Category Archives: All

CFIUS EXTENDS LONG ARM TO INCLUDE REVIEW OF DEFENSE ARTICLES/ DEFENSE SERVICES ON THE USML

As anticipated following the August enactment of the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018 (FIRRMA), the Department of the Treasury has issued new regulations implementing changes to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

CFIUS Amendments

The first, an interim rule issued October 11, 2018 (83 FR 51316), primarily makes technical amendments to the CFIUS Part 800 regulations.  These changes include:

  • Extending CFIUS review period from 30 to 45 days,
  • Revising various definitions to be consistent with FIRRMA,
  • Providing examples of covered transactions,
  • Implementing electronic submissions,
  • Allowing parties to stipulate that a transaction is a covered transaction, and
  • Revising language regarding violations and remedies.

This rule was effective immediately and comments may be submitted through November 10, 2018.  Please see the Federal Register Notice for more information on how to comment.

Pilot Program

The second notice, also issued on October 11, 2018 (83 FR 51322) implements a “pilot program” expanding CFIUS review and mandatory declarations to a specific list of covered industries when dealing with “critical technologies.”

Under the new rule, “critical technologies” include:

  • Defense articles or defense services included on the United States Munitions List (USML) controlled by the Department of State,
  • Commerce Control List (CCL) items controlled pursuant to multilateral regimes, for regional stability, or surreptitious listening by the Department of Commerce,
  • Nuclear equipment and technology controlled by the Department of Energy,
  • Nuclear facilities, equipment, and material controlled by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and
  • Select agents and toxins controlled by the Department of Agriculture or the Department of Health and Human Services.

Companies in or developing products for the industries listed in the new Annex A to Part 801 are covered by the pilot program as follows, including North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes:

Industry NAICS Code
Aircraft Manufacturing 336411
Aircraft Engine and Engine Parts Manufacturing 336412
Alumina Refining and Primary Aluminum Production 331313
Ball and Roller Bearing Manufacturing 332991
Computer Storage Device Manufacturing 334112
Electronic Computer Manufacturing 334111
Guided Missile and Space Vehicle Manufacturing 336414
Guided Missile and Space Vehicle Propulsion Unit and Propulsion Unit Parts Manufacturing 336415
Military Armored Vehicle, Tank, and Tank Component Manufacturing 336992
Nuclear Electric Power Generation 221113
Optical Instrument and Lens Manufacturing 333314
Other Basic Inorganic Chemical Manufacturing 325180
Other Guided Missile and Space Vehicle Parts and Auxiliary Equipment Manufacturing 336419
Petrochemical Manufacturing 325110
Powder Metallurgy Part Manufacturing 332117
Power, Distribution, and Specialty Transformer Manufacturing 335311
Primary Battery Manufacturing 335912
Radio and Television Broadcasting and Wireless Communications Equipment Manufacturing 334220
Research and Development in Nanotechnology 541713
Research and Development in Biotechnology (except Nanobiotechnology) 541714
Secondary Smelting and Alloying of Aluminum 331314
Search, Detection, Navigation, Guidance, Aeronautical, and Nautical System and Instrument Manufacturing 334511
Semiconductor and Related Device Manufacturing 334413
Semiconductor Machinery Manufacturing 333242
Storage Battery Manufacturing 335911
Telephone Apparatus Manufacturing 334210
Turbine and Turbine Generator Set Units Manufacturing 333611

Transactions in these areas are covered by the pilot program when the investment would give a foreign investor:

  • Access to material nonpublic technical information;
  • Membership, observer, or nomination rights on the board of directors; or
  • Involvement in substantive decision-making regarding critical technology.

This rule will take effect on November 10, 2018 and comments may be submitted through that date.  Please see the Federal Register Notice for more information on how to comment.

The Department of the Treasury has also published a press release and fact sheet that summarize these changes.

The pilot program is scheduled to end no later than March 5, 2020, once replaced by a full expansion of CFIUS review.

(None of the information is intended to be authoritative official or professional legal advice. Consult your own legal counsel or compliance specialists before taking actions based upon this blog or other unofficial sources.)

State Department Tweaks ITAR, Requests Comments

On October 4, the Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) published a notice (83 FR 50003) that made several immediate, but minor, changes to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and United States Munitions List (USML).  The revisions are in response to a July 2017 request for comments implementing the President’s Executive Order 13771, “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs” and other industry feedback.

