BIS Requests Comments from Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Semiconductor Supply Chains on Supply Chain Vulnerabilities

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The Department of Commerce’s (“Commerce”) Bureau of Industry & Security (“BIS”) recently issued requests for comment on risks to the information communications and technology (“ICT”) and semiconductor supply chains.  These comments are being requested as part of the U.S. government’s broader review of supply chain vulnerabilities (see here, here, and here).

ICT Supply Chain Request for Comment:

Executive Order 14017 (“EO 14017”), which we previously wrote about, requires Commerce and the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) to issue a report on supply chains for critical sectors and subsectors of the ICT industrial base.  The recent Federal Register notice, published on September 20, 2021, describes the ICT industrial basis as: (a) hardware that enables terrestrial distribution, broadcast/wireless transport, satellite support, data storage to include data center and cloud technologies, and end user devices including home devices such as routers, antennae, and receivers, and mobile devices; (b) critical software; and (c) services that have direct dependencies on one or more of the enabling hardware.  BIS seeks comments on eleven (11) topics, which are described in further detail in the notice and which we summarize below:

  • “Critical goods and materials,” as defined in EO 14017, Section 6(b);
  • “Other essential goods and materials,” as defined in EO 14017, Section 6(d);
  • Manufacturing, or other capabilities necessary to produce or supply “critical goods and materials” and “other essential goods and materials”;
  • Supply chain disruption and compromise threats such as cyber, health, climate, environmental, geopolitical, forced-labor, and other risks;
  • Resilience and capacity of domestic ICT supply chains to support domestic requirements as described in EO 14017, such as national, economic, and information security;
  • Allies’ and partners’ actions on ICT supply chains;
  • Primary causes of risks for any vulnerable aspects of the ICT supply chain;
  • Prioritization of “critical goods and materials” and “other essential goods and materials” to identify options and policy recommendations;
  • Specific policy recommendations for ensuring a resilient ICT supply chain;
  • Executive, legislative, regulatory, and policy changes needed to strengthen domestic ICT supply chain manufacturing and prevent supply chain disruption and compromise; and
  • Suggested improvements to the government-wide effort to strengthen supply chains.

Comments on the ICT supply chain are due by November 4, 2021.

Semiconductor Supply Chain Request for Comment:

On September 24, 2021, BIS published a Federal Register notice which requests comments from interested parties, especially domestic and foreign semiconductor designers, manufacturers, material/equipment suppliers, as well as intermediate and end-users.  Any interested party may submit comments, however.  The BIS notice includes a questionnaire for semiconductor designers, manufacturers, and microelectronic assemblers, and their suppliers and distributors, as well as a questionnaire for intermediate and end-users of semiconductor products or integrated circuits.  The questions mainly cover the production process and focus on disruptions to the semiconductor and integrated circuit inventories of intermediate and end-users.  Interested parties should note before filing comments at regulations.gov that BIS requires commenters fill out an Excel spreadsheet form posted on BIS’ website to be completed and filed along with the comments.  Comments on the semiconductor supply chain (including a completed form) are due by November 8, 2021.

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