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Export Controls on Military Electronic Equipment Streamlined

Tuesday, July 01, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Two export control agencies are revising their regulations to streamline U.S. export controls on certain military electronics by shifting less sensitive equipment, parts and components from category XI of the U.S. Munitions List to the Commerce Control List. The Bureau of Industry and Security states that these changes, most of which will take effect Dec. 30, 2014, will reduce incentives for purchasers to deliberately avoid U.S.-origin parts and components. BIS notes that 15 of 21 USML categories have now been successfully revised under the Export Control Reform Initiative.

A BIS final rule adds to the CCL in the Export Administration Regulations military electronics, technology and software for certain wing folding systems, certain superconducting and cryogenic equipment, and related items that the president has determined no longer warrant control on the USML. BIS states that these items will now become eligible for export to NATO and other multi-regime allies under license exception STA. The BIS rule also (1) amends export control classification numbers 7A006 and 7A106 to apply the missile technology reason for control only to items in those ECCNs on the Missile Technology Control Regime Annex and (2) controls under ECCNs 0D521 and 0E521 software and technology for the development of certain wing folding systems for aircraft powered by gas turbine engines while the U.S. seeks to have such software and technology added to the Wassenaar Arrangement list of controlled dual-use goods and technologies.

Concurrently, the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls has issued a final rule revising USML category XI (military electronics) to describe more precisely the articles continuing to warrant control in that category. This rule also amends category VII (aircraft and related articles) with respect to wing folding systems and both categories VIII and XIX to remove three paragraphs superseded by the revision of category XI.

In a related notice, BIS is soliciting through Sept. 2 comments that cite specific examples of civil uses of certain MMIC power amplifiers and discrete microwave transistors, both of which operate at frequencies exceeding 2.7 GHz, and bi-static/multi-static radar that exploits greater than 125 kHz bandwidth and is lower than 2 GHz center frequency to passively detect or track using radio frequency (e.g., commercial radio or television stations). BIS states that some comments received in response to the proposed rules outlining the above changes claimed that civil applications for these types of commodities exist or soon will be developed but that no specific examples of such applications were provided. BIS is therefore seeking specific information (a) about the uses of certain MMIC power amplifiers and discrete microwave transistors, to assist in determining whether those devices would be appropriately controlled under a 600 series (items of a military nature) or non-600 series (items with military applications but also substantial civil applications) ECCN. BIS is also seeking specific information to assist in determining whether certain bi-static and multi-static radar (as described above) would be appropriately controlled under the ITAR or the EAR.

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