Other than USML revisions and notes, the only ITAR change was the removal of the requirement to return expired or exhausted licenses for technical data under 123.22(b)(3)(i) and (c)(2).

The USML revisions are as follows:

  • A note to USML Category IV(d) clarifies that it does not control satellite and spacecraft thrusters (instead, refer to XV(e)(12) and ECCN 9A515).
  • A note to USML Category V clarifies that, except for materials in V(c)(6), (h) or (i), the Department of Commerce licenses materials when incorporated into an item classified under ECCN 1C608 (“Energetic materials and related commodities”).
  • VIII(h)(12) – The description of UAV flight control systems is revised so that collision avoidance alone does not lead to ITAR controls:

(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 and stay together, 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);

  • Notes to XI(a)(3)(i) and (xii) add additional technical specifications and a reference to Commodity Jurisdiction determinations to avoid control of airborne radars used by commercial drones.
  • Revisions to XI(c)(4) implement power thresholds to exclude components necessary for 5G wireless technology, including four required criteria and eight explanatory notes.
  • XV(f) is revised to include “to a foreign person” in its definition of satellite and spacecraft defense services.

DDTC also noted that it is working on a possible temporary export exemption for repair/replacement by foreign Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) as well as revised definitions proposed in 2015 (80 FR 31525) that were not included in the 2016 interim final rule (81 FR 35611) or final rule (81 FR 62004).

The Federal Register Notice includes additional background and responses to comments that may be of interest.  While these changes are effective immediately, comments may be submitted until November 19, 2018.

In separate notices, DDTC has also requested comments on three existing information collections for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval.  Click on the Federal Register Notices for more information and docket and control numbers needed for comments:

  • §123.9 Request to Change End-User, End-Use and/or Destination of Hardware (83 FR 47235).  The notice acknowledges that DDTC is working on a DS-6004 form to be submitted through the Defense Export Control and Compliance System (DECCS).  Comments will be accepted up to November 19, 2018.
  • Part 129 Annual Brokering Reports (83 FR 47390). Comments will be accepted up to November 19, 2018.
  • DS-2032 Statement of Registration (83 FR 48496).  Comments will be accepted up to November 26, 2018.

As always, these are important opportunities to comment on how your business views and is affected by export regulations.

(None of the information is intended to be authoritative official or professional legal advice. Consult your own legal counsel or compliance specialists before taking actions based upon this blog or other unofficial sources.)

Big Changes Coming to CFIUS, EAR No Longer an Emergency

This year’s defense authorization bill didn’t just fund the Department of Defense, but also set the stage for big changes to foreign investment and export controls.  Signed on August 13, 2018, the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) included the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018 (FIRRMA) and the Export Control Reform Act (ECRA).

Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act

The Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA) expands the jurisdiction of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).  CFIUS, an interdepartmental committee chaired by the Treasury Department, was already authorized to review certain business transactions involving foreign investment in the United States that involve national security considerations.

FIRRMA expands the scope of transactions subject to CFIUS review to include transactions involving foreign persons including:

  • real estate located in proximity to airports, maritime ports, or sensitive government facilities such as military bases;
  • critical infrastructure, critical technologies, or sensitive personal data of US citizens;
  • membership on the board of directors or other decision-making rights;
  • changes in a foreign investor’s rights resulting in foreign control; and
  • other transactions designed to circumvent CFIUS jurisdiction.

FIRRMA also revises filing and review processes and timelines, expanding the ordinary review period from 30 to 45 days, effective when FIRRMA became law.  Notices received before August 13th will remain subject to the 30 day review period.  FIRRMA also provides for the option for CFIUS to implement filing fees.

The most significant provisions will not be effective until the earlier of eighteen months after the enactment (February 2020) or 30 days after the Secretary of the Treasury publishes a notice that the necessary regulations and resources are in place.  CFIUS may also conduct pilot programs under the new law.

CFIUS has advised businesses to continue to notify transactions as provided in current CFIUS regulations.

The Treasury Department has released a summary of FIRRMA and FIRRMA FAQs.

The International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) continue to require notification when there are changes to ownership or control (as well as other material changes) under 122.4.  Notification of transfer of ownership or control to a foreign person is required 60 days in advance and is independent of CFIUS processes.  See the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls Mergers/Acquisition/Divestitures page for more information.

