newly identified critical technologies in connection with a covered investment, meaning that the identical technologies could have been legally transferred without government oversight to a foreign person as part of any other type of transaction, such as a simple purchase-and-sale arrangement. The solution was to require the already existing dual-use export control system to put more effort into identifying emerging and foundational technologies of concern and to control their export to end uses, end users and destinations of concern regardless of the nature of the underlying investment.

  1. Technologies Likely to Be Considered “Emerging” or “Foundational”

Congress did not define the terms “emerging” or “foundational” technologies “essential to national security,” but the public debate over the legislation provided hints as to the general areas of concern. During the discussions about CFIUS and export control reform bills, and related public discussions about CFIUS cases and China’s plans to acquire technologies pursuant to its “Made in China 2025” plan, emerging and foundational technologies, such as the following, were informally cited as warranting consideration for possible new controls:

  • artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • augmented reality
  • automated machine tools
  • additive manufacturing
  • autonomous vehicles
  • advanced battery technology
  • “big data”
  • biotechnology
  • gene editing
  • high-temperature superconducting technology
  • hydrogen and fuel cells
  • integrated circuits, semiconductors and microelectronics
  • intelligent mobile terminals
  • nanotechnology
  • robotics

Neither Congress nor the administration has published any sort of list of technologies that are under review or that should be studied. BIS, however, is likely to publish a notice soon, seeking information from the public about broad categories of technologies that potentially warrant control and how the controls could be worded to satisfy the requirements of Section 1758. Consistent with past BIS practice, this notice would not be a proposed rule. Rather, it would be a formal tool for the government to solicit industry input as part of its efforts to identify what technologies should and should not be the subject of possible new controls in a proposed rule to be published later. Industry’s role in this process is critical. Thoughtful and well-supported comments will likely have a positive influence on the government’s efforts to identify which emerging and foundational technologies are and are not essential to our national security and otherwise within the scope of Section 1758.

  1. Questions to Answer for Comments to Be Provided to the Administration

Any formal comment period will be, or will seem, short relative to the complexity and the significance of the issues. Because, as discussed below, Section 1758 foreshadows the questions that will likely be asked in such a notice, those potentially affected by new controls do not need to wait for the notice to be published before internally answering the following questions:

  • Which of the company’s technologies that are not now identified on an export control list (a) are essential to national security or (b) might be deemed so by the administration, particularly in light of the debate over FIRRMA?

 

  • Which such technologies are and are not being developed outside the United States?

 

  • Would research on, and development of, such technologies in the United States be affected if the government were to impose unilateral export controls on such technologies, including on their release to foreign persons in the United States?

 

  • Would unilateral controls on the release of such technologies to foreign persons in the United States or to foreign countries be effective at deterring their transfer to countries of concern?

 

  • Would export control regime allies, such as those in Europe, likely eventually agree to impose controls on the release of such technologies from their countries?

Answers to these questions, and supporting documentation and analyses, will be vital to the preparation of quality comments filed in response to a notice.

III. Elements of Section 1758 – the ECA’s Emerging and Foundational Technologies Provision

  1. The process for identifying technologies must be an interagency process.

Some of the ideas floated during the FIRRMA debate would have given CFIUS or individual agencies, such as the Department of Defense, the authority to nominate and have controlled emerging and foundational technologies. The ECA requires the President to establish an interagency process to do so that involves the departments of Commerce, Defense, Energy and State, and any other necessary department or agency. The motive behind this provision was to ensure that the equities and expertise of all relevant agencies would be considered when identifying such technologies. Because BIS’s mission includes coordinating such interagency efforts, and because any new controls would be published in the EAR, which BIS administers, BIS has the lead role in the identification effort.

  1. The interagency emerging and foundational technology identification process must be a “regular, ongoing” effort.

This reference in the provision makes it clear that the identification and addition of new controls over emerging and foundational technologies is not just a one-time event. It is now, as a statutory matter, rather than just a standard interagency practice, a regular part of the U.S. export control system. The technologies at issue are, by definition, emerging. They are not what the export control system has a history of controlling and analyzing. They are not technologies that have been specially designed for military or intelligence applications because such technologies are already controlled by either the EAR or the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). Thus, BIS and the other agencies are likely setting up more formal processes to regularly search for and, as needed, amend the export controls over commercial technologies of concern as they emerge.

  1. The emerging and foundational technologies to be identified are limited to those “essential to the national security of the United States.”

During the debates over the CFIUS and export control reform bills, there was some discussion about whether controls should be imposed on such technologies for purely economic reasons, such as for use as part of protectionist or industrial policy efforts. Export control statutes dating back to the Export Control Act of 1949 have expressly limited the reasons for control to national security, foreign policy and short supply. Although an administration has broad authority to define what constitutes a national security concern, the law conspicuously limits the scope of any new controls to not only those that would address “national security” concerns, but also to those that are “essential” to our national security.

  1. The emerging and foundational technologies to be identified must not include technologies that are already subject to export controls or that become subject to controls under other authorities.

This means that any technologies that are already identified in the export control regulations, primarily the EAR and the ITAR, or that would be added to such regulations later under other authorities, must not be part of the process described in Section 1758. The government thus still has extraordinary discretion to identify items for control, and none of that discretion is affected by this provision, which is focused on resolving a specific policy issue raised during the debate over FIRRMA. If Section 1758 were not included in the law, the administration would have the same authority to do what is required under Section 1758. The only difference is that Congress is requiring the administration to conduct the special effort and setting standards for how to do so.

  1. The interagency process must be informed by multiple sources of information, including (i) publicly available information, (ii) classified information, (iii) information developed during the CFIUS process and (iv) information developed by BIS’s technical advisory committees.

The export control system has always drawn upon such information sources when considering which technologies to control, but not always as part of a formal process. The provision is also a subtle congressional reminder to export control officials to ensure that they expand their technology review horizons over what are, by definition, novel, emerging technologies to get the benefit of those who may have contact with such technologies before they do. Thus, for example, it effectively requires export control officials to reach out to industry and academic experts who may not otherwise interact with the government. It also indirectly emphasizes the need for the intelligence community to commit resources to analyzing emerging technology issues and to provide its work product to export control officials for consideration.

The provision requires that technology issues generated during the review of CFIUS fillings be formally fed back into the export control system for broader consideration. The export control agencies are core members of CFIUS, and there is a long history of their considering whether issues developed during CFIUS cases warrant changes to export controls. The only difference now is that this practice is a formal, statutory requirement. Finally, the provision reconfirms the need for industry experts on BIS’s multiple technical advisory committees to provide their input to export control officials about emerging and foundational technologies. Indeed, BIS is in the process of creating an additional technical advisory committee to focus on such issues, as described here. For those with significant expertise in the emerging and foundational technologies at issue, participating in the new, or in any of the existing, technical advisory committees is a significantly important way to contribute to the quality of the controls.

  1. Before imposing new controls on an emerging or foundational technology, the government must consider whether comparable technologies are being developed outside the United States.

This provision does not prohibit the imposition of controls on technologies being developed outside the United States. When read with other parts of Section 1758, however, foreign availability is clearly an important variable the government must consider when deciding whether technologies should become subject to the new controls. Thus, when responding to BIS’s notices asking for comments on new technologies to control, those potentially affected should provide information about which comparable technologies are and are not being developed outside the United States. Such commercial information, which often is not available to the government, should be as specific as possible if it is to be effective. That is, conclusory comments, such as “This technology is widely available in many countries outside the United States” will not be helpful. Comments such as “This technology is available from Company A in Country X (brochures and specifications attached),” on the other hand, are what the government needs to see in order to make a sensible judgment about whether to impose new controls.

  1. Before imposing new controls on an emerging or foundational technology, the government must consider the effect that the imposition of a unilateral export control “may have on the development of such technologies in the United States.”

As a matter of logic, expectations and history, unilateral controls tend to discourage research and investment in the United States in the affected technologies. Indeed, the ECA states that “[e]xport controls applied unilaterally to items widely available from foreign sources generally are less effective in preventing end-users from acquiring those items. Application of unilateral export controls should be limited for purposes of protecting specific United States national security and foreign policy interests.” This does not mean that unilateral controls are per se prohibited or ineffective, only that this standard is a high bar for the government when deciding whether to propose a new unilateral control. Those in potentially affected industries will thus want to provide in their public comments a thoughtful analysis of whether—and how—a unilateral control over a specific emerging or foundational technology is or is not likely to harm the domestic development of such technologies.

  1. Before imposing new controls on an emerging or foundational technology, the government must consider whether they would be effective in “limiting the proliferation of emerging and foundational technologies to foreign countries.”

This standard is basically a corollary to the other provisions above, but it nonetheless emphasizes the point that imposing controls on technologies being developed outside the United States or with the substantial assistance in the U.S. of foreign scientists and engineers will not likely accomplish the objectives of this section. If commenters have any other reasons that a proposed new control would or would not be effective, then this is the statutory provision to cite in support of why it should or should not be imposed.

  1. Before any new controls may be imposed, the government must provide the public with a notice and an opportunity to comment.

This is the most critical step for industry to comment formally on actual regulatory text and whether the proposed controls do or do not meet the standards in Section 1758. Based on the experience of the Obama administration’s export control reform effort, which involved the publication of dozens of proposed rules for public comment, career staff at the agencies are likely to take well-supported, thoughtful comments seriously.

  1. The new controls will be published as amendments to the EAR.

Earlier versions of the CFIUS and the export control reform bills were unclear about whether or, if so, where new investment or export controls on emerging and foundational technologies would be published. Section 1758 effectively requires that they will be identified in the EAR’s Commerce Control List (CCL).

  1. BIS has broad authority to decide when, and under what circumstances, licenses or other types of authorizations will be required to export identified emerging and foundational technology.

