The State Department has issued an interim final rule that (1) removes certain high-energy storage capacitors from U.S. Munitions List category XI and (2) adds a 125-volt voltage criterion for high-energy capacitors that remain in this category. This rule will be effective May 21 and comments on it are due by May 30.

This rule moves the export regulation of subject capacitors from the International Traffic in Arms Regulations to the Export Administration Regulations. This will reduce the regulatory burden on those who export, temporarily import, retransfer, reexport, or perform brokering activities involving the subject capacitors. In particular, this change averts regulatory burdens that would otherwise apply to supply chains that rely on the subject capacitors and commercial items into which they have been integrated or incorporated.

State is making these changes because certain low-voltage high-energy storage capacitor technology has progressed such that many models that exceed the existing USML control criteria no longer provide a critical military or intelligence advantage. Although these lower-voltage capacitors meet the energy density and full energy life criteria, the technology for these lower-voltage capacitors is well understood and they have been extensively integrated into commercial applications, such as Wi-Fi routers and civil aviation aircraft transponders. Further, comparable capacitors manufactured in other countries are widely available internationally without multilateral export restrictions placed on them.

In this rule State is also reaffirming a core concept for compliance programs: When a commodity is described by a single criterion within a USML entry, it is imperative to evaluate the remaining criteria of the control to verify whether the commodity is described – even when the commodity was not intentionally designed to meet or exceed the control criteria.

For more information on this and other export control issues, please contact attorney Kristine Pirnia at (202) 730-4964 or via email.

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