Export Control Reform Act

The new Export Control Reform Act (ECRA) provides statutory authority for the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and Antiboycott rules, which have been maintained by emergency executive orders under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) since the Export Administration Act (EAA) expired in 1994.

Notably, the ECRA also directs the Departments of Commerce, Defense, Energy, and State to “identify emerging and foundational technologies” that may warrant export controls, including CFIUS and export licensing.

Continuing developments from the last year, the ECRA establishes a US government procurement ban on telecommunications equipment produced by Huawei Technologies Company or ZTE Corporation.  It does not reinstate the Department of Commerce’s denial order for ZTE which was lifted in July.  The procurement ban also includes video surveillance and telecommunications equipment produced by Hytera Communications Corporation, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company, or Dahua Technology Company.

The ECRA also increases potential civil penalties to $300,000 (from the most recently inflation-adjusted $295,141).

ECS will continue to monitor developments as new CFIUS regulations and the reviews of “emerging and foundational technologies” are discussed, proposed for comment, and implemented.

(None of the information is intended to be authoritative official or professional legal advice. Consult your own legal counsel or compliance specialists before taking actions based upon this blog or other unofficial sources.)

A Smorgasbord of Summer Export Compliance Updates

EAR Amendment: India Eligible for STA, License Requirements Revised

On August 3, 2018 (83 FR 38018), the Department of Commerce amended the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to reflect India’s membership in the Wassenaar Arrangement and status as a Major Defense Partner.  Under this amendment, India moves from Country Group A:6 to Country Group A:1 and A:5.  Country Group A:5 “provides the benefit of greater availability of License Exception Strategic Trade Authorization (STA) for exports and reexports to, and transfers within India under the EAR.”

The Commerce Country Chart was also amended, removing the license requirement for National Security Column 2 (NS2) for India.  The amendment also makes conforming changes related to footnotes and AES filings.  This follows updates earlier this year to reflect India’s admission to the Australia Group.

Click here for the revised Commerce Country Chart (Supplement No. 1 to Part 738).

Click here for the Strategic Trade Authorization (STA) Exception (EAR §740.20, currently starting on page 59 of the pdf).

EAR Amendment: South Sudan Arms Embargo

Also on August 3, 2018 (83 FR 38021), the Department of Commerce amended the EAR to reflect the addition of South Sudan as a prohibited destination under ITAR §126.1(w).  South Sudan is now listed in Country Group D:5: Countries subject to U.S. arms embargoes.  Because the State Department list controls, the addition of South Sudan to ITAR §126.1 in February already had this affect.  The Commerce Department amendment conforms Country Group D:5 to the current ITAR §126.1.

EAR Amendment: MTCR Conforming Changes

On August 30, 2018 (83 FR 44216), the Department of Commerce amended the EAR to conform to changes to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), a voluntary multilateral anti-proliferation arrangement.  The following seventeen ECCNs have been revised to align CCL controls with changes made to the MTCR Annex in 2017 (ECCN headings summarized for readability may include additional specifications and related commodities):

1B117 – Batch mixers
1B118 – Continuous mixers
1C111 – Propellants and constituent chemicals
1C118 – Titanium-stabilized duplex stainless steel
2B109 – Flow-forming machines
2B120 – Motion simulators or rate tables
2B121 – Positioning tables
2B122 – Centrifuges
6A107 – Gravity meters or gravity gradiometers
7A105 – Airborne receiving equipment for ‘navigation satellite systems’
7A107 – Three axis magnetic heading sensors
7A116 – Flight control systems
9A012 – Non-military UAVs
9A101 – Turbojet and turbofan engines
9A115 – Apparatus, devices and vehicles for transport, handling, control, activation and launching of rockets, missiles, and UAVs
9A515 – Spacecraft
9A610 – Military aircraft

Additional details of changes can be found in the Federal Register Notice and the revised CCL.

Commerce Requests Comments on Spraying and Fogging Systems

On August 13, 2018 (83 FR 39921), the Department of Commerce published a request for comments on the effectiveness of its controls on spraying or fogging systems controlled under Commerce Control List (CCL) Category 2, ECCN 2B352.i.  The items are subject to Chemical & Biological Weapons Controls (CB column 2) because they are identified on the Australia Group’s “Control List of Dual-Use Biological Equipment and Related Technology and Software.”  The notice proposes alternative control criteria, particularly to aid classification and avoid controls of commercial (e.g., agricultural) systems.