Criteria that BIS, in coordination with the other agencies, must consider when imposing controls include whether the destination is subject to U.S. arms and other embargoes, as well as the potential end uses and end users of such technology. The group of countries subject to such embargoes includes China, Russia and Iran.

  1. Commerce is not required to impose licensing requirements on finished items that are destined to regular customers or on technology when the acquisition would not give the foreign recipient the ability to produce critical technologies.

This exception reflects the provision’s emphasis on emerging and foundational technologies, rather than finished products, that can be used to enhance the indigenous manufacturing capability outside the United States of items essential to U.S. national security.

  1. The Secretary of State, in coordination with the other export control agencies, is required to propose each year for three years any new controls to the relevant multilateral export control regimes for control.

This element of the control reflects Congress’ view that multilateral controls are more effective than unilateral controls. If the regimes do not accept a new control, then Commerce must decide whether national security concerns warrant the continuation of unilateral controls with respect to the technology at issue. Another part of ECA commits the U.S. government to “carry out obligations and commitments under international agreements and arrangements, including multilateral export control regimes.” The most relevant such regime to this issue is the Wassenaar Arrangement, which was “established in order to contribute to regional and international security and stability, by promoting transparency and greater responsibility in transfers of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies, thus preventing destabilizing accumulations. The aim is also to prevent the acquisition of these items by terrorists. Participating States seek, through their national policies, to ensure that transfers of these items do not contribute to the development or enhancement of military capabilities which undermine these goals, and are not diverted to support such capabilities.” Thus, to remain consistent with its obligations under ECA, the administration should propose only new controls on emerging or foundational technologies that meet this standard or one of the corresponding standards in the other multilateral regimes (i.e., those pertaining to controlling the proliferation of missiles, nuclear items, and chemical or biological weapons, and related items).

  1. Commerce must report to CFIUS and Congress every 180 days of the actions that it and the other agencies have taken to implement this section.

Normally, congressional reporting requirements do not get much public attention, but this regular obligation to show progress likely will keep the process for identifying and controlling emerging and foundational technologies high on the list of priorities for this and subsequent administrations. This fact further reinforces the need for industry to stay engaged with the government with respect to identifying emerging and foundational technologies that are and are not essential to the national security of the United States.

  1. BIS has broad authority to impose “interim controls” on exports and reexports of emerging or foundational technologies by specific persons.

The EAR contain multiple “is informed” provisions allowing BIS to inform parties that, to address a specific national security or foreign policy concern, a license is required to export an item that would not normally require a license. Section 1758 explicitly gives BIS the authority to create any form of interim controls, such as through the use of similar “is informed” actions imposing licensing requirements on the export by specific persons of specific technologies in a particular transaction, before regulations controlling such technologies are promulgated and made generally effective.

Used properly, this new authority could be a way for BIS to surgically address policy concerns about the transfer of specific kinds of technology in unique circumstances without imposing controls on entire types of technologies or destinations. Thus, for example, if BIS has information that a specific foreign entity plans to use a specific type of EAR99 technology deemed to be “emerging” or “foundational” that would be released during a joint venture for an activity contrary to U.S. national security interests, BIS could prohibit the technology transfer without having to sanction the foreign entity (such as by using the entity list process) or imposing an across-the-board control on the same technology for all exports. In a way, this new omnibus “is informed” authority, which is tucked into a parenthetical in Section 1758, is the broad authority that the proponents of the original FIRRMA bill contemplated when they sought to give CFIUS jurisdiction over outbound investments by critical technology companies. They wanted the U.S. government to have the authority to block otherwise uncontrolled technology transfers in specific circumstances on case-by-cases bases. Such authority now exists, but within BIS (rather than CFIUS) pursuant to Section 1758.

  1. The Statement of Policy Codifies Long-Standing BIS Policies—and Provides the Administration with Considerable Discretion in Administering the System

Section 1752 contains a lengthy statement of policy that may seem new to some, but fairly accurately reflects the written and unwritten licensing and other export control policies that have evolved within BIS since the Export Administration Act was passed in 1979. Some provisions may seem contradictory, but they are examples of the difficult choices that BIS and its interagency colleagues make daily when deciding which dual-use and other items to control, how to control them and when to approve, condition or deny their export.

For example, the section states that export controls should be used only after consideration of their impact on the U.S. economy and only to the extent necessary to advance the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States. These interests require regulations to control the proliferation of items for use in weapons of mass destruction; acts of terrorism; or military programs that could threaten the United States or its allies, or that could disrupt critical infrastructure. They must also, for example, simultaneously (i) preserve the military superiority of the United States; (ii) promote human rights; (iii) carry out our commitments to the multilateral regimes; (iv) facilitate interoperability with our NATO and other close allies; (v) be focused on core technologies of concern; (vi) maintain U.S. leadership in science, engineering, manufacturing and technology, including foundational technologies; (vii) be enforced aggressively and consistently; (viii) be administered in a way that is able to be easily understood; and (ix) be transparent, predictable, timely and flexible.

  1. The Authority to Control Activities by U.S. Persons Is Codified and Slightly Expanded

Unlike the ITAR, the EAR does not have general controls over services provided by U.S. persons, except in connection with violations of the EAR—“General Prohibition 10.” Most of the EAR are focused on regulating the export, reexport and transfer by U.S. and foreign persons of commodities, software and technology subject to the EAR. EAR Part 744 has long regulated the activities of U.S. persons, regardless of whether any technology is transferred, if they relate to weapons of mass destruction or foreign maritime nuclear projects. Section 1753 adds specific authority for the EAR to regulate services by U.S. persons, wherever located, if they are related to “specific foreign military intelligence services.” It remains to be seen how, or whether, BIS will implement this new authority in the EAR.

  1. Licensing Considerations Regarding the Defense Industrial Base

Section 1756(d) requires BIS to deny an application if the proposed export would have a “significant negative impact” on the defense industrial base, which is defined as including (i) a reduction in the availability of an item produced in the United States that is likely to be acquired by the U.S. government for the advancement of U.S. national security, (ii) a reduction in the production in the United States of an item that is the result of federally funded research and development, or (iii) a reduction in the employment of U.S. persons whose knowledge and skills are necessary for the continued production in the United States of an item that is likely to be acquired by the U.S. government for the advancement of U.S. national security. To help make this determination, BIS may seek information from the applicant regarding, for example, why the proposed export would be in the national interest and what the impact would be on the relative capabilities of U.S. and foreign militaries. Although previous administrations took such considerations into account when making licensing decisions, this section describes the standard in a novel, formal way consistent with the underlying policy motivations behind FIRRMA.

VII. Required Review of Licensing Policies Regarding Exports to Countries Subject to Arms Embargoes, Such as China

Although the ECA does not change any country-specific licensing policies, it does require BIS, in coordination with the other export control agencies, to “review license requirements relating to countries subject to a comprehensive arms embargo.” The section does not refer expressly to China or any other country, but it is clearly focused on requiring an evaluation of whether (i) the EAR’s China “Military End Use” rule should be expanded to also apply to “military end users” in China or additional items on the control list not now captured by the rule, and (ii) additional low-end items controlled for “anti-terrorism” reasons to only Iran and other comprehensively embargoed destinations should also be controlled for export to China. BIS must implement any recommended changes before early May 2019. Such changes are likely to occur.

VIII. Penalties and Enforcement

Section 1760 of the ECA codifies civil and criminal penalties that were established under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA). The maximum criminal penalties for willful violations will continue to be $1 million and, for individuals, imprisonment of up to 20 years. Maximum civil penalties will be slightly higher than the current inflation-adjusted penalties under IEEPA—$300,000 or twice the value of the applicable transaction, whichever is greater. Other penalties, such as denying a party the ability to export, remain the same.

Section 1761 of the ECA enhances BIS’s enforcement authorities, which are now on par with other enforcement agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. For example, a violation of ECRA, which includes both the export control and antiboycott provisions, is now a predicate offense that can be cited to justify a wiretap. ECA also gives BIS enforcement officials the authority to conduct investigations “outside the United States consistent with applicable law.” There are broader issues about the authority of the U.S. government to conduct investigations abroad that are beyond the scope of this alert, but ECA, unlike previous authorities, does not limit BIS to conducting investigations in only the United States. In addition, ECA gives BIS the authority to spend funds or engage in other financial transactions (such as leasing space) to conduct undercover investigations. Finally, ECA expands the bases upon which BIS enforcement can impose denial orders. Previously, BIS’s authority to impose denial orders was limited to situations where the person was convicted of a criminal violation of export control and other national security statutes. ECA expands the authority for BIS to issue denial orders when someone is convicted of criminal violations of conspiracy, smuggling or false-statements laws.

  1. Industry-Friendly Provisions

Consistent with long-standing BIS policies and practices, ECA requires that “licensing decisions are to be made in an expeditious manner [ideally, within 30 days of a request], with transparency to applicants on the status of license and other authorization processing and the reason for denying any license or request for authorization.” As under the Export Administration Act of 1979, no fees may be charged in connection with any license or other request made in connection with the EAR. In addition, BIS is required to continue helping U.S. persons, particularly including small- and medium-sized companies, comply with the EAR through training and other outreach.

  1. Coordination of Export Control and Sanctions Authorities

One of the key unrealized aspirations of the Obama administration’s export control officials was the creation of a single export control licensing agency that administered a single set of export control regulations in order to accomplish the national security and foreign policy objectives of the controls with significantly fewer regulatory burdens. Although the ECA does not suggest or require any organizational changes within the export control system, it does require the President to coordinate the export controls and sanctions administered by the departments of Commerce, State, Treasury and Energy. The ECA goes on to state that, in order to achieve such effective coordination, Congress believes that these agencies:

“should regularly work to reduce complexity in the system, including complexity caused merely by the existence of structural, definitional, and other non-policy based differences between and among different export control and sanctions systems” and

“should coordinate controls on items exported, reexported, or in-country transferred in connection with a foreign military sale [administered by the Department of State’s Office of Regional Stability and Arms Transfers (RSAT)]. . . or a commercial sale [of defense articles administered by the Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC)] to reduce as much unnecessary administrative burden as possible that is a result of differences between the exercise of those two authorities.”

