“While there is still more work to be done, taken together, these reforms will focus our resources on the threats that matter most, and help us work more effectively with our allies in the field. They’ll bring transparency and coherence to a field of regulation which has long been lacking both. And by enhancing the competitiveness of our manufacturing and technology sectors, they’ll help us not just increase exports and create jobs, but strengthen our national security as well.”
- President Obama, Department of Commerce Annual Export Controls Update Conference, August 30, 2010

PRESIDENT’S EXPORT CONTROL REFORM INITIATIVE

From the ECR Blog

July 15, 2015 – Public Comments Available for Proposed Rules on USML Category XII, Destination Control Statements, and the Department of State’s “by-or-for the US Government”
The public comment period has recently ended for four proposed rules published by the Departments of State and Commerce under the President’s Export Control Reform Initiative (ECR). Please refer to the DDTC website to view all public comments they received on proposed changes regarding Exports and Temporary Imports Made to or on Behalf the U.S. Government and proposed revisions of U.S. Munitions List Category XII. Concurrently, BIS has made available all comments they received on the Harmonization of the Destination Control Statements and on proposed revisions to the EAR for items that no longer warrant control under USML Category XII. For more information, please visit the DDTC and BIS websites.

July 2, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Commerce Deploys Revamped Consolidated Screening List
On July 2, 2015, the U.S. Department of Commerce deployed a revamped Consolidated Screening List (CSL) that includes a number of changes. The U.S. Government agencies that source the CSL have developed a new CSL search engine that will have additional “Fuzzy Name Search” capabilities. This means that one can search the CSL without knowing the exact spelling of an entity’s name, and the CSL will return a “score” for all results that exactly match or nearly match the name that is searched. In addition, updates to the CSL will be completely automated. Every day, the CSL will pull updated files from the Departments of Treasury, Commerce, and State and these updated files will be used to update the CSL daily. For more information, please refer to the “Consolidated Screening List” tab to the left of this page.   

June 17, 2015 – The U.S. Departments of State and Commerce Publish Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Category XIV and XVIII of the United States Munitions List
In a Federal Register notice published on June 17, the Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) proposes to amend the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to revise Categories XIV (toxicological agents, including chemical agents, biological agents, and associated equipment) and XVIII (directed energy weapons) of the United States Munitions List (USML). The Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) concurrently issued a proposed rule describing how articles the President determine no longer warrant control under Categories XIV and XVIII of the USML would be controlled under the Commerce Control List (CCL). Both departments will accept comments from the public until August 17, 2015.

June 3, 2015 – The U.S. Departments of State and Commerce Publish Rules to Harmonize Definitions in the ITAR and EAR; State Requests Public Comments on Revised Proposed Definition for ‘Defense Services”
In two Federal Register notices published on June 3, the Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) and the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) proposed rules harmonizing the definitions in the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) as part of the President’s Export Control Reform Initiative (ECR). By making the regulations more consistent with one another, DDTC and BIS aim to facilitate enhanced compliance and reduce regulatory burdens. Additionally, the proposed rules support the ECR effort to eventually create a single export control list, rather than maintaining the separate Commerce Control List (CCL) and U.S. Munitions List (USML). To assist the creation of public comments, DDTC issued this fact sheet and created this chart of the proposed regulatory text side-by-side from the ITAR rule and the EAR rule. The State rule includes a revised proposed rule for defense services.  State previously published proposed rules on April 13, 2011, and May 24, 2013.  Both Departments will accept public comments until August 3, 2015.

May 29, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Justice Publishes Final Rule Revising the U.S. Munitions Import List
On May 29, the Department of Justice finalized an amendment to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) regulations, which revises the U.S. Munitions Import List (USMIL) as part of the President’s Export Control Reform Initiative. These revisions will remove defense articles that were on the USMIL but no longer warrant import control under the Arms Export Control Act. The Department first published the amendment as an interim final rule on March 27, 2014 and finalized it on May 29 without change.

