Category Archives: EAR Licensing

The CCL Keeps Changing: Wassenaar and Venezuela Updates

Commerce Revises CCL to Reflect Wassenaar Plenary

On May 23, 2019, the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published a rule (84 FR 23886) which amends the Commerce Control List (CCL) to reflect changes made to the Wassenaar Arrangement List of Dual-Use Goods and Technologies at the December 2018 Plenary meeting.

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies is a global multilateral export control regime, covering both conventional weapons and sensitive dual-use goods and technologies.  Participants agree to control exports and retransfers of items on a control list of dual-use goods and technologies and munitions.  Its Plenary meeting normally occurs once a year in December in Vienna, Austria.  CCL revisions take effect when officially amended through a Federal Register notice.  (Click here for last year’s updates.)

The new rule revises four Export Control Classification Numbers (ECCNs) and adds one new ECCN as follows:

  • 3A001 Electronic Items – Adds paragraph b.3.f. to control discrete microwave transistors “rated for operation with a peak saturated power output greater than 5 W (37.0 dBm) at all frequencies exceeding 8.5 GHz up to and including 31.8 GHz”.
  • 3D005 Continuity of Operation Software – Creates a new ECCN for software that ensures continuity of operation when electronics are exposed to Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) or Electrostatic Discharge (ESD).
  • 5A002 Information Security Systems, Equipment, and Components – Revises Technical Notes following 5A002.a.4 to address certain post-quantum asymmetric algorithms.
  • 6A001 Acoustic Systems, Equipment and Components – Revises paragraph a.2.a.6 to add “and having a ‘hydrophone sensitivity’ better than -230 dB below 4 kHz” to remove transducers or hydrophones that are not of strategic concern, moves and revises two notes, and corrects availability of the License Exception Low Value Shipment (LVS)
  • 9A004 Space Launch Vehicles and Spacecraft – Adds paragraph .g to control aircraft specially designed or modified to be air-launch platforms for space launch vehicles.

Venezuela

The following day, May 24, 2019, BIS published a rule (84 FR 24018) removing Venezuela from Country Group B and moving it to Country Group D:1, as well as D:2, D:3, and D:4.

Country Group B provides favorable treatment for exports of some National Security-controlled items through the GBS license exception (EAR §740.4), while Country Group D identifies countries of concern:

D:1      National security
D:2      Nuclear
D:3      Chemical & Biological
D:4      Missile Technology
D:5      U.S. Arms Embargoed Countries

The move from Group B to Group D makes some exports, reexports, and transfers ineligible for license exceptions and updates the published BIS licensing policy towards Venezuela to a more restrictive position.

Before this change, Venezuela was already listed as a D:5 U.S. arms embargo country based on its status as a prohibited destination under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) §126.1.  Venezuela was also already subject to EAR restrictions for military end users under §744.21 and significant financial sanctions through the Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

Export compliance is always changing.  Subscribe to Our “EAR”… to the ITAR to keep up!

(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 and Commerce Department Licensing On Hold During Shutdown

As the partial government shutdown continues, please note that the Departments of State and Commerce have put export licensing on hold.

The Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls published the following notice on their website:

Industry Notice: Lapse in funding

Due to the lapse in funding affecting the Department of State that occurred at 12:01am on Saturday, December 22, 2018, services at the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls are significantly curtailed, including requests for licenses, advisory opinions, and retransfers except for those that provide direct support to the military, humanitarian aid, or other similar emergencies.  In addition, the 3pm daily pick-up and drop-off service is cancelled.  All D-Trade electronic submissions will be rejected by the system and returned to the applicant.  Requests that are currently in process at DDTC as of December 21, 2018, will remain in that status however; further review actions will be delayed until after restoration of funding. If industry applicants believe they have a case (either “In-Review” or new submission required) involving direct support to the military, humanitarian aid, or other similar emergencies, please email the DDTC Response Team (DDTCResponseTeam@state.gov). The subject line of your email MUST read “Request for Emergency License” and the message must include the license number (if already pending with DDTC) the applicant name and registration code, the end-use/end-user, justification for needing an emergency license, and a point of contact. The Directorate will contact the requestor with guidance on how to proceed if the request will be honored. (12.22.19)

Notably, D-Trade is not offline, but new applications will be rejected and will need to be resubmitted once normal operations resume.