Examples of how such coordination could be enhanced (but that are not described in ECA) include (i) continued efforts to harmonize definitions of terms in, and organizational structures of, the EAR, the ITAR and the sanctions regulations; (ii) the creation of a single online portal with a single common license application for submissions to BIS, DDTC, and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), (iii) combined BIS, DDTC and OFAC training, outreach and enforcement efforts; (iv) regularly scheduled rotations of licensing officers among the agencies for cross training; and (v) delegations of authority making it so that the reexport of military items subject to the EAR have the same requirements and prohibitions, regardless of whether the item was originally exported under a foreign military sale or a direct commercial sale.

  1. Definitions in the EAR Are Unchanged

The definitions of key terms in ECRA, such as “export” and “technology,” are consistent with the definitions revised during the Obama administration’s Export Control Reform initiative. (The definition of “U.S. Person” as proposed would have inadvertently dramatically increased the extraterritorial scope of the regulations. That issue was fixed in the final version of ECRA.) Also, ECRA does not require BIS to change EAR definitions or core concepts, such as the de minimis carveout, or the meaning of “published” information or “fundamental research.” BIS continues to have discretion to amend most of the EAR’s definitions as necessary and to create new definitions.

During the early public discussion about ECRA and the “emerging” and “foundational” technology topic, some in industry expressed concerns that the statutory definition of “technology” would sweep more information within the scope of the EAR than the EAR did. Part of the discussion revolved around the words “required” and “necessary.” Another part revolved the words “development” and “know-how.” ECRA uses the same essential elements of the definition as does the EAR. That is, it defines the term as including information “necessary” for the “development,” “production” or “use” of an “item,” which is defined the same way as the EAR in that it means “commodities,” “software” and “technology.” The main difference is that ECRA uses the word “includes” rather than “means.” This gives BIS authority to expand the scope of covered “technology.” Given this discretion, that “necessary” information is vastly broader in scope than “required” technology, and that the concepts of “emerging” and “foundational” technologies are inherently broad, industry should follow closely the evolution of the proposed new controls. Subtle differences in terminology—such as between the use of “necessary” or “required” as control parameters—can have extraordinarily large impacts on the scope of information subject to licensing or other obligations.


America’s Largest Business Lobby Endorses Trump’s Arms Export Plan

2018/08/30

(Source: Defense News, 21 Jul 2018.)

The U.S. State Department recently announced its plan to put into effect the Conventional Arms Transfer policy, which adds economic security as a factor when the government considers whether to approve arms exports.

The goal of the plan is to boost American weapons exports. Council President Keith Webster, President Obama’s last director of international cooperation at the Pentagon, called the policy “a major first step toward improving government decision processes and policies.” Aerospace and defense firms rely on innovation and U.S. government support to compete on a global scale, he added.

The export council offered around 30 recommendations on how to hardwire economic security and defense-industrial base considerations into the government’s international arms sale decisions.

Despite the positive feedback, there have been concerns from arms control advocates who say the policy could fuel conflicts around the world and aid regimes that do not respect human rights.

“If the administration is serious about claims that these changes make for responsible policy, it should add much greater transparency into the arms transfer and monitoring process,” Forum on the Arms Trade’s founder and coordinator, Jeff Abramson, wrote.

Leading the world in arms transfers, the U.S. is expected to reach $47 billion government-to-government sales this year, whereas $42 billion sales were approved by the State Department for all of 2017.

Lt. Gen. Charles Hooper, head of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, said during the Farnborough International Airshow on July 18, “Defense exports are good for our national security, they’re good for our foreign policy. And they’re good for our economic security. And as the administration and our leadership has said, economic security is national security.”

Source: https://www.defensenews.com/industry/2018/07/20/business-org-hails-trump-arms-export-plan/


Export Control Amendments Proposed for Commercial Firearms, Ammunition and Related Products

2018/06/29

By: Thomas B. McVey, Esq., tmcvey@williamsmullen.com; Camden R. Webb, Esq., crwebb@williamsmullen.com; and Charles E. “Chuck” James, Jr., Esq., cjames@williamsmullen.com. All of Williams Mullen.

On May 24, 2018 the State and Commerce Departments issued proposed regulations regarding the transfer of export jurisdiction for commercial firearms and ammunition from the International Traffic In Arms Regulations (“ITAR”) to the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”).[1]  Specifically, the proposals would amend Categories I, II and III of the U.S. Munitions List (“USML”) to remove certain commercial firearms products, ammunition, and certain parts, components, accessories and attachments and transfer these items to the Commerce Control List (“CCL”) under the EAR.  This is the first step in the long-awaited process under export control reform to transfer firearms products that no longer warrant control as military products from ITAR to the less restrictive EAR.  This is welcome news to our clients and many in the firearms and firearms accessory market.  The following is a summary of a number of the proposed changes and the impact on companies dealing in these products.

At the outset, it should be recognized that these are proposed amendments – they are not the final versions of the regulations.  State and Commerce have provided these in proposed form and are requesting comments from interested parties during a 45-day comment period.  Upon the receipt of comments, the agencies may make further modifications to the proposals and must still issue final regulations.  Consequently, companies should be alert to any additional changes and not act on the proposed regulations until they become final.  Nevertheless, companies can become engaged in the process now by submitting comments with recommendations for further revisions and begin planning for the transition to the new regulatory program.  Many industry groups and advocacy organizations are encouraging their members to offer comments in support of the proposed regulations.

Amendments Under ITAR.  Under the proposed State Department rule, USML Category I, covering firearms and related articles, will be amended to remove non-automatic and semi-automatic firearms up to caliber .50 (12.7 mm) inclusive and certain parts, components, accessories and attachments “specially designed” for such articles.  The goal of such amendments is to remove common items like modern sporting rifles while continuing to control under ITAR “only defense articles that are inherently military or that are not otherwise widely available for commercial sale.”[2]  Such products would be transferred to be controlled under the EAR (discussed further below).  Certain products, however, would continue to remain on USML Category I and subject to ITAR that fit within the above parameters, including the following:

  • Firearms that fire caseless ammunition;
  • Fully automatic firearms to caliber .50 inclusive;
  • Firearms specially designed to integrate fire control, automatic tracking and automatic firing systems;
  • Fully automatic shotguns;
  • Silencers, mufflers, sound suppressors, and specially designed parts and components;
  • Barrels, receivers (frames), bolts, bolt carriers, slides, and sears, specially designed for the firearms in Category I;
  • High capacity (greater than 50 rounds) magazines, and parts and components to convert a semi-automatic firearm into a fully automatic firearm; and
  • Accessories and attachments specially designed to automatically stabilize aim (other than gun rests) or for automatic targeting.

Category II, covering guns and armaments, would be amended to specifically list the items subject to controls and to establish a “bright line” between the USML and the CCL for the control of these items.  Items removed and transferred to the CCL include engines for self-propelled guns and howitzers,[3] tooling and equipment for the production of articles controlled in USML Category II[4] and certain test and evaluation equipment.[5]  Items specifically remaining on the USML and subject to ITAR would include certain apparatus and devices for launching or delivering ordnance,[6] certain autoloading systems currently controlled under USML Category II paragraph (i), developmental guns and armaments funded by the Department of Defense[7] and specially designed parts and components of such developmental products.

Category III, covering ammunition and ordinance, would be amended to be consistent with Category I, including the removal of ammunition for small arms that were transferred out of Category I.  Category III would also be amended to remove the broad “catch-alls” previously covered and to specifically enumerate the remaining items to be controlled.

New Controls Under the EAR.  Items removed from the USML as described above would be transferred to be controlled under the EAR which is administered by the Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) within the Commerce Department.  As part of this transfer, BIS has established 17 new export control classification numbers (“ECCN’s”) on the CCL to control items that were removed from the USML.

Items covered by these ECCN’s will continue to be subject to significant export restrictions.  For example, these items will require export licenses for exports, reexports and in-country transfers.  In addition, certain “technology” related to the transferred firearms, ammunition and related products will be controlled on the CCL – in many cases licenses will be required for the transfer of controlled technology out of the U.S. and the transfer or disclosure of controlled technology to foreign persons in the U.S.  Certain license exceptions would also be available for the transferred items (although the license exceptions under the EAR frequently differ from the license exemptions under ITAR).  As with ITAR licenses issued by DDTC, items exported under a license would only be authorized for the end user and end use specified on the license – any reexports or in-country transfers of such items beyond such authority will require specific additional license authorization from BIS.

Continued ITAR Controls On Brokering of Commercial Firearms.  Notwithstanding the changes described above, commercial firearms and ammunition would continue to be covered under the ITAR brokering requirements.  Specifically, the State Department proposed rule states that products listed on the U.S. Munitions Import List (used by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for administering controls on the permanent import of firearms products) will continue to be subject to the ITAR brokering requirements set forth in 22 CFR Part 129.  Category I(a) of the USMIL includes nonautomatic and semiautomatic firearms, to caliber .50 inclusive, and USMIL Category III(a) includes ammunition for such products.  Thus, despite the broad changes to USML Categories I and III under the proposed amendments, parties will still be subject to ITAR regulation for brokering and “facilitation” in the sale of commercial firearms products, including requirements for registration, obtaining advanced authorizations for certain transactions, reporting, recordkeeping and restrictions on brokering transactions involving the “proscribed” countries identified in 22 CFR §126.1.