May 22, 2015 – The U.S. Departments of State and Commerce Propose Rules Including the Harmonization of Destination Control Statements
On May 22, the Department of State published a proposed amendment to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to: clarify regulations pertaining to the export of items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR); revise the licensing exemption for exports made to or on behalf of an agency of the U.S. government; and revise the destination control statement in the ITAR to harmonize the language with the statement in the EAR. On the same date, the Department of Commerce published a companion rule with the sole purpose of harmonizing the destination control statement in the EAR with that found in the ITAR. Both Departments will accept comments from the public until July 6.

May 22, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Commerce Publishes an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Additional Improvements and the Harmonization of Export Clearance Provisions
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is soliciting comments for how the export clearance requirements under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) can be improved; specifically, how the EAR export clearance provisions can be better harmonized with those under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).  BIS published this advanced notice of proposed rulemaking on May 22, and will accept comments from the public until July 6, 2015.

May 5, 2015 – The U.S. Departments of State and Commerce Publish Notice of Proposed Rule Making on Category XII of the United States Munitions List (USML)
On May 5, 2015, the Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) published a proposed rule revising the United States Munitions List (USML) Category XII, which controls fire control, range finder, optical and guidance and control equipment. The Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) concurrently issued a proposed rule detailing how those items which the President determined no longer warrant control under USML Category XII would be controlled under the 600 series of the Commerce Control List (CCL). The BIS rule additionally proposes to expand the scope of control, eliminate the use of some license exceptions, and create new Export Control Classification Numbers (ECCNs) for certain software and technology related to night vision items. The Departments of State and Commerce will accept comments from the public on the proposed rules until July 6, 2015.

March 13, 2015 - The Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS ) Streamlines Support Document Requirements for License Applications
On March 13, 2015, the Department of Commerce published a final rule revising the support document requirements for license applications under Part 748 of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). The changes made in this final rule include removing the requirement to obtain an International Import Certificate or Delivery Verification in connection with a license application and limiting the requirement to obtain a Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser to exports, re-exports, and transfers (in-country) of 600 Series Major Defense Equipment.

March 2, 2015 – U.S. Department of State and Department of Commerce Publish Notice of Inquiry on Categories VIII and XIX of United States Munitions List (USML)
On March 2, 2015, the Departments of State and Commerce published Notices of Inquiry soliciting public input on Categories VIII (Aircrafts) and XIX (Gas Turbine Engines) of the United States Munitions List (USML) and the companion entries on the Commerce Control List (CCL).  In October 2013, these rules were the first final export control list rules to take effect under President Obama’s Export Control Reform Initiative (ECR).  The comments received will inform State’s and Commerce’s intended periodic review of the revised USML Categories to ensure that the Categories are clear, do not control items in normal commercial use, account for technological development, and successfully implement the national security and foreign policy objectives of the reform effort. The Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is specifically soliciting comments on the clarity, usability and implementation of the 600 series Export Control Classification Numbers (ECCNs ) that control military aircraft and related items.  The Departments of State and Commerce will accept comments from the public until May 1, 2015.

December 30, 2014 – State and Commerce Final Rules for Category XI Take Effect
On December 30, 2014, final State and Commerce rules relating to military and other advanced electronics took effect. Published on July 1 of this year, the revised regulations cover a large number of products in the electronics, computer, telecom and avionics industries, including many parts, components, attachments and software.  

November 24, 2014 – Debut of Consolidated Screening List Search Tool
On November 20, the Department of Commerce debuted a web-based search tool to help U.S. companies easily search the Consolidated Screening List (CSL), a streamlined collection of nine different “screening lists” compiled by the U.S. Departments of Commerce, State, and the Treasury. The CSL contains the names of over 8,000 individuals and companies with whom a U.S. company may not be allowed to do business due to U.S. export regulations, sanctions, or other restrictions. It is extremely important for U.S. businesses to consult the CSL before conducting business with a foreign entity to ensure it is not flagged on any of the agency lists. In addition to the new search tool, the CSL is available as an Application Programming Interface (API) through the International Trade Administration (ITA) Developer Portal. Both the CSL search tool and API are deliverables under the President’s Export Control Reform initiative. For more information, please see this press release and this blog post from the Department of Commerce.

November 18, 2014 – One-Year Anniversary of the Initial Implementation of ECR Control List Changes
October 15 marked the one year anniversary of the initial implementation of control list related changes of the President’s Export Control Reform Initiative. Since the first set of revised rules went into effect in 2013, 15 of the 21 categories of the U.S. Munitions List have been revised, 14 of which have gone into effect with the 15th category going into effect on December 30, 2014. These revisions transition many less sensitive items from the State Department’s International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to the more flexible Commerce Department’s Export Administration Regulations (EAR), thereby enhancing our national security by increasing interoperability with allies while simultaneously improving the competitiveness of U.S. industry. Please see the recently released State Department Fact Sheet for more information.

August 4, 2014 - Annual BIS Update Conference
Held in Washington, DC July 29-31, the Bureau of Industry and Security hosted the "Update 2014 Conference on Export Controls and Policy", which is an annual event for industry leaders, government representatives and general stakeholders interested in current issues and trends in export control policies, regulations and practices. The predominant theme of the conference was the significant work that has been accomplished in Export Control Reform, and a number of senior officials provided their thoughts on the subject to the participants in attendance. Transcripts of remarks from the following speakers can now be accessed online:

July 2, 2014 - State and Commerce Published Final Rules for Category XI
On July 1, the State and Commerce Departments published final rules for USML Category XI, which pertains to various military and other advanced electronics.  State issued a press release that highlight the significance of the publication of these rules.  These final rules result from two rounds of public comments and will go into effect on December 30, 2014. For more information, please see the State Department media note.

July 2, 2014 - Portions of Satellite Rules Pertaining to Radiation-Hardened Microelectric Microcircuits Take Effect
On June 27, Final State and Commerce Rules relating to radiation-hardened microelectric microcircuits took effect.  A summary of the relevant portions of both sets of rules is in the Commerce rule in response to Comment #38.  Other portions of the satellite-related rules will take effect on November 10, 2014.

May 14, 2014 - State and Commerce Publish Final Satellite Rules
On May 13, State and Commerce published final rules transferring certain satellites and components from the USML to the CCL. These rules are the product of extensive work between the Administration and Congress, in consultation with industry, to reform the regulations governing the export of satellites and related items. These changes will more appropriately calibrate controls to improve the competitiveness of American industry while ensuring that sensitive technology continues to be protected to preserve national security. The changes to the controls on radiation-hardened microelectronic microcircuits take effect 45 days after publication of the rule, while the remainder of the changes take effect 180 days after publication.

March 28, 2014 - Revisions to U.S. Munitions Import List Published
On Thursday, March 27, the Department of Justice published a Final Rule that revises the U.S. Munitions Import List (USMIL) as part of the President’s Export Control Reform Initiative. These changes will remove defense articles that were on the USMIL but no longer warrant import control under the Arms Export Control Act, allowing enforcement agencies to focus their efforts where they are most needed. This important reform modernizes the USMIL and will promote greater security.

March 18, 2014 - The Decontrol Myth
There is a misconception that ECR is simply a decontrol effort that will result in U.S.-origin items being more widely available for use in human rights abuses. In fact, the opposite is true. ECR that is a reprioritization of controls designed to focus U.S. Government resources on the most sensitive exports, tightening embargoes in the process. The Administration is only easing the export license requirement for less sensitive items, mostly parts and components, for ultimate end-use in a group of 36 countries that are NATO members or members of all four multilateral export control regimes. Additional compliance measures will apply to such exports to provide an audit trail. Licenses will still be required for items outside of the 36 countries, and the eased licensing burden will be balanced by an increase in the enforcement resources focused on the export of items that move to the Commerce Control List. For More information, please visit Export Control Reform Initiative Fact Sheet #8: Myths and Facts About the Impact of Reform on U.S. Foreign Policy Equities.

February 18, 2014 - ECR is Strengthening Arms Embargoes
A key consequence of Export Control Reform (ECR) is the tightening of existing arms embargoes, especially against human rights violators. Far from a decontrol, ECR is adding controls to items not previously subject to U.S. and UN arms embargoes. While items moved from the U.S. Munitions List (USML) to the Commerce Control List (CCL) will continue to be subject to the same partial or total arms embargoes as before, military items that have been on the CCL since the early 1990s will also become subject to these same embargoes as well. There will be no diminishing of U.S. Government review of export license applications for these items. The Departments of Defense and State will continue to review license applications processed by the Department of Commerce for national security and foreign policy reasons as they already do for other items on the Commerce Control List. These rigorous enhancements to the existing system will make it less likely that U.S.-origin items will be available for human rights abuses.

January 14, 2014 - State and Commerce Publish Third Set of Final Rules for Implementing ECR
On January 2, the Departments of State and Commerce published a pair of final rules implementing ECR. These rules revise USML Categories IV (Missiles, Launch Vehicles), V (Explosives), IX (Military Training Equipment), X Protective Personnel Equipment), and XVI (Nuclear Testing Equipment) and represent another milestone in advancing ECR as 13 of 20 rules have now been finalized. These rules will go into effect on July 1, 2014.

State and Commerce Publish Corrective Rules Applying to Four Revised Categories
On January 2, the Departments of State and Commerce published rules that made technical corrections to previously published final rules for Categories VI, VII, XIX, and XX. These rules took effect on January 6, 2014.

October 29, 2013 – President Obama Issues Presidential Determination to Facilitate Satellite Reclassification
On October 25, President Obama signed a Presidential Determination delegating three functions pertaining to export controls for satellites and related items to members of his cabinet. These activities are required steps for transitioning certain satellites and related items from the U.S. Munitions List (USML) to the Commerce Control List (CCL) under the terms of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013. They include the submission to Congress of:

  • A one-time determination to the Congress from the Secretary of State that the removal of satellites and related items from the USML is in the national security interests of the country,
  • A one-time report to Congress from the Secretary of State analyzing the final regulations that will move certain satellites and related items from the USML to the CCL, and
  • An annual report to Congress from the Secretary of Commerce summarizing all export licenses and other export authorizations for satellites and related items subject to the Export Administration Regulations every year until 2020.

These delegations will allow the Administration to meet statutory requirements and publish implementing regulations that will modernize the nation’s satellite export controls as part of the President’s Export Control Reform Initiative.

October 28, 2013 - First Export Control Reform List Rule Changes Take Effect
On October 15, the first final export control list rules implementing Export Control Reform took effect. These rules initiate the historic process of fundamentally improving the nation’s control regime for the first time in a generation and include both structural changes as well as revisions to USML Categories VIII (Aircraft) and XIX (Gas Turbine Engines) that transition many less sensitive items from the State Department’s International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to the more flexible Commerce Department’s Export Administration Regulations (EAR). USML Categories XVII (Classified Defense Articles) and XXI (Miscellaneous Articles) are also included in the final rules. Exporters can now take advantage of the improved licensing system and its more rational, tailored approach to export control for these categories. Please see the recently released White House Fact Sheet and State Department Media Note for more information.

October 4, 2013 – Commerce Publishes Final Rule to Make the Commerce Control List Clearer
On October 4, 2013, the Bureau of Industry and Security published a final rule to clarify the Commerce Control List (CCL) to make conforming changes and minor clarifications in support of the two final rules initiating the implementation of Export Control Reform. This rule took effect on October 15 in conjunction with those rules.

October 3, 2013 – Commerce and State Publish Corrective Rule
On October 3, 2013, the State and Commerce Departments published rules providing technical corrections to the previously published final rules implementing Export Control Reform, which took effect on October 15.

August 27, 2013 - State Publishes new Brokering Rules
On August 28, 2013, the Department of State published a new final rule regarding the activities of brokers in transactions involving defense articles and defense services for exports and imports.  This rule revision implements the President’s direction regarding consolidated brokering activities per E.O. 13637 of March 8, 2013, and is the result of a comprehensive review that included significant input from industry, and it can now be accessed online.

August 20, 2013 - USML/CCL Rule Revisions Can Be Followed on ECR Website
You can keep abreast of the ECR list re-writes by accessing the ECR Control List Tracking Sheet on the ECR website’s Export Control List” page. This document will provide you with an archive of the published proposed rules, public comments, and final rules for each re-written category. Check back often to follow the progress being made in reforming the control lists and regulatory framework.

July 29, 2013 - Annual BIS Update Conference Held in Washington, DC
On July 23-25, the Bureau of Industry and Security hosted the “Update 2013 Conference on Export Controls and Policy”, which is an annual event for industry leaders and other stakeholders interested in recent and forthcoming changes to export control policy. This year’s theme was “Export Control Reform: Fulfilling the Promise”, and a number of senior officials provided their thoughts on the subject to the participants in attendance. Transcripts of remarks from the following speakers can now be accessed online:

State and Commerce Published Second-Round Proposed Rules for Category XI
On July 25, the State and Commerce Departments published a second round of proposed rules for USML Category XI – Military Electronics. This is the second set of proposed rules for this category, and there will be a 30-day public comment period that will close on September 9, 2013. The State and Commerce rules are now available online.

July 8, 2013 – ECR Reaches Another Key Milestone as Second Set of Final Rules Publish
On July 8, 2013, the second set of rules implementing Export Control Reform were published. These rules include revisions to USML Categories VI (Vessels of War and Special Naval Equipment), VII (Tanks and Military Vehicles), XIII (Auxiliary Military Equipment), and XX (Submersibles). With this publication, eight of the 19 USML categories have now been rebuilt under ECR. The State and Commerce versions of these rules are now available online, and they will take effect in 180 days on January 6, 2014. More information can be found on the State Department website.

July 3, 2013 - BIS Offers ECR Webinars and Teleconferences
For more information on ECR and other export control-related topics, BIS hosts regular webinars and teleconferences for the public that are available through the BIS website. This page can also be accessed from the ECR website by clicking on the “Weekly Teleconference” hyperlink located on the website sidebar.

June 3, 2013 - BIS-Produced Tools for Understanding New “Specially Designed” Definition, the CCL Order of Review, and License Exception STA Now Available
In order to help exporters understand the way export control compliance will change as a result of ECR, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has produced a series of decision tree tools to help make the new “Specially Designed” definition and Commerce Control list classification easier to understand. These tools can be found on the BIS website, along with a third decision tree tool that will guide exporters in the use of the new license exception STA. In addition, BIS has also produced a free webinar to explain this new term that is available both as an online video and in transcript form on the BIS website.

To keep informed about future online trainings, please make sure to visit BIS’ ECR Teleconference and Webinar page, which can be accessed by clicking on the “Weekly Teleconference” link under the “For Exporters” heading on the sidebar of this page.

Find previous blog posts and news headlines

About Export Control Reform

Fact Sheets, Press Releases, and Quick Reference Dashboard

ECR Fact Sheet Series
March 20, 2012

ECR Dashboard (pdf)
June 2012

White House Fact Sheet
July 19, 2011

White House Press Release
August 30, 2010

Find additional fact Sheets, press releases, speeches, and background information in the ECR Library.

Information for Exporters and Providing Input