Comments are due by October 12, 2018 and may be submitted via regulations.gov (docket number BIS–2018–0013), by email, or by paper submission.  Please see the Federal Register Notice for more details.

State Requests Comments on Part 130 Statements

On August 15, 2018 (83 FR 40618), the Department of State published a request for comments on the ITAR Part 130 “Statement of Political Contributions, Fees, and Commissions Relating to Sales of Defense Articles and Defense Services.”  Part 130 statements require information about fees, commissions, and political contributions from

“any person who applies to the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls for any license or approval… for the export, reexport, or retransfer of defense articles or defense services valued in an amount of $500,000 or more which are being sold commercially to or for the use of the armed forces of a foreign country or international organization.”

Comments may be submitted until September 14, 2018.  Please see the Federal Register Notice for additional details.

USML Category XI(b) Amended (Again) to Continue Current Text

On August 30, 2018 (83 FR 44228), the Department of State published an amendment to USML Category XI(b) that continues the current text which was scheduled to be replaced on August 30, 2018.  XI(b) currently controls:

*(b) Electronic systems, equipment or software, not elsewhere enumerated in this subchapter, specially designed for intelligence purposes that collect, survey, monitor, or exploit, or analyze and produce information from, the electromagnetic spectrum (regardless of transmission medium), or for counteracting such activities.

This text was scheduled to be replaced on August 30, 2018, but with the amendment the replacement will be delayed until August 30, 2019.  At that time, unless otherwise amended, Category XI(b) will read:

*(b) Electronic systems or equipment, not elsewhere enumerated in this subchapter, specially designed for intelligence purposes that collect, survey, monitor, or exploit the electromagnetic spectrum (regardless of transmission medium), or for counteracting such activities.

The change now scheduled for 2019 removes “software” as well as the capability to analyze and produce information from the electromagnetic spectrum.

The current language is meant to maintain control of “certain intelligence-analytics software” until a long-term solution is developed.  The rule gives the government additional time “to finalize its review of USML Category XI, with rulemaking to follow, to include any further modifications to the USML Category XI paragraph (b) as may be warranted.”

DDTC published a similar amendment last year.

DTAG to Meet in October

The Defense Trade Advisory Group (DTAG) will meet on October 25, 2018 to discuss the following topics:

  1. Oversight of technical data under the ITAR and NISPOM;
  2. Challenges regulated entities face in advising the Department of ownership changes that implicate existing licenses and foreign persons, and processes the Department may implement to facilitate the provisions of this information;
  3. Possible schedule for future ongoing periodic review of USML categories;
  4. Developing a definition for common carrier; and
  5. Issues that exist with licensing of defense articles, including intelligence related products, related technical data, and defense services to the ‘‘Five Eyes’’ countries of the U.S., UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

The DTAG meeting is open to the public, with seating limited to 125 persons.  For meeting and registration information, click here for the meeting notice.

Click here for more information about DTAG.

Finally, watch for our next blog post on the NDAA and big changes coming to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)!

(None of the information is intended to be authoritative official or professional legal advice. Consult your own legal counsel or compliance specialists before taking actions based upon this blog or other unofficial sources.)

Submit Your Comments for Categories I-III to State & Commerce Today

Updating on our previous post on the proposed revisions to USML Categories I, II, and III, the proposed rules to transfer articles from the firearms, artillery, and ammunition categories from State Department to Commerce Department jurisdiction have been published.

The proposed rules were officially published in the Federal Register on May 24, 2018 at 83 FR 24166 (Commerce Department) and 83 FR 24198 (State Department).  Comments will be accepted under both notices until July 9, 2018.

(None of the information is intended to be authoritative official or professional legal advice. Consult your own legal counsel or compliance specialists before taking actions based upon this blog or other unofficial sources.)

USML Categories I, II, and III Proposed for Reform!

Nearly two years after Export Control Reform stalled without reaching the remaining three categories, the Departments of State and Commerce have simultaneously published proposals to revise United States Munitions List (USML) Categories I, II, and III (firearms, artillery, and ammunition).  Click here for the Department of State proposal and click here for the Department of Commerce proposal.