Impact On Firearms Companies.  The proposed changes will most likely affect many companies in the firearms industry in a number of ways including:

  • Export Classifications.  Companies will review the export jurisdiction and classification of their products to determine if they have been transferred to BIS jurisdiction and, if so, to determine the correct ECCN’s for their products.  This will apply to firearms, ammunition, parts, components, accessories and attachments.
  • Licenses For Products, Technology and Software.  As referenced above, companies will still be required to obtain export licenses for exports, reexports and in-country transfers for controlled products, technologies and software.  However, in many cases these will be from a different licensing agency under different licensing procedures.  Consequently, many companies will be amending their export compliance procedures to conform to these new requirements.
  • Registration.  There is no requirement for companies to register under the EAR, as exists under ITAR.  Of course, if companies still engage in activities regulated under ITAR (such as brokering commercial firearms products or the sale of items remaining in USML Categories I, II and III), they will be required to maintain their DDTC registration.
  • Defense Services.  There are reduced controls on performing services under the EAR as compared with those under ITAR.[8]
  • Temporary Imports.  The EAR does not contain controls on the temporary import of items subject to the EAR as required under ITAR.
  • Reports for Payments of Fees, Commissions and Political Contributions.  The EAR does not require exporters to file reports on the payment of political contributions, fees and commissions as under ITAR Part 130.
  • Items Still Regulated Under ITAR.  For items that remain listed on the USML after the amendments, such items will still be subject to ITAR and the requirements thereunder.

Status of Amendments.  As stated above, the amendments described in this alert are proposed changes only and not final amendments.  Parties have until July 9, 2018 to submit comments to State and Commerce on the proposed regulations.  Companies are encouraged to review the proposals carefully to assess how they will apply to their businesses as there is still opportunity to propose further amendments.  Officials at DDTC and BIS typically review the comments carefully and often adopt changes recommended by commenters.

While the transfer of commercial firearms products from ITAR to EAR controls is not yet concluded, the process has begun.  This is the time for companies to become engaged – in reviewing, commenting on and planning ahead for these changes.

[1] The proposed State Department rule is available here, and the proposed Commerce Department rule is available here.

[2] See State proposed rule p. 24,198.

[3] To be transferred to the CCL under ECCN 0A606.

[4] To be transferred to the CCL under ECCN 0B602

[5] To be transferred to the CCL under ECCN 0B602.

[6] To be included in a new USML paragraph (a)(4).

[7] To be included in new USML paragraph (a)(5).

[8] The performance of services is addressed in the EAR in 15 CFR §744.6(a)(1)(ii) and §744.6(a)(2).  In addition, the BIS proposed rule states as follows regarding defense services: “The EAR does not include a concept of “defense services,” and the “technology” related controls are more narrowly focused and apply in limited contexts as compared to the ITAR.”  See BIS proposed rule at p. 24,167.


U.S. Departments of State and Commerce Propose Rules to Transition Firearms and Ammunition from the USML to the CCL

2018/06/29

(Source: Reeves & Dola LLP Alert, 1 June 2018. Available via jreeves@reevesdola.com)

By: Johanna Reeves, Esq., jreeves@reevesdola.com, 202-715-994; and Katherine Heubert, Esq., 202-715-9940, kheubert@reevesdola.com. Both of Reeves & Dola LLP

On May 24, 2018, the U.S. Departments of State and Commerce officially published proposed rules to transition most firearms and ammunition away from the export controls of the Department of State’s International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) over to the controls of the Department of Commerce’s Export Administration Regulations (EAR). In this alert, the second of four installments, we will examine the proposed revisions to the ITAR control list, the U.S. Munitions List (USML) Category I, and the Department of Commerce’s proposed companion rule amending the Commerce Control List (CCL).

Both the State and Commerce Departments are seeking written comments on the proposed rules, which will be accepted until July 9, 2018.  We strongly encourage industry to take time to carefully review the revised categories and provide actionable commentary to the proposed rules. This is a critical opportunity for industry to provide comments that would assist the government in reducing jurisdictional ambiguities and clarifying the articles that will remain subject to the ITAR. The specific instructions for submitting comments are included in each proposed rule.

Proposed Transitions from USML Cat. I to CCL

Title for this category will change from “Firearms, Close Assault Weapons and Combat Shotguns” to “Firearms and Related Articles.”

Articles Removed from USML Cat. I – State’s rule proposes to transition away from the USML non-automatic and semi-automatic firearms up to and including .50 caliber currently controlled under paragraph (a), as well as all parts, components, accessories and attachments specially designed for those firearms. These items will be subject to the EAR under newly created “500 series” Export Control Classification Numbers (ECCNs).

Commerce originally created the “500 series” as part of “Export Control Reform” under the Obama Administration to control items that had been from the USML or certain items on the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual Use Goods and Technologies Munitions List (the “Wassenaar List” or WAML). Compared to the “600 series” ECCNs, which control items of a military nature removed from the USML, the “500 series” contain items not appropriate for the 600 series control because they have predominant civil, recreational, law enforcement, or other non-military applications.

To capture the firearms and ammunition in USML Cats. I-III that will transition to the CCL, Commerce proposes in its companion rule to create a total of 17 new ECCNs. For the firearms, parts, components, accessories and attachments that will transition from USML Cat. I, the proposed new ECCNs are:

– 0A501 (Firearms and related commodities)

– 0A502 (Shotguns and certain related commodities)

– 0A504 (Optical sighting devices and certain related commodities)

– 0E501 (Technology for firearms and certain related items)

– 0E502 (Technology for shotguns)

– 0E504 (Technology for certain optical sighting devices)

Articles Still Controlled Under USML Cat. I – items that would remain under Category I are positively listed as follows, including the corresponding paragraph (Significant Military Equipment (SME) is designated with an asterisk (*)):

*(a) Firearms using caseless ammunition.

*(b) Fully automatic firearms to .50 caliber (12.7 mm) inclusive.

*(c) Firearms specially designed [emphasis added] to integrate fire control, automatic tracking, or automatic firing (e.g., Precision Guided Firearms (PGFs)), and specially designed parts and components therefor.

Note to paragraph (c): Integration does not include only attaching to the firearm or rail.

*(d) Fully automatic shotguns regardless of gauge.

*(e) Silencers, mufflers, and sound suppressors, and specially designed [emphasis added] parts and components therefor (flash suppressors move to CCL).

(f) [Reserved]

(g) Barrels, receivers (frames), bolts, bolt carriers, slides, or sears specially designed [emphasis added] for the articles in paragraphs (a), (b), and (d) of this category.

(h) Parts, components, accessories, and attachments, as follows:

(1) Drum and other magazines for firearms to .50 caliber (12.7 mm) inclusive with a capacity greater than 50 rounds, regardless of jurisdiction of the firearm, and specially designed [emphasis added] parts and components therefor;

(2) Parts and components specially designed for conversion of a semiautomatic firearm to a fully automatic firearm[emphasis added].

(3) Accessories or attachments specially designed to automatically stabilize aim (other than gun rests) or for automatic targeting, and specially designed parts and components therefor [emphasis added].

Technical Data and Defense Services – paragraph (i) specifies “technical data,” as defined in ITAR §120.10, and “defense services,” as defined in ITAR §120.9, directly related to the defense articles described in paragraphs (a), (b), (d), (e), (g), and (h) of Cat. I, and classified technical data directly related to items controlled in ECCNs 0A501, 0B501, 0D501, and 0E501 and defense services using the classified technical data. Exemptions will continue to be covered in ITAR §125.4.

Revised USML Cat. I will also include several notes to explain what items are excluded by the category (non-automatic and semi-automatic firearms up to and including .50 caliber; non-automatic shotguns; BB, pellet, and muzzle loading (e.g., black powder) firearms; and parts, components, accessories, and attachments of firearms and shotguns in paragraphs (a), (b), (d), and (g) of Cat. I that are common to non-automatic firearms and shotguns) and what is meant by firearm, fully automatic firearm or shotgun, or caseless ammunition.

The proposed rule also adds a new paragraph (x) to Cats. I, II and III to allow for ITAR licensing of commodities, software and technology subject to the EAR, which paragraph has already been added to all of the other USML categories that have gone through the rewrite process.  It is important to note that paragraph (x) is only available if those items EAR items are to be used in or with defense articles controlled in USML Cat. I, and the items are described in the purchase documentation submitted with the ITAR license application. Further, it is important to understand that such EAR items, even if included on an ITAR export license under USML Cat. I(x), would remain subject to the controls of the EAR, despite the appearance of the ITAR license.  Use of paragraph(x) is a licensing convenience only; it does not change the jurisdictional status of an item. Consequently, it will be incumbent on the U.S. exporter to properly educate its customers on the proper licensing authority, especially for reexport and retransfer requests.

CCL Controls

A key fact in the proposed rules is that the transition from USML to CCL will NOT result in a decontrol of firearms or ammunition. Firearms transitioning from the USML to CCL will be subject to controls under National Security (NS), Regional Stability (RS), Crime Control and Detection (CC), Firearms Convention (FC), United Nations Sanctions (UN) and Anti-Terrorism (AT). Indeed, the proposed rules make it abundantly clear that BIS will require licenses to export or reexport to ANY country firearms or other weapons that transitions from the USML to the CCL.

License exceptions, such as limited value shipments (LVS), government (GOV), baggage (BAG) and strategic trade authorization (STA) will be very limited for small arms formerly on the USML, so industry should carefully review the ECCNs in the proposed rule to see what license exceptions are available for each ECCN and the limitations.

Each new ECCN will be made up of technically specific subparagraphs in an enumerated “List of Items Controlled.” For example, the list of items controlled under ECCN 0A501 is comprised of paragraphs .a – .w, which identify the items classified under the particular paragraph. The ECCN also includes .x and .y paragraphs for parts and components. The .x paragraph operates like a catch-all, as it lists specially designed parts and components that are not controlled elsewhere. Conversely, the .y paragraph lists only those parts, components, accessories, and attachments that are controlled only for UN and AT reasons. Such items may be exported to nearly all destinations without a license. The parts and components captured by the .x paragraph, on the other hand, are subject to NS, RS, FC, UN, and AT and will likely require a license for most destinations.