SNAP-R, the Department of Commerce’s licensing application, has been taken offline and the following message posted:

Due to the lapse in government funding, snapr.bis.doc.gov and all associated online activities will be unavailable until further notice.

The Department of Defense is not affected by the shutdown and pending case statuses can still be viewed through ELISA.

Update, January 24, 2019

The Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls has reopened and posted the following notice:

Effective Thursday, January 24, 2019, the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) will temporarily return to full operational status with all electronic application systems placed in normal operational mode and the 3pm daily pick-up and drop-off service restored. Priority will be placed on issuance of licenses in the system at the time of implementation of lapse of funding operations on December 22, 2018. New licenses will be accepted; however, industry is advised of the likelihood of longer than normal processing times due to the high volume of licenses DDTC expects to receive. The “Emergency License” process described in DDTC’s December 22, 2018 announcement below is hereby suspended.

Update, January 28, 2019

With the “temporary” end to the partial government shutdown, SNAP-R and the Consolidated Screening List are back online.  Licensing delays are anticipated as the offices get back to work.

(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.)

Be on the Lookout, Stricter License Requirements Expected for Chinese Military; Review the New Emerging Technologies and Send Your Comments to BIS!

Chinese Military End Users Targeted in Commerce Regulatory Agenda

On November 16, 2018, the Department of Commerce published its Fall 2018 Semiannual Agenda of Regulations (83 FR 57998).  In addition to various entries for other parts of the department, it includes an announcement that the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) plans to expand license requirements for export, reexports, and transfers (in country) to military end users in the People’s Republic of China.  Currently, Section 744.21 of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) imposes license requirements on such transactions when the item is intended for a “military end use” in China or a “military end user” in Russia or Venezuela.  The change would likely expand licensing requirements for China to match current requirements for Russia and Venezuela and make other changes, including to EAR “Reasons for Control” and Automated Export System (AES) filing requirements.  A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is anticipated in February 2019.

Comments Requested on Emerging Technologies

This summer’s Export Control Reform Act (ECRA) directed the Department of Commerce, along with Defense, Energy, and State, to identify “emerging and foundational technologies” that may warrant export controls to include CFIUS review and export licensing.

Proceeding with this review, the Department of Commerce published a notice (83 FR 58201) on November 19, 2018 requesting comments on emerging technologies that are essential to national security due to “potential conventional weapons, intelligence collection, weapons of mass destruction, or terrorist applications” or that may provide the U.S. “qualitative military or intelligence advantage.”

The notice includes the following representative list of technologies currently controlled by the EAR, but with limited licensing requirements:

(1) Biotechnology, such as:

(i) Nanobiology;
(ii) Synthetic biology;
*
(iv) Genomic and genetic engineering; or
(v) Neurotech.

(2) Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technology, such as:

(i) Neural networks and deep learning (e.g., brain modelling, time series prediction, classification);
(ii) Evolution and genetic computation (e.g., genetic algorithms, genetic programming);
(iii) Reinforcement learning;
(iv) Computer vision (e.g., object recognition, image understanding);
(v) Expert systems (e.g., decision support systems, teaching systems);
(vi) Speech and audio processing (e.g., speech recognition and production);
(vii) Natural language processing (e.g., machine translation);
(viii) Planning (e.g., scheduling, game playing);
(ix) Audio and video manipulation technologies (e.g., voice cloning, deepfakes);
(x) AI cloud technologies; or
(xi) AI chipsets.

(3) Position, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) technology.

(4) Microprocessor technology, such as:

(i) Systems-on-Chip (SoC); or
(ii) Stacked Memory on Chip.

(5) Advanced computing technology, such as:

(i) Memory-centric logic.

(6) Data analytics technology, such as:

(i) Visualization;
(ii) Automated analysis algorithms; or
(iii) Context-aware computing.

(7) Quantum information and sensing technology, such as

(i) Quantum computing;
(ii) Quantum encryption; or
(iii) Quantum sensing.