The rationale for the review is that:

The Department of State is engaged in an effort to revise the U.S. Munitions List so that its scope is limited to those defense 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. The articles now controlled by USML Categories I, II, and III that would be removed from the USML under this proposed rule do not meet this standard, including many items which are widely available in retail outlets in the United States and abroad.

Currently written broadly, USML Categories I, II, and III cover most firearms, artillery systems, and ammunition.  They also include catch-all parts and components categories (e.g., I(h) “Components, parts, accessories and attachments for the articles in paragraphs (a) through (g) of this category.”).  Items no longer controlled under the USML would be controlled by the Department of Commerce’s Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and listed on the Commerce Control List (CCL).

The eagerly-awaited USML Category I revision would include the following, notably excluding most “non-automatic or semi-automatic firearms”:

  1. Firearms using caseless ammunition.
  2. Fully automatic firearms to .50 caliber (12.7 mm) inclusive.
  3. Firearms specially designed 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.
  4. Fully automatic shotguns regardless of gauge.
  5. Silencers, mufflers, and sound suppressors, and specially designed parts and components therefor
  6. [Reserved]
  7. Barrels, receivers (frames), bolts, bolt carriers, slides, or sears specially designed for the articles in paragraphs (a), (b), and (d) of this category.
  8. 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 parts and components therefor;
    2. Parts and components specially designed for conversion of a semiautomatic firearm to a fully automatic firearm.
    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.
  9. Technical data (see §120.10 of this subchapter) and defense services (see §120.9 of this subchapter) directly related to the defense articles described in paragraphs (a), (b), (d), (e), (g), and (h) of this category and classified technical data directly related to items controlled in ECCNs 0A501, 0B501,0D501, and 0E501 and defense services using the classified technical data. (See §125.4 of this subchapter for exemptions.)

x.  Commodities, software, and technology subject to the EAR (see §120.42 of this subchapter) used in or with defense articles. Note to paragraph (x): Use of this paragraph is limited to license applications for defense articles where the purchase documentation includes commodities, software, or technology subject to the EAR (see §123.1(b) of this subchapter)

Note 1 to Category I: Paragraphs (a), (b), (d), (e), (g), (h), and (i) of this category exclude: any non-automatic or semi-automatic firearms to .50 caliber (12.7 mm) inclusive; 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 this category that are common to non-automatic firearms and shotguns. The Department of Commerce regulates the export of such items…

The proposed Category II revision includes expanded technical notes and specifications for control and enumerate the parts and components that will remain on the USML.  The proposed Category III is rewritten to control ammunition based on technical attributes rather than merely being “for the articles in Categories I and II.”  Both Category I and Category II will include paragraphs controlling developmental products funded by the Department of Defense.

Other sections of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) would be amended due to existing references to “firearms” that would be overbroad with a revised Category I.  These include the firearms exemptions in §123.17, which would no longer be subject to the ITAR.

Concurrently, the Department of Commerce would create new Export Control Classification Numbers (ECCNs) for the items leaving the USML.  Items currently controlled in Category II would be controlled under new “600 series” ECCNs “to control items of a military nature” and Category I and III items would be controlled under new “500 series” ECCNs “because, for the most part, they have civil, recreational, law enforcement, or other nonmilitary applications.”  Conforming to the new ECCNs, seven existing ECCNs would be revised and nine removed.  Various other changes would be made throughout the EAR.

Notably, from the Department of Commerce proposal:

This proposed rule does not deregulate the transferred items. BIS would require licenses to export, or reexport to any country a firearm or other weapon currently on the USML that would be added to the CCL by this proposed rule. BIS would also require licenses for the export or reexport of guns and armament that would be controlled under new ECCN 0A602, such as guns and armaments manufactured between 1890 and 1919 to all destinations except Canada. As compared to decontrolling firearms and other items, in publishing this proposed rule, BIS, working with the Departments of Defense and State, is trying to reduce the procedural burdens and costs of export compliance on the U.S. firearms industry while allowing the U.S. Government to enforce export controls for firearms appropriately and to make better use of its export control resources.

