Background

Export Control Change for 3-D Printed Firearm Data and Software

The Bureau of Industry and Security has announced that as of May 26 technical data and software directly related to the production of firearms and firearm parts using a 3-D printer or similar equipment is subject to the Export Administration Regulations and no longer controlled under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.

These items had been scheduled to transition from the U.S. Munitions List to the Commerce Control List in March 2020 under final rules issued by BIS and the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls. However, several U.S. states filed a lawsuit seeking a court order to prohibit the implementation or enforcement of these rules. A U.S. district court subsequently issued an order enjoining a DDTC rule with respect to the technical data and software referenced above. However, in April 2021 a U.S. appeals court vacated the lower court’s order.

As a result, any requests for export licenses for subject technology and software should now be directed to BIS. The bureau has updated a list of frequently-asked questions to aid public understanding of the new requirements, including clarifying that a BIS license is required prior to the posting on the Internet of any file that can be processed by a software program into an electronic format with no or minimal additional information or manipulation from the operator and that, once converted, will be in an executable code for the production of a firearm frame or receiver or complete firearm.

BIS also encourages those who may be unsure whether the criteria in its regulations are met, including whether the technology or software is ready for insertion into a computer numerically controlled machine tool, additive manufacturing equipment, or any other equipment, to request an official classification.

For more information, please contact attorney Kristine Pirnia via email.

Trade Office Official Nominated

President Biden announced June 3 his intent to nominate Grant Harris as assistant secretary of commerce for industry and analysis. In this position Harris would oversee an office that handles a wide range of trade-related issues, including dproducing external market intelligence products; advancing the competitive position of U.S. manufacturing industries in the global market; promoting services export opportunities; administering and enforcing agreements and preference programs with respect to textiles, apparel, consumer goods, and materials; dispute settlement actions under free trade agreements; and trade data and analysis.

Harris currently heads a consulting firm that advises companies on doing business in emerging and frontier markets globally. He also teaches on strategy and political risk in emerging markets as an adjunct professor of global management at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and as a lecturer at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.

Earlier in his career Harris served as special assistant to the president and senior director for African affairs at the White House, where among other things he initiated the Doing Business in Africa campaign. He has also served as deputy chief of staff and counselor to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, in the African Affairs Directorate at the White House, and as an attorney at a global law firm focusing on cross-border transactions in Latin America.

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