(8) Logistics technology, such as:

(i) Mobile electric power;
(ii) Modeling and simulation;
(iii) Total asset visibility; or
(iv) Distribution-based Logistics Systems (DBLS).

(9) Additive manufacturing (e.g., 3D printing);

(10) Robotics such as:

(i) Micro-drone and micro-robotic systems;
(ii) Swarming technology;
(iii) Self-assembling robots;
(iv) Molecular robotics;
(v) Robot compliers; or
(vi) Smart Dust.

(11) Brain-computer interfaces, such as

(i) Neural-controlled interfaces;
(ii) Mind-machine interfaces;
(iii) Direct neural interfaces; or
(iv) Brain-machine interfaces.

(12) Hypersonics, such as:

(i) Flight control algorithms;
(ii) Propulsion technologies;
(iii) Thermal protection systems; or
(iv) Specialized materials (for structures, sensors, etc.).

(13) Advanced Materials, such as:

(i) Adaptive camouflage;
(ii) Functional textiles (e.g., advanced fiber and fabric technology); or
(iii) Biomaterials.

(14) Advanced surveillance technologies, such as:

Faceprint and voiceprint technologies.

*(1)(iii) was omitted in the published notice.

Comments are requested on how to define emerging technology, control criteria, and other relevant information.  Comments may be submitted until December 19, 2018.  Please see the Federal Register Notice for more information.  A separate notice is planned for “foundational technologies.”

(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.)

Export Compliance Updates: DECCS, Electronic Waste, and Wassenaar

Be the First to Test On-Line Advisory Opinion & Registration Applications!

DDTC is requesting industry testing of future Advisory Opinion and Registration applications in the Defense Export Control and Compliance System (DECCS).  See the DDTC News & Events page (10/15/2018 & 10/30/2018) for more information.  Testing is expected to continue through mid-November.

Comment on Prior Approval Requests for Brokering

On October 16, the Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) published a notice (83 FR 52298) requesting comments on Brokering Prior Approval requests.

As described in the notice:

Currently submissions are made via hardcopy documentation. Applicants are referred to ITAR part 129 for guidance on information to submit regarding proposed brokering activity. Upon implementation of DDTC’s new case management system, the Defense Export Control and Compliance System (DECCS), a DS-4294 may be submitted electronically.

Comments may be submitted until December 17, 2018.  Please see the Federal Register Notice for additional details.

And the New Year Will Bring:

  • Movement on USML Categories I-III – see our previous blog posts on the proposed changes to firearms, guns, and ammunition;
  • Revisions to ITAR Exemption 126.4(a) – Shipments by or for U.S. Government agencies;
  • DECCS testing of the DSP-85 – classified hardware & technical data; and
  • Reorganization of the sections of the ITAR.

Commerce Requests Comments on Electronic Waste

On October 23, 2018, the Department of Commerce published a notice (83 FR 53411) requesting public comments on potential export controls on electronic waste.  This request is based on concerns that “counterfeit goods that may enter the United States’ military and civilian electronics supply chain” resulting from unregulated overseas recycling of discarded electronic equipment.  See the Federal Register Notice for additional background, potential definitions, and potential regulatory requirements and exemptions.  Comments may be submitted through December 24, 2018.

Commerce Revises CCL to Reflect Wassenaar Plenary

On October 24, 2018, the Department of Commerce published rule (83 FR 53742) which amends the Commerce Control List (CCL) to reflect changes made to the Wassenaar Arrangement List of Dual-Use Goods and Technologies at the December 2017 Plenary meeting.

The rule revises 50 Export Control Classification Numbers (ECCNs): 0A617, 0A919, 1A002, 1C001, 1C002, 1C007, 1C010, 1C608, 2A001, 2B001, 2B006, 2B007, 2B008, 2E003, 3A001, 3A002, 3B001, 3B002, 3C002, 3C005, 3C006, 3C992, 3E001, 4A003, 4A004, 4D001, 4E001, 5A001, 5A002, 5D002, 5E002, 6A002, 6A003, 6A004, 6A005, 6A008, 6A203, 6D003, 6D991, 6E001, 6E002, 6E201, 7A006, 7E004, 9A002, 9A004, 9D001, 9D002, 9D004, and 9E003.  It also removes ECCNs 6A990 and 6E990, corrects 3A991, and makes other changes to ECCNs 2B206 and 3A001.i.  Furthermore, the rule moves 37 definitions from Part 772 to the relevant ECCNs and makes changes throughout the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to reference the revised ECCNs.

