Export Control Reform is Underway and It’s Your Time to Speak Up!

The Department of Commerce’s (“Commerce”) Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is in the process of publishing proposed rules regarding export control reform. It is currently accepting public comments until January 28, 2013 for it’s most recent proposed rule, released on November 28, 2012. Although public reaction and industry comments to proposed rules have caused some delay in the past, authorities encourage proactive involvement from the industry to avoid problems, such as overlapping licensing requirements with both Commerce and State Department (“State”).

The proposed rules come through a combined Commerce and State effort to streamline the export process. The Departments will transfer certain items that no longer require intense control from State’s U. S. Munitions List (USML), which controls defense articles and services, to Commerce’s Commerce Control List (CCL), which is generally less onerous and restrictive. The process began in July 2011, with the first set of proposed rules recommending a new regulatory construct for the transfer of items on the USML to the CCL.

This particular proposed rule, released on November 28th, 2012, covers:

  • Military electronics (Category XI) and related items, which would be controlled by new Export Control Classification Numbers (ECCNs) 3A611, 3B611, 3D611, and 3E611; and
  • Certain cryogenic and superconductive equipment designed for installation in military vehicles and that can operate while in motion (Categories VI, VII, VIII, and XV) which would be controlled under new ECCNs 9A620, 9B620, 9D620, and 9E620.

Additionally, there are changes being drafted to other UMSL categories, including categories I-IV.  The proposed rules regarding these changes are released periodically and are available for public comments typically thirty days after release.  As public comments for the proposed rules close and are evaluated, final rules are being released with the first final rule published earlier this year creating a new Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) series, 0Y521, for items that warrant control on the CCL, but have not yet been identified an existing ECCN.

Happy New Year and remember, the clock is ticking to get in your comments before January 28th!