“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 2 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 – 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 - 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