A follow-up notice was published on November 2, 2018 (83 FR 55099) to correct an omitted reference to the Civil end-users (CIV) exception for some 3A001 items.

Export compliance is always changing.  Subscribe to Our “EAR”… to the ITAR to keep up!

(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.)

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.)

New Year State and Commerce Maximum Penalty Adjustments,
EAR Corrections, and Invitation for DTAG Membership

Editorial Updates to EAR

On December 27, 2017 (82 FR 61153, corrected by 83 FR 709), the Department of Commerce issued a series of revisions, clarifications, and technical corrections to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).  These are editorial corrections that do not affect license requirements.  The rule also updates the Export Control Decision Tree (supplement No. 1 to part 732), last revised in 2004, primarily to correct references to the EAR.  The flow of the Export Control Decision Tree is unchanged.

Civil Penalties Adjusted for Inflation

On January 3, 2018 (83 FR 234, corrected by 83 FR 2738), the Department of State amended the ITAR (and other Title 22 regulations) to adjust the maximum civil penalties for inflation.  The § 127.10 civil penalties were amended as follows:

  • 127.10(a)(1)(i) increased from $1,111,908 to $1,134,602.
  • 127.10(a)(1)(ii) increased from $808,458 to $824,959 (or five times the amount of the prohibited incentive payment, whichever is greater).
  • 127.10(a)(1)(iii) increased from $962,295 to $981,935.

On January 8, 2018 (83 FR 706), the Department of Commerce published its adjustments for inflation, including increasing the maximum penalty for a violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act from $289,238 to $295,141.

DTAG Membership Notice

Finally, the Defense Trade Advisory Group (DTAG), the State Department’s advisory group of defense trade representatives, is seeking applications for membership with a postmark deadline of March 2, 2018.  For application and submission instructions, please see this notice.

(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.)

Oops! I made a mistake… Can I amend a BIS-748P?

Question: I know what to do if it becomes necessary to amend a State/DDTC authorization for exports under the ITAR. But what if I need to make a change to a Commerce/BIS export license? Can I even do that?

The short answer to your question is, Yes, you can – but there’s a very good chance you won’t need to.

Here’s the skinny on correcting a BIS-748P application form or modifying a previously approved export license through the Commerce Department’s SNAP-R system:

You’ve determined that your export falls under the jurisdiction of Commerce and that the transaction requires a license from BIS. You’ve done your research, put together all the information and documentation you need, and have just successfully submitted a SNAP-R BIS-748P license application online. Not long afterwards, before you have even finished congratulating yourself on another job well done, you suddenly realize—to your embarrassment and disgust—that you entered some incorrect information in one of the data fields in your submission, or that you completely forgot to attach the required documents. You quickly log on again to your SNAP-R account and hunt around frantically for an “Undo” or “Recall” button, but fail to find one. Zero, zilch, zip, nada, nothing. What are you supposed to do? Visions of denied licenses, lost time, angry customers, and potential export violations swim before your eyes. Is this going to be a big problem?


Not to worry. Rest assured that you aren’t the first exporter to mess up a license application form. While it’s true that there isn’t any way to undo or recall your Form BIS-748P online once it’s been submitted, all you need to do is phone the BIS’s Office of Export Services and let them know about the mistake. The licensing officer will then simply mark your application “Returned Without Action” (RWA), which means in essence that your application has been rejected, but without any prejudice to future resubmissions. Once that’s done, you can breathe a sigh of relief, copy your original application, fix the mistakes or omissions, and re-submit it to BIS—correctly, this time!—through SNAP-R. Or, if your only mistake was failing to attach the documentation, the licensing officer will just send you an e-mail requesting those documents, to which you can reply directly and rectify the omission.