It will be incumbent on the exporter (or temporary importer) to review every firearm and firearm part, component, accessory, and attachment in which it deals so as to determine the new classification once the rules become final. The specific license requirements, and the applicability of license exceptions, as well as any end-use or end-user restrictions, will depend on the specific subparagraph classification of the governing ECCN.

Specially Designed

A critical concept in the proposed revisions to the control lists is the term “Specially Designed.” This term has been reviewed, criticized, discussed, and analyzed in depth since it was first incorporated into the ITAR and the EAR in the initial implementation rules for Export Control Reform, which DDTC and BIS published in the Federal Register on April 16, 2013.

This term is NOT up for public comment at the present time, but to understand the proposed revisions to the USML and CCL control lists for firearms and ammunition, it is imperative to comprehend the term. Both the ITAR and EAR use the term, “Specially Designed” to remove the catch-all controls currently present in the USML Cats. I-III and to designate what parts, components, accessories and attachments are subject to either the ITAR or the EAR. We have highlighted the proposed use of “specially designed” in USML Cat. I in the list above.

It is important to note that the “specially designed” analysis is not applicable to the entire USML Category, as it can be used only if it is specified within a particular paragraph. As the revisions to Cat. I are intended to make the list a positive list and include only those articles that warrant control under the ITAR for the reasons stated previously, there should be a bright line between those articles subject to the ITAR and those subject to the EAR. Industry therefore must carefully review the full definition of “Specially Designed” and the application to the proposed revisions of Cat. I and provide comments that would assist the government in reducing jurisdictional ambiguities and clarifying the articles subject to the ITAR.

Industry should also review the ITAR order of review outlined in 22 C.F.R. § 121.1(b)), and the Order of Review Decision Tool available on DDTC’s website. BIS also provides an Order of Review Decision Tool on its website.

Industry should be forewarned not to underestimate the time intensive process of classifying the parts, components, attachments and accessories for firearms under the proposed rules. A critical component is the specially designed analysis, which itself is complex and difficult to understand immediately. It would be foolish to skip over classification, as license requirements, applicability of license exceptions, and restrictions are dependent on the classification, down to the specific ECCN paragraph. Further, export license applications will require identification of the specific subparagraph of control as well.  The days of simply identifying “paragraph (h)” for any and all parts and components are quickly coming to an end.

Brokering

In addition to the proposed revisions to the USML Cats. I-III, DDTC’s proposed rule identifies several “conforming changes” in other parts of the ITAR to remove references to firearms that will be controlled on the CCL. One such revision is to section 129.1 to clarify that regulations on brokering activities apply to defense articles and defense services designated on the USML as well as items described on the U.S. Munitions Import List (USMIL) for permanent import controls. The USMIL is promulgated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) pursuant to the permanent import provisions of the Arms Export Control Act. ATF’s regulations are in 27 C.F.R. Pt. 447, and the USMIL is in 27 C.F.R. § 447.21.

According to DDTC, “the items that will move to the CCL for export control purposes, yet are on the USMIL for permanent import purposes, remain subject to the brokering requirements of [ITAR] part 129 with respect to all brokering activities, including facilitation in their manufacture, export, permanent import, transfer, reexport, or retransfer.” 83 Fed. Reg. at 24199 (May 24, 2018). Approaching this from the catch and release analysis that has permeated export control reform, this is the “catch.” The proposed revision in section 129.2, however, adds the following release in a new paragraph (vii) for activities that are NOT considered brokering activities:

“Activities by persons to facilitate the export, reexport, or transfer of an item subject to the EAR that has been approved pursuant to a license or license exception under the EAR or a license or other approval under this subchapter.”

As written, this language is very broad because the clause “that has been approved” does not limit past approvals to the person engaging in the subject activities. Further, the past approvals may be from either an EAR or an ITAR authorization.

Electronic Export Information Filings to Automated Export System

A critical change in the proposed rules lies within the Department of Commerce proposed rule relating to the Electronic Export Information (EEI) filings to Automated Export System (AES). According to the proposed rule, AES filings would be required for exports of all firearms transitioned to the CCL from the USML, regardless of value or destination. This requirement would also extend to temporary exports under license exceptions TMP or BAG.

In addition, the rule proposes to expand the required data elements of AES filings to include serial numbers, make, model, and caliber for such firearms. Industry should carefully evaluate the impact this requirement will have on operations and include in comments to the proposed rules.

Temporary Imports

The proposed Commerce rules set out a new process in 15 C.F.R. 758.10 for temporary imports of items subject to both the EAR and the USMIL. The process would impose entry clearance requirements for firearms temporarily imported into the United States for a period not to exceed 1 year, and then would require the use of the TMP license exception for the return export.

For the inbound transaction, U.S. Customs and Border Protection would be charged with collecting identifying information necessary to track the items temporarily imported, such as the list of firearms with serial numbers, model, make, quantity, and value, as well as other import and supporting documents. For the export, a license would not be required, but CBP would match the export to the information received upon entry. Firearms may not be imported from or ultimately destined to certain proscribed or restricted countries, and the proposed rule includes language that would instruct importers to contact CBP at the port of import or export for the proper procedures to provide any data or documentation required by BIS. Commerce is seeking comment from industry on this proposed new process.

This brings to a close this second installment of our four-part series on the proposed rules transitioning firearms and ammunition from the USML to the CCL. In our next two alerts we will examine the proposed revisions to USML Cats. II and III and the new EAR controls.


A Primer on the Export Administration Regulations

2018/06/29

(Source: Reeves & Dola LLP Alert, 1 June 2018. Available via jreeves@reevesdola.com)

By: Johanna Reeves, Esq., jreeves@reevesdola.com, 202-715-994; and Katherine Heubert, Esq., 202-715-9940, kheubert@reevesdola.com. Both of Reeves & Dola LLP

 

On May 14, 2018, the U.S. Department of State posted on its website proposed rules to transition most firearms and ammunition off the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) control list, known as the U.S. Munitions List (USML), over to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s export control list, known as the Commerce Control List (CCL). The reason for the change is to revise the scope of the ITAR to control only those articles that provide the United States with a critical military or intelligence advantage or, in the case of weapons, are inherently for military end use. Such items will remain on the USML, while items no longer warranting control under the ITAR will be transitioned to the CCL and be subject to the licensing provisions of the Export Administration Act (EAR), administered and enforced by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS).

In anticipation of the official publication of the proposed rules, scheduled for May 24, 2018, we thought it advisable to offer an overview of the EAR. Once the rules publish on May 24, we will circulate an in-depth 3-part review of the proposed amendments to the ITAR and to the EAR and the potential impacts on industry.

The following overview of the EAR is intentionally broad, and is intended to serve only as a backdrop to the proposed rules to transition most firearms and ammunition, along with certain parts, components, attachments and accessories, from ITAR controls to EAR controls.

Scope of Controls – Subject to the EAR

Items – the Commerce Control List

While the Department of State controls over exports, reexports, and temporary imports are confined to “defense articles” and “defense services” listed on the USML, the Department of Commerce controls over exports and reexports are much broader. The EAR, found in 15 C.F.R. Pts. 730-780, control the export and reexport of “items” (commodities, software, and technology, each term separately defined in the EAR) and certain activities that are NOT exclusively controlled for export or reexport by another agency of the U.S. government which regulates exports or reexports for national security or foreign policy purposes, such as the U.S. Department of State.

Items subject to the EAR consist of the items listed on the CCL in Part 774 of the EAR, and all other items that meet the definition of “subject to the EAR” in section 734.3. The CCL is made up of ten Categories that are further broken into Export Control Classification Numbers (ECCNs). An ECCN is an alpha-numeric code that describes an item or types of items and shows the controls on that item and available license exceptions. The ECCN is not a Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) number, and is not a Schedule B number. To determine whether an item requires an export license from BIS, the exporter must know how the item is classified on the CCL.

As noted above, the CCL is divided into 10 categories, with each category subdivided into five groups, designated by the letters A through E as follows: (A) Equipment, assemblies and components; (B) Test, inspection and production equipment; (C) Materials; (D) Software; and (E) Technology. Within each group is where you will find the ECCNs that enumerate the items that are controlled on the CCL. The firearms and ammunition currently classified on the USML in Categories I, II and III that have been selected to transition to the EAR will be enumerated in new ECCNs created under Category 0 (nuclear materials, facilities and equipment, and miscellaneous items) and product groups A, B, D and E. We will review the proposed rules and the new ECCNs in detail in our forthcoming alerts.

Items subject to the EAR which are not listed on the CCL are generally designated as “EAR99.” Often, items classified as EAR99 do not require an export license, but EAR99 is a classification, not a license exemption! Further, EAR99 does not automatically mean that no license is required. If the export violates any of the general prohibitions listed in EAR section 736.2, such as prohibited end-user, end-use, or sanctioned or embargoed country, a license is required.

The above discussion relates only to the question of what is subject to the EAR. Being subject to the EAR does not automatically mean a license is required for an export or reexport. This is a separate analysis that we will examine below.

Parts and Components – De Minimis

Foreign-made commodities that incorporate controlled U.S.-origin commodities may also be subject to the EAR if they have de minimis level of U.S. content. What constitutes the de minimis level depends on the commodity and the destination country for the reexport, and may range from no de minimis levels (for items subject to higher controls), to 10% or 25% de minimis.  The rules for calculating de minimis levels are found in section 734.4 of the EAR.

Technology

The EAR defines “technology” as “information necessary for the “development,” “production,” “use,” operation, installation, maintenance, repair, overhaul, or refurbishing (or other terms specified in ECCNs on the CCL that control “technology”) of an item. Each of the quoted terms are defined in Part 772 of the EAR.