Comments on the proposed revisions may be submitted to the Department of State until 45 days after the publication of the Federal Register Notice—likely June 30, 2018 or later.  Comments are specifically requested regarding any possible gaps in control between the revised USML and CCL, items whose jurisdiction is unclear under the revision, the time needed for industry to implement any final rule, and any other regulatory burden.  Comments may be submitted via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket DOS-2017-0046 or by email to DDTCPublicComments@state.gov with the subject line, “ITAR Amendment – Categories I, II, and III.”

Comments may be submitted to the Department of Commerce on the same timeline via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket BIS-2017-0004 or by mail, referencing RIN 0694-AF47 to:

Regulatory Policy Division
Bureau of Industry and Security
U.S. Department of Commerce
Room 2099B
14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20230

 

Update, May 25, 2018

The proposed rules were officially published in the Federal Register on May 24, 2018 at 83 FR 24166 (Commerce Department) and 83 FR 24198 (State Department).  Comments will be accepted until July 9, 2018.

(None of the information is intended to be authoritative official or professional legal advice. Consult your own legal counsel or compliance specialists before taking actions based upon this blog or other unofficial sources.)

Iran Sanctions Reimposed—No More Mr. Nice Guy

On May 8, 2018, the White House announced the termination of U.S. participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran.  Previously suspended sanctions, particularly related to Iran’s energy, petrochemical, and financial sectors will be re-imposed subject to a wind-down periods for existing business.

The Department of the Treasury released a follow-on statement including the following:

As soon as is administratively feasible, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) expects to revoke, or amend, as appropriate, general and specific licenses issued in connection with the JCPOA.  At that time, OFAC will issue new authorizations to allow the wind down of transactions and activities that were authorized pursuant to the revoked or amended general and specific licenses.  At the end of the 90-day and 180-day wind-down periods, the applicable sanctions will come back into full effect.

OFAC also posted FAQs on the re-imposition of sanctions.  Notably, the 90-day wind-down period that ends on August 6, 2018 includes:

ii.  Activities undertaken pursuant to specific licenses issued in connection with the Statement of Licensing Policy for Activities Related to the Export or Re-export to Iran of Commercial Passenger Aircraft and Related Parts and Services (JCPOA SLP); and

iii.  Activities undertaken pursuant to General License I relating to contingent contracts for activities eligible for authorization under the JCPOA SLP.

The 180-day wind-down period that ends on November 4, 2018 includes shipping, shipbuilding, petroleum, and energy sectors.  Other categories of business are distributed between the two wind-down periods.

Due to the wind-down periods, sanctions and license revocations were not yet officially implemented.  The full FAQs may be found here.

For ITAR purposes, Iran was and remains a prohibited destination subject to a policy of denial under Section 126.1.  The Department of Commerce Export Administration Regulations (Section 746.7) include both Commerce Department and OFAC licensing requirements for Iran.

(None of the information is intended to be authoritative official or professional legal advice. Consult your own legal counsel or compliance specialists before taking actions based upon this blog or other unofficial sources.)

Leveling the Playing Field—We Now Have a New Conventional Arms Transfer (CAT) Policy

On April 19, 2018, the White House released a new Conventional Arms Transfer Policy (CAT).  This is a high level policy which directs the Departments of State, Defense, Commerce, and Energy to coordinate on the policy considerations for arms transfers.  Replacing the 2014 Conventional Arms Transfer Policy, it adds “Economic Security” to the list of factors used in evaluating proposed armed transfers, retaining the factors of national security, relationships with allies and partners, and nonproliferation.  “Economic Security” includes the effect of a proposed transfer on the defense industrial base and the availability of comparable foreign systems.

The State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) has posted a statement on the new CAT policy which includes some useful examples:

Specifically, we will increase opportunities for pre-deployment training and simulations of complex operational environments to help partners avoid civilian casualties. We will also encourage acquisitions of U.S. technology and training to enable more accurate battlespace awareness and more accurate targeting. We will also continue training to assist security forces in carrying out operations in a manner that respects human rights.

DDTC welcomes submission of stakeholder comments to ArmsTransferProcess@state.gov.

It remains to be seen what effect these changes will have on particular license applications, but the consideration of foreign availability is one of the major factors driving the simultaneous reevaluation of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) policy.

