Exporters and compliance experts have a keen eye on the export control reforms that have been gathering momentum in recent months. The Reform Initiative was a key topic during the “Update 2012 Conference on Export Controls and Policy”, held July 17-19, 2012 in Washington. Several key speakers and sessions were focused on different proposals, notably the re-definition of the term “specially designed” and the proposed plans for the orderly transition of select items from the U.S. Munitions List (USML) to the Commerce Control List (CCL).
On August 14th and 15th the State and Commerce Departments published the public comments they received in response to the proposed changes. These public comments are now being studied by the departments in preparation for Final Publication. They are available for public review on the State and Commerce websites respectively.
These are significant changes. The term “specially designed” has been the subject of contentious debate for years and it hoped that the new definition will bring clarity to the discussion and fairness to the eventual rulings. As for the USML items identified for potential transfer to the CCL, these are largely generic parts and components that no longer provide a significant military or intelligence advantage to the United States. Proponents argue that this is a reasonable change, removing a host of outdated and burdensome constrictions. In fact, as this transfer process gathers momentum, all businesses that have products, services, or technology listed on the USML (controlled by the ITAR) should check to see if any have been selected as Potential Transfer Items for possible shift to the less restrictive CCL.
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