EAR controls over “technology” are more narrowly focused than the ITAR controls over technical data, and apply in limited contexts. To determine whether the technology for an ECCN is also enumerated on the CCL, the corresponding “E” ECCN for the platform should be reviewed. For example, in the proposed rules for firearms currently in USML CAt. I, there will be a new ECCN 0E501 that controls technology for firearms and certain related items. However, the technology controlled would be that which is required for the “development” and “production” of firearms other than shotguns. This new ECCN also would apply the anti-terrorism and United Nations reasons for control (see below) to “technology” “required” for the operation, installation, maintenance, repair, or overhaul of such firearms. As the proposed Commerce rule explains, “controlling this “technology” under the EAR rather than the ITAR is appropriate because the “technology” for the “development,” “production,” operation, installation, maintenance, repair, and overhaul of the firearms to be described in 0A501 is widely available throughout the world and its possession does not confer a significant military or intelligence advantage on the United States.”

It is important to point out that the EAR’s carve-out from controls for published works or information in the public domain is much broader in scope compared to the ITAR carve-out for public domain. In section 734.7, “published” technology or software is carved out from EAR controls “when it has been made available to the public without restrictions upon its further dissemination….” For example, subscriptions available without restriction, libraries or other public collections open to the public and from which the public can obtain tangible or intangible documents, unlimited distributions at a conference, seminar, trade, show, or exhibition generally accessible to the public, public/unlimited distribution in any form, including posting on the Internet on sites available to the public. Many may rejoice over this, as the ITAR still does not recognize the Internet as being in the “public domain.”

As further illustration of technology not controlled under the EAR, the BIS proposed rule cites the example of a gun manufacturer posting a firearm’s operation and maintenance manual on the Internet, making it publicly available to anyone interested in accessing it and without restrictions on further dissemination. According to the proposed rule explanation, such operation and maintenance information included in that published manual would no longer be “subject to the EAR.” Nonproprietary system descriptions, including for firearms and related items, are another example of information that would not be subject to the EAR.

Reasons for Control

The reasons for control for exports under the EAR include the following:

– CB (Chemical & Biological Weapons)

– NP (Nuclear Proliferation)

– NS (National Security)

– MT (Missile Technology)

– RS (Regional Stability)

– CC (Crime Control)

– AT (Anti-Terrorism)

– UN (United Nations)

– EI (Encryption Item)

– CW (Chemical Weapons Convention)

The specific reasons for control for a particular item is identified within each specific ECCN. Unlike the blanket ITAR requirement for a license to anywhere in the world, BIS license requirements are unique to each individual ECCN. Whether a license is required for a particular export will depend on the destination country.

Licensing Under the EAR

Each ECCN is made up of four sections: a heading(description of the items controlled), the license requirements(including all possible reasons for control, such as AT, UN, NS, CC, and RS) the available license exceptions, and list of items controlled.

To determine the export and reexport license requirements for most items on the CCL, you must identify the reasons for control in the relevant ECCN and consult the Commerce Country Chart in Supp. No. 1 to Part 738 to see whether the applicable reasons for control are checked for the specific country. If so, then a license is required unless a license exception applies. Whether a license exception is available will depend on the ECCN and the Country Groups in Supplement No. 1 to Pt. 740.

Unlike the ITAR, the EAR does not require registration of exporters (so no registration fee), and there are no fees to apply for licenses through the SNAP-R. In addition, unlike the ITAR, the EAR does not include a concept of “defense services,” so there is no registration or licensing for the provision of defense services like there is under the ITAR.

The process for establishing a SNAP-R account is relatively easy, and no digital signature certificate is required. Further, unlike the ITAR, which contains several license forms depending on the transaction, the EAR prescribes one single form for each type of export (permanent, retransfer, reexport).

Covering Items Subject to the EAR on DDTC Licenses

With the rewrite of Categories I, II, and III, DDTC will add a “Paragraph (x)” to each of the revised categories. This paragraph has been added to all other USML Categories as they have gone through the rewrite process, and allows for the export of items subject to the EAR under ITAR licenses so long as the conditions of paragraph (x) are met (see ITAR §§ 120.5(b) and 126.6(c)). These conditions include:

(1) An ITAR license may only include items subject to the EAR that are for use in or with the listed defense articles;

(2) The purchase documentation must specify both the defense articles with the items subject to the EAR (no separate purchase orders breaking out the defense articles from the EAR items);

(3) The exporter must ship the EAR items together with the ITAR articles; and

(4) Items subject to the EAR that are included on an ITAR license do not lose their jurisdictional status as EAR-controlled items and remain subject to the EAR for any subsequent transactions.

In light of the last requirement, it is incumbent on the U.S. exporter to properly educate its customers and end-users when using an ITAR license for both defense articles and EAR items to be used in or with the defense articles. In the event the end-user need reexport approval, the approval must come from BIS for items subject to the EAR, not DDTC.

Below is a reference chart comparing some aspects of the EAR to the ITAR.

ITAR EAR
Statutory Authority Arms Export Control Act Export Administration Act of 1979 50 USC 4601-4623 [lapsed]
Federal Agency U.S. Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security
Citation 22 C.F.R. Pts. 120-130 15 C.F.R. Pts. 730 – 774
What is Covered Export, reexport, and temporary import of “defense articles” and “defense services” Items subject to the EAR
Control List U.S. Munitions List
22 C.F.R. 121.1
Commerce Control List
15 C.F.R. Pt. 774
Registration Required? Yes – manufacturers, exporters, temporary importers, and brokers of defense articles and defense services. Annual fees apply. Manufacturers of defense articles must register regardless of export activity. No
License Portal D-Trade SNAP-R
Fee for Licenses Yes – rolled into registration fee No
Types of Licenses/ Authorization Several types/forms – permanent export, temporary export, temporary import, agreements, brokering One form for export, Reexport, In-Country Transfer
Brokering? Yes – 22 C.F.R. Pt. 129 No – but see proposed rules for Cats. I-III
Technology Controls Yes – “technical data” licensing and “defense services” licensing Yes, but not as broad as ITAR; EAR controls only transmission
of technology, so no EAR concept of defense service

This overview of the EAR is the first installment of a four-part series on the proposed rules to transition firearms and ammunition from the USML to the CCL. Our next alert will examine the transition of certain firearms and their parts, components, accessories and attachments from USML Cat. I items to the CCL. Please stay tuned.


USML Categories VIII, XII, and XV Amended and Some Items Shifting to CCL

2016/11/15

The Department of State has published a final rule that will be effective December 31, 2016 that will revise Category XII (fire control, laser, imaging, and guidance equipment) of the U.S. Munitions List (USML) to remove certain items from control on the USML and to describe more precisely the articles continuing to warrant control on the USML. The Department of State also amends USML Categories VIII, XIII, and XV to reflect that items previously described in those Categories are now controlled under the revised Category XII or Commerce Control List. Further, the Department revises USML Category XI to move items to the CCL as a result of changes to related control in USML Category XII. The Export Administration Regulations (EAR) amends Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) 7A611 and creates a new ‘‘600 series’’ ECCNs 7B611, 7D611, and 7E611. In addition, for certain dual-use infrared detection items, this final rule expands controls for certain software and technology, eliminates the use of some license exceptions, revises licensing policy, and expands license requirements for certain transactions involving military end users or foreign military commodities. This final rule also harmonizes provisions within the EAR by revising controls related to certain quartz rate sensors.

ITAR Changes Below:

Section 121.1 is amended by:

  • Removing and reserving paragraph (e) in U.S. Munitions List Category VIII;
  • Revising paragraphs (a)(3)(ii) and (a)(10) of U.S. Munitions List Category XI;
  • Revising U.S. Munitions List Category XII; Removing and reserving paragraph (a) in U.S. Munitions List Category XIII; and
  • Removing and reserving paragraph (c) in U.S. Munitions List Category XV

Federal Register: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-10-12/pdf/2016-24225.pdf

 

EAR Changes Below:

  • Part 734
    • Section 734.4 is amended by removing and reserving paragraph (a)(3) and revising paragraph (a)(5).
  • Part 740
    • Section 740.2 is amended by adding paragraph (a)(7) and removing and reserving paragraph (a)(9).
    • Section 740.16 is amended by revising paragraphs (a)(2) and (b)(1) through (3)
    • Section 740.20 is amended by revising paragraphs (b)(2)(ii) and (b)(2)(x)
  • Part 742
    • Section 742.6 is amended by revising paragraph (b)(1)
  • Part 744
    • Section 744.9 is amended by revising the section heading and paragraphs (a) and (b)
  • Part 772
    • Section 772.1 is amended by revising the last sentence in Note 1 to the definition of ‘‘specially designed’’
  • Part 774
    • In Supplement No. 1 to part 774, Category 0, ECCN 0A919 is amended by revising the Items paragraph of the List of Items Controlled section
    • In Supplement No. 1 to part 774, Category 0, ECCN 0A987 is amended by:
      • Revising the Related Controls paragraph in the List of Items Controlled section;
      • Revising paragraph f. in the Items paragraph in the List of Items Controlled section; and
      • Adding a note to 0A987.f
    • In Supplement No. 1 to part 774, Category 2, ECCN 2A984 is amended by revising the heading and Note 1 of the Related Controls paragraph in the List of Items Controlled section
    • In Supplement No. 1 to part 774, Category 6, ECCN 6A002 is amended by:
    • Removing the ‘‘Special Conditions for STA’’ section; and
    • Revising the Related Controls paragraph in the List of Items Controlled section.
    • In Supplement No. 1 to part 774, Category 6, ECCN 6A003 is amended by:
      • Adding a License Requirement Note in the License Requirements section;
      • Revising notes 3 and 4 in the Related Controls paragraph in the List of Items Controlled section; and
      • Adding note 5 to the Related Controls paragraph in the List of Items Controlled section
    • In Supplement No. 1 to part 774, Category 6, ECCN 6A004 is amended by revising the Related Controls paragraph in the List of Items Controlled section
    • In Supplement No. 1 to part 774, Category 6, ECCN 6A005 is amended by revising the last two sentences in the Related Controls paragraph in the List of Items Controlled section
    • In Supplement No. 1 to part 774, Category 6, ECCN 6A007 is amended by revising the Related Controls paragraph in the List of Items Controlled section
    • In Supplement No. 1 to part 774, Category 6, ECCN 6A008 is amended by revising the Related Controls paragraph in the List of Items Controlled section
    • In Supplement No. 1 to part 774, Category 6, ECCN 6A107 is amended by revising the Related Controls paragraph in the List of Items Controlled section
    • In Supplement No. 1 to part 774, Category 6, ECCN 6A611 is revised
    • In Supplement No. 1 to part 774, Category 6, ECCN 6A990 is revised
    • In Supplement No. 1 to part 774, Category 6, ECCN 6A993 is amended by revising the Related Controls paragraph in the List of Items Controlled sectionn Supplement No. 1 to part 774, Category 6, ECCN 6D002 is amended by revising the TSR paragraph in the List Based License Exceptions section and the Related Controls paragraph in the List of Items Controlled section
    • In Supplement No. 1 to part 774, Category 6, ECCN 6D003 is amended by revising the TSR paragraph in the List Based License Exceptions section and the Related Controls paragraph in the List of Items Controlled section
    • In Supplement No. 1 to part 774, Category 6, ECCN 6D991 is revised
    • In Supplement No. 1 to part 774, Category 6, ECCN 6E001 is amended by revising the TSR paragraph in the List Based License Exceptions section and the Related Controls paragraph in the List of Items Controlled section
    • In Supplement No. 1 to part 774, Category 6, ECCN 6E002 is amended by revising the TSR paragraph in the List Based License Exceptions section and the Related Controls paragraph in the List of Items Controlled section
    • In Supplement No. 1 to part 774, Category 6, The following ECCNs will be amended by revising the Related Controls paragraph in the List of Items Controlled section
      • ECCN 6E990
      • ECCN 7A001
      • ECCN 7A002
      • ECCN 7A003
      • ECCN 7A005
      • ECCN 7A101
      • ECCN 7A102
    • In Supplement No. 1 to part 774, Category 7, ECCN 7A611 is revised
    • In Supplement No. 1 to part 774, Category 7, ECCN 7A994 is revised
    • In Supplement No. 1 to part 774, Category 7, add ECCN 7B611 between ECCNs 7B103 and 7B994
    • In Supplement No. 1 to part 774, Category 7, add ECCN 7D611 between ECCNs 7D103 and 7D994
    • In Supplement No. 1 to part 774, Category 7, add ECCN 7E611 between ECCNs 7E104 and 7E994
    • In Supplement No. 1 to part 774, Category 7, ECCN 7E994 is amended by revising the Related Controls paragraphin the List of Items Controlled section
    • In Supplement No. 1 to part 774, Category 8, ECCN 8A002 is amended by adding a sentence to the end of the Related Controls paragraph in the List of Items Controlled section
    • In Supplement No. 1 to part 774, Category 9, ECCN 9A991 is amended by:
      • Removing the License Requirement Notes paragraph in the License Requirements section, and
      • Revising the Related Controls paragraph in the List of Items Controlled section.

Federal Register: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-10-12/pdf/2016-24220.pdf

Want a more detailed overview of these regulation changes? Our Export Control Reform for USML Category XII: Fire Control, Laser, Imaging, and Guidance Webinar will cover the following:

  • Significant changes to USML Category XII and corresponding revisions to Categories VIII, XI, XIII, and XV, which will result in some items moving off the USML
  • What the definition of “specially designed” really means for classification purposes, and how Category XII has introduced a new concept of “specially designed for a military end-user”
  • How to classify formerly ITAR-controlled items on the Commerce Control List, especially the new and revised “600 series” Export Control Classification Numbers (ECCNs) (7A611, 7B611, 7D611, and 7E611)
  • Adjustments to several related non-600 series ECCNs is CCL Categories 0, 2, 6, 7, 8, and 9
  • License exception eligibility for these items, including important changes to License Exceptions APR, GOV, and STA
  • Revisions to unique EAR military end use and end user controls
  • The actions exporters should take now to prepare for the rapidly approaching effective date of these changes

Learn More at: http://www.learnexportcompliance.com/Webinars/Export-Control-Reform-for-USML-Category-XII-Fire-C.aspx


The Last Hoorah for Reform?

2016/09/06

By: Danielle McClellan

Over three years ago (April 2013) the first set of Export Control Reform regulations were published in the Federal Register, they were over 100 pages long and made the regulations more complex but also significantly relaxed controls on some items. Over the last few years reform has come in the form of waves and moved items from the USML onto the CCL in batches. Now, as the Obama Administration is moving out it looks as though we are about to see the last list shift for a while.

The final rule, which will be effective December 31, 2016, will move specific items controlled under Category XIV and Category XVIII. Basically, items that have been determined to no longer warrant ITAR control (toxicological agents, including chemical agents, biological agents, and associated equipment, along with directed energy weapons) will be controlled under the Commerce Control List (CCL). The affected Category XIV items consist of dissemination, detection, and protection “equipment” and related articles, such as production and test “equipment,” and will be controlled under new ECCNs 1A607, 1B607, 1C607, 1D607 and 1E607. The affected Category XVIII articles will follow in suit with being primarily tooling, production “equipment,” test and evaluation “equipment,” test models, and related articles and will be controlled under new ECCNs 6B619, 6D619, and 6E619.

Specific Regulation Changes:

ITAR:

  • This final rule adopts for those pathogens and toxins that meet specific capabilities listed in paragraph (b) the ‘‘Tier 1’’ pathogens and toxins established in the Department of Health and Human Services and the United States Department of Agriculture select agents and toxins regulations (42 CFR part 73 and 9 CFR part 121). The Tier 1 pathogens and toxins that do not meet these capabilities remain controlled in Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) 1C351 on the CCL.
  • Additionally, this rule, in concert with the analogous rule published by the Department of Commerce, moves riot control agents to the export jurisdiction of the Department of Commerce, as well as the articles covered previously in paragraphs (j), (k), and (l), which include test facilities, equipment for the destruction of chemical and biological agents, and tooling for production of articles in paragraph (f), respectively.
  • Other changes include the addition of paragraph (a)(5) to control chemical warfare agents ‘‘adapted for use in war’’ and not elsewhere enumerated, as well as the removal of paragraphs (f)(3) and (f)(6) and movement to the CCL of equipment for the sample collection and decontamination or remediation of chemical agents and biological agents.
  • Paragraph (f)(5) for collective protection was removed and partially combined in paragraph (f)(4) or the CCL.
  • Paragraph (g) enumerates antibodies, recombinant protective antigens, polynucleotides, biopolymers, or biocatalysts exclusively funded by a Department of Defense contract for detection of the biological agents listed in paragraph (b)(1)(ii).
  • The Department notes that the controls in paragraph (f)(2) that include the phrase ‘‘developed under a Department of Defense contract or other funding authorization’’ do not apply when the Department of Defense acts solely as a servicing agency for a contract on behalf of another agency of the U.S. government. Moreover, ‘‘other funding authorization’’ refers to other funding authorization from the Department of Defense.
  • The Department notes that the controls in paragraphs (g)(1) and (h) that include the phrase ‘‘exclusively funded by a Department of Defense contract’’ do not apply when the Department of Defense acts solely as a servicing agency for a contract on behalf of another agency of the U.S. government, or, for example, in cases where the Department of Defense provides initial funding for the development of an item but another agency of the U.S. government provides funding to further develop or adapt the item.
  • Paragraph (h) enumerates certain vaccines funded exclusively by the Department of Defense, as well as certain vaccines controlled in (h)(4) that are specially designed for the sole purpose of protecting against biological agents and biologically derived substances identified in (b). Thus, the scope of vaccines controlled in (h)(4) is circumscribed by the nature of funding and the satisfaction of the term ‘‘specially designed’’ as that term is defined in ITAR § 120.41. In evaluating the scope of this control, please note that the Department offers a decision tool to aid exporters in determining whether a defense article meets the definition of ‘‘specially designed.’’ This tool is available at http://www.pmddtc.state.gov/licensing/dtSpeciallyDesigned.htm.
  • Paragraph (i) is updated to provide better clarity on the scope of the control by including examples of Department of Defense tools that are used to determine or estimate potential effects of chemical or biological weapons strikes and incidents in order to plan to mitigate their impacts.
  • A new paragraph (x) has been added to USML Category XIV, allowing ITAR licensing on behalf of the Department of Commerce for commodities, software, and technology subject to the EAR, provided those commodities, software, and technology are to be used in or with defense articles controlled in USML Category XIV and are described in the purchase documentation submitted with the application. The intent of paragraph (x) is not to impose ITAR jurisdiction on commodities, software, and technology subject to EAR controls. Items described in paragraph (x) remain subject to the jurisdiction of the EAR. The Department added the paragraph as a regulatory reference point in response to industry requests to be able to use a Department of State license to export shipments that have a mix of ITAR controlled items and EAR controlled items for use in or with items described in that category.
  • Finally, this rule establishes USML control in subparagraph (f)(2) of certain chemical or biological agent equipment only when it contains reagents, algorithms, coefficients, software, libraries, spectral databases, or alarm set point levels developed under a Department of Defense contract or other funding authorization.