But what if your export license has already been approved by Commerce, but now you realize you’re going to have to modify it because some things have changed since then? What should you do?

Well, the good news is that you might not have to do anything at all, if:

(1) your modifications are considered “non-material changes,” according to the detailed description in EAR Section 750.7(c);

or

(2) your modifications are covered by the “shipping tolerances” provision of EAR Section 750.11.

The list of “non-material changes” includes such alterations as a change in unit price or total value, a change in intermediate consignee (if the new intermediate consignee is located in the country of ultimate destination), and a change in the address of purchaser or ultimate consignee (if the new address is located within the same country shown on the license). For the details, read through §750.7(c) carefully; there’s a very good chance you’ll find your change listed there. (And, while you’re doing that, take a couple of minutes more to familiarize yourself with the shipping tolerance exceptions in §750.11 as well; it’s practical knowledge that may prove handy!)

7507 75011 change_to_license

Even in the case of a minor change to your company’s name—assuming that the name change is not the result of a change of ownership, a merger, or an acquisition—you may find that all you really need to do is have the administrator for your SNAP-R account update the name online in the Administration Module. A word of caution, though: a company’s name change may or may not be considered a “non-material change” by the BIS; you’ll need to write to them on company letterhead and request an Advisory Opinion about that before proceeding.

Finally, what if you’ve carefully scrutinized Section 750.7(c) of the EAR and determined that the modification you need to make is unfortunately not among numerous exceptions designated there as “non-material changes”? If that is the case — assuming that you are still shipping the identical items to the identical ultimate consignee — you will need to notify BIS of the change, and it’s up to them to approve or not approve the modification.

You’ll be glad to know that you can deal with this situation online by applying for a “Replacement License” number from BIS. Simply make your request via a SNAP-R Form BIS-748P, using Block 11, “Replacement License Number,” stating concisely what change you are making to the original export license.

In the event that BIS does not approve your “Replacement License” request—they will give you their response in writing— a new export license application will need to be submitted, and approved by BIS, before you can make any further shipments.

easy_stSound easier than you thought it would be? Well, many companies who have entered the regulatory jurisdiction of BIS for the first time recently, thanks to the Export Control Reform Initiative (ECR), have said they were surprised and relieved to discover that Commerce’s controls and licensing regime are often simpler and less restrictive than State’s. Export Licensing Officers have generally found Commerce’s SNAP-R electronic application portal to be more user-friendly than the State Department’s D-Trade system.

There are other significant differences between the two export regimes as well. For example, you do not need to “return” your Commerce export license to BIS once it is no longer valid, as you are required to do with a DSP license from State/DDTC after expiration or exhaustion when it has not been decremented entirely electronically through AES. In future posts, we’ll be spotlighting some other similarities and differences between EAR and ITAR licensing, in addition to providing you with practical information you’ll need when applying for and using Commerce licenses for “600 series” items, which were formerly subject to the ITAR.

Even though the BIS application process is simpler in many ways, be aware that Commerce export licenses typically have more conditions attached than State/DDTC licenses or agreements. And remember this, too: whether you’re exporting your product under a Commerce or a State export license, you and your company are responsible and legally accountable to stay within authorized scope of the export authorization and strictly observe all its provisos and conditions.

penaltyCommerce and State have been increasingly active in export enforcement lately. Civil and criminal penalties for export violations in recent cases have been extremely heavy. Even “minor” export violations of the ITAR and EAR can have very serious consequences for companies and individuals.

Achieving and maintaining corporate ITAR and EAR compliance can be a daunting challenge for U.S. exporters, but we’re here to help. Export Compliance Solutions (ECS) has built a distinguished record based on many years of experience in the field of U.S. export controls. As the nation’s premier export compliance consultants and educators, we offer a wide variety of training, auditing, and advisory services, including live regional and on-site seminars, webinars, export compliance awareness video courses for employees, and other products to support our clients. Give us a call or send us an e-mail today. The ITAR and EAR compliance experts at ECS can help you successfully navigate the sometimes rough regulatory seas of U.S. export controls.

(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.)