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Chemical and Biological Agents Among Items Proposed for Transfer to Commerce Control List

Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Bureau of Industry and Security has issued a proposed rule describing how articles that the president determines no longer warrant control under category XIV (toxicological agents, including chemical agents, biological agents and associated equipment) or category XVIII (directed energy weapons) of the U.S. Munitions List would be controlled under the Commerce Control List. The affected category XIV articles consist primarily of dissemination, detection and protection equipment and related articles and would be controlled under new Export Control Classification Numbers 1A607, 1B607, 1C607, 1D607 and 1E607. The affected category XVIII articles consist primarily of tooling, production equipment, test and evaluation equipment, test models and related articles and would be controlled under new ECCNs 6B619, 6D619 and 6E619.

BIS believes that the principal effect of this rule, when considered in the context of similar proposed rules being published as part of the Export Control Reform Initiative, will be to provide greater flexibility for exports and reexports to NATO member countries and other multiple-regime-member countries. This greater flexibility would be in the form of (1) the application of the de minimis threshold principle for items constituting less than a de minimis amount of controlled U.S.-origin content in foreign made items; (2) the availability of license exceptions, particularly RPL (servicing and replacement of parts and equipment) and STA (strategic trade authorization); (3) the elimination of the requirements for manufacturing license agreements and technical assistance agreements in connection with exports of technology; and (4) a reduction in or elimination of exporter and manufacturer registration requirements and associated registration fees.

Concurrently, the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls has issued a proposed rule that would revise USML categories XIV and XVIII to describe more precisely those types of such articles that warrant continuing control on the USML.

Comments on these proposed rules, including specific issues identified by each agency, are due no later than Aug. 17.

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