EAR:

This final rule creates five new “600 series” ECCNs in CCL Category 1 (ECCNs 1A607, 1B607, 1C607, 1D607, and 1E607) that clarify the EAR controls applicable to certain dissemination, detection and protection “equipment” and related items that the President has determined no longer warrant control under USML Category XIV. Terms such as “part,” “component” “accessories,” “attachments,” and “specially designed” are applied in the same manner in this rule as those terms are defined in Section 772.1 of the EAR. In addition, to assist exporters in determining the control status of their items, a “Specially Designed” Decision Tool and a CCL Order of Review Decision Tool are available on the BIS Web site at: http://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/decision-tree-tools.

  • New ECCN 1A607 Military dissemination “equipment” for riot control agents, military detection and protection “equipment” for toxicological agents (including chemical, biological, and riot control agents), and related commodities. In new ECCN 1A607, paragraphs .a through .d, paragraph .i, and paragraphs .l through .w are reserved. Paragraph .e of ECCN 1A607 controls “equipment” “specially designed” for military use and for the dissemination of any of the riot control agents controlled in ECCN 1C607.a. Paragraph .f of ECCN 1A607 controls protection “equipment” “specially designed” for military use and for defense against either materials controlled by USML Category XIV(a) or (b) or any of the riot control agents in new ECCN 1C607.a. Paragraph .g of ECCN 1A607 controls decontamination “equipment” not controlled by USML Category XIV(f) that is “specially designed” for military use and for the decontamination of objects contaminated with materials controlled by USML Category XIV(a) or (b). Paragraph .h controls “equipment” not controlled by USML Category XIV(f) that is “specially designed” for military use and for the detection or identification of either materials specified by USML Category XIV(a) or (b) or riot control agents controlled by new ECCN 1C607.a. Paragraph .j controls “equipment” “specially designed” to: (i) Interface with a detector, shelter, vehicle, vessel, or aircraft controlled by the USML or a “600 series” ECCN; and (ii) collect and process samples of articles controlled in USML Category XIV(a) or (b). Paragraph .k controls medical countermeasures that are “specially designed” for military use (including pre- and post- treatments, antidotes, and medical diagnostics) and “specially designed” to counter chemical agents controlled by USML Category XIV(a). Paragraph .x controls “parts,” “components,” “accessories,” and “attachments” that are “specially designed” for a commodity controlled under ECCN 1A607.e, .f, .g, .h, or .j or a defense article controlled in USML Category XIV(f) and that are not enumerated or otherwise described elsewhere in the USML.
  • New ECCN 1B607 Military test, inspection, and production “equipment” and related commodities “specially designed” for the “development,” “production,” repair, overhaul, or refurbishing of commodities identified in ECCN 1A607 or 1C607, or defense articles enumerated or otherwise described in USML Category XIV.
  • In new ECCN 1B607, paragraph .a controls “equipment,” not including incinerators, that is “specially designed” for the destruction of chemical agents controlled by USML Category XIV(a). Paragraph .b of ECCN 1B607 controls test facilities and “equipment” that are “specially designed” for military certification, qualification, or testing of commodities controlled by new ECCN 1A607.e, .f, .g, .h, or .j or by USML Category XIV(f), except for XIV(f)(1). Paragraph .c of ECCN 1B607 controls tooling and “equipment” “specially designed” for the “development,” “production,” repair, overhaul, or refurbishing of commodities controlled under new ECCN 1A607.e, .f, .g, .h, or .j or USML Category XIV(f). Paragraphs .d through .w are reserved. Paragraph .x controls “parts,” “components,” “accessories,” and “attachments,” not enumerated or otherwise described elsewhere in the USML, that are “specially designed” for a commodity controlled by ECCN 1B607.b or .c or for a defense article controlled by USML Category XIV(f). As indicated above, ECCN 1B607.b does not control test facilities and “equipment” that are “specially designed” for military certification, qualification, or testing of commodities and are enumerated or otherwise described in USML Category XIV(f)(1), as set forth in State’s companion rule to this final rule (e.g., see the equipment in USML Category XIV(f)(1)(ii) that is “specially designed” for testing the articles controlled in paragraph (a), (b), (c), (e), or (f)(4) of USML Category XIV). In addition to the test facilities and “equipment” controlled by ECCN 1B607.b, see the tooling and “equipment” classified under ECCN 2B350 or 2B352 for producing the chemical/biological agents, precursors, or defoliants described in USML Category XIV(a), (b), (c), or (e). The EAR also control tooling and “equipment” to produce the antibodies/polynucleotides and vaccines described in USML Category XIV(g) and (h), respectively, as follows: lab “equipment” designated as EAR99 under the EAR; biological dual-use “equipment” (including protective “equipment”) classified under ECCN 2B352; and EAR-controlled biological systems for making vaccines (involving the use of mice, rabbits, etc.).
  • New ECCN 1C607?Tear gases, riot control agents and materials for the detection and decontamination of chemical warfare agents. New ECCN 1C607.a controls specified tear gases and riot control agents. Paragraph .b of ECCN 1C607 controls “biopolymers” not controlled by USML Category XIV(g) that are “specially designed” or processed for the detection or identification of chemical warfare (CW) agents specified by USML Category XIV(a) and the cultures of specific cells used to produce them. Paragraph .c controls specified “biocatalysts” and biological systems that are not controlled by USML Category XIV(g) and are “specially designed” for the decontamination or degradation of CW agents specified by USML Category XIV(a). Paragraph .d controls chemical mixtures not controlled by USML Category XIV(f) that are “specially designed” for military use for the decontamination of objects contaminated with materials specified by USML Category XIV(a) or (b).
  • New ECCN 1D607?“Software” “specially designed” for the “development,” “production,” operation, or maintenance of items controlled by 1A607, 1B607 or 1C607. New ECCN 1D607.a controls “software” “specially designed” for the “development,” “production,” operation, or maintenance of items controlled by ECCN 1A607, 1B607 or 1C607. Paragraph .b of ECCN 1D607 is reserved.
  • New ECCN 1E607?“Technology” “required” for the “development,” “production,” operation, installation, maintenance, repair, overhaul, or refurbishing of items controlled by ECCN 1A607, 1B607, 1C607, or 1D607. New ECCN 1E607.a controls “technology” “required” for the “development,” “production,” operation, installation, maintenance, repair, overhaul, or refurbishing of items controlled by ECCN 1A607, 1B607, 1C607, or 1D607. Paragraph .b of ECCN 1E607 is reserved.
  • Amendments to License Exceptions BAG and TMP related to Individual Protection “Equipment” in ECCN 1A607.f. This final rule amends the License Exception BAG provisions in Section 740.14(h) of the EAR to authorize exports, reexports, or in-country transfers of chemical or biological agent protective gear consistent with the requirements and restrictions described therein. In a corresponding change, this final rule also amends the License Exception TMP provisions in Section 740.9(a)(11) of the EAR to authorize temporary exports, reexports, or in-country transfers of chemical or biological agent protective gear consistent with the requirements and restrictions described therein. The amendments to License Exceptions BAG and TMP also change the requirements for Afghanistan to be consistent with those of the majority of other Country Group D:5 destinations (i.e., the U.S. person authorized to use the license exception must be affiliated with the U.S. Government and be traveling on official business or traveling in support of a U.S. Government contract). The same requirement applies to the use of these license exception provisions for Iraq, also a D:5 country, with the additional option that the U.S. person must be traveling to Iraq under a direct authorization by the Government of Iraq and engaging in activities for, on behalf of, or at the request of, the Government of Iraq. These amendments are also intended to ensure that the scope of these license exceptions, as they apply to chemical or biological agent protective gear controlled under new ECCN 1A607.f, conforms with the scope of the ITAR exemption for personal protective equipment in Section 123.17 of the ITAR (e.g., by correcting the provisions for Afghanistan, as described above, to be consistent with those of the majority of other Country Group D:5 destinations).

Commerce and State Publish PROPOSED Changes for Night Vision, Optics, and Guidance Items

2015/06/02

By: Danielle McClellan

Export Control Reform has returned with a proposed rule change to Category XII (Fire Control, Range Finder, Optical and Guidance and Control Equipment) of the USML.  New, proposed changes to the ITAR and EAR, if implemented, would eventually shift certain less sensitive items out of Category XII to the CCL, where they normally would end up in proposed:

  • New “600 series” ECCNs  6A615, 6B615, and 6D615 for military fire control, range finder, and optical items, and
  • Revised ECCN 7A611 and new ECCNs 7B611, 7C611, and 7E611 for military optical and guidance items.

The proposed rule would also expand in a new way the scope of end-use restrictions on certain exports and reexports of certain cameras, systems or equipment and expand the scope of military commodities described in ECCN 0A919.

The proposed rule is focused on identifying the types of articles that are currently controlled by USML Category XII that are either: inherently military and otherwise warrant control on the USML or if it is a type of common to non-military equipment, possess parameters or characteristics that provide a critical military or intelligence advantage to the US, and that are almost exclusively available from the US. If an article met one or both of these criteria, the article will remain on the USML. If it did not satisfy either requirement because of differences in form or fit, “specially designed” for military applications, it was identified in current or new ECCNs proposed above.

BIS and DDTC are seeking public comments on their respective proposed changes.   DDTC and BIS will accept comments until July 6, 2015.

Once the US Government analyzes the public comments on the proposed changed, the departments of Commerce, State and Defense will determine what, if any changes to make to the proposed rules and then DDTC and BIS will publish final rules to make actual changes to their regulations.  It seems optimistic to think the new final rules could be published by early 2016 (or late 2015) and the final rules will have a six-month delay after publication before they enter into force.  That would mean that actual changes to the controls on these items would enter into force in the summer of 2016.

To review the ITAR proposal go to:  http://www.pmddtc.state.gov/FR/2015/2015-09673.pdf

To review the EAR proposed rule go to:  http://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/regulations/federal-register-notices#FR25798

Learn more by viewing ECTI’s On Demand, Export Control Reform for Category XII webinar today!