Early Steps Toward a Streamlined Export Control System: Proposed Changes to the ITAR and EAR

On November 7, 2011, the U.S. State Department published a proposed rule amending the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (“ITAR”) by narrowing the categories of aircraft and related equipment controlled on the United States Munitions List (“USML”). Concurrently, the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) published a proposed rule adding five new Export Control Classification Numbers (“ECCNs”) to the Commerce Control List, which lists items controlled under the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”). The two rules are linked, as the new ECCNs in BIS's proposed rule will cover those items carved out of the ambit of ITAR controls by the State Department’s proposed rule.

The two interrelated proposed changes represent the second step in the Administration’s ongoing Export Control Reform Initiative (the “ECR” or the “Initiative”). The ECR began in earnest when BIS published a proposed rule on July 15, 2011—discussed on this blog—that laid out a regulatory construct for harmonizing the USML and the CCL. According to a Department of Commerce website, the Initiative will be implemented in three phases: Phases I and II will reconcile various definitions, regulations, and policies for export controls, and build toward Phase III, which is envisioned to create a single control list, single licensing agency, unified information technology system, and enforcement coordination center.

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