BIS Issues Final Rule on Certain Thermal Imaging Cameras

On May 22, 2009, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published a final rule in the Federal