The State Department released a fact sheet on the new UAS export policy which seeks to increase trade opportunities for U.S. companies, enhance partner security and counterterrorism capabilities, and strengthen bilateral relationships while preserving U.S. military advantage and preventing the weapons of mass destruction delivery system proliferation.  UAS transfers remain subject to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).

For additional background on the Conventional Arms Transfer and UAS policies from Peter Navarro, Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, click here.

Finally, DDTC has announced the launch of a redesigned website effective April 30, 2018, intending “a number of significant enhancements including improved navigation, searchability, and accessibility, with a consistent, full-featured experience across mobile devices.”  The redesign has changed many links, so bookmarks and other saved references may need to be updated.

(None of the information is intended to be authoritative official or professional legal advice. Consult your own legal counsel or compliance specialists before taking actions based upon this blog or other unofficial sources.)

Seize the Opportunity to Review & Test State/DDTC’s Electronic Disclosure Form!

The Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) has published the following notice on their website:

Industry Notice: Industry Feedback on Electronic Disclosures (DS-7787) (4.12.18) DDTC is developing an electronic version of the current DS-7787: Disclosure of Violations of the Arms Export Control Act form, also known as Disclosures. As an alternative to paper and mail, the online version will allow Industry personnel to submit Disclosures directly through DDTC’s Defense Export Compliance and Control System (DECCS). In an effort to improve this electronic form, DDTC is enabling a test version of the new online process for Industry feedback between April 16, 2018 – April 30, 2018, prior to it being publicly available online. If you are interested in participating, please visit https://pmddtcqa.service-now.com/um/ for more information on how to access and use the test version. Once you have completed testing, you can submit feedback or comments through the Provide feedback button.

As disclosures are an important part of compliance programs, this is a great opportunity to see what DDTC is developing and help make it more useful and user-friendly in the future.

(None of the information is intended to be authoritative official or professional legal advice. Consult your own legal counsel or compliance specialists before taking actions based upon this blog or other unofficial sources.)

EAR Amended to Reflect Australia Group Decisions; DTAG Meeting; More Penalty Inflation Adjustments

Australia Group EAR Amendments

On April 2, 2018 (83 FR 13849), the Department of Commerce amended the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to revise the following Export Control Classification Numbers (ECCNs) based on 2017 Australia Group decisions:

  • 1C350 (toxic chemical agent precursors)
  • 1C351 (human and animal pathogens and toxins)
  • 1C353 (genetic elements and genetically-modified organisms)
  • 2B350 (chemical manufacturing facilities and equipment)
  • 2B351 (toxic gas monitors and monitoring systems)
  • 2B352 (equipment capable of use in handling biological materials)

The specific changes, largely intended to clarify the entries, are detailed in the Federal Register Notice.

In addition, due to the admission of India to the Australia Group in January, an international forum for harmonizing for chemical and biological export controls, the Country Commerce Chart (Supplement No. 1 to part 738 of the EAR) was revised to remove the “X” in India’s entry for the CB 2 column (Chemical and Biological Weapons) and India was added to the Australia Group column (A:3) in the Country Groups chart (Supplement No. 1 to part 740 of the EAR).

DTAG to Meet in May

The Defense Trade Advisory Group (DTAG) will meet on May 10, 2018 to discuss the following topics:

  1. Address one remaining task not briefed as final by the IT working group at the February 1 plenary meeting. Pass any remaining work by way of recommendations for further study;
  2. Provide recommended changes to ITAR § 123.17 exemption that would cover other commonly carried Government Furnished Equipment (GFE); and
  3. Further discussion and recommendations with regards to the Defense Services Working Group.

The DTAG meeting is open to the public, with seating limited to 125 persons.  For meeting and registration information, click here for the meeting notice.

OFAC and DHS Inflation Adjustments of Civil Monetary Penalties

On March 19, 2018, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) published inflation adjustments for civil monetary penalties under multiple sets of regulations.  The changes are detailed in the Federal Register Notice, 83 FR 11876.

On April 2, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published inflation adjustments for civil monetary penalties under DHS components, including the Chemical Facility AntiTerrorism Standards (CFATS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the U.S. Coast Guard.  The changes are detailed in the Federal Register Notice, 83 FR 13826.

(None of the information is intended to be authoritative official or professional legal advice. Consult your own legal counsel or compliance specialists before taking actions based upon this blog or other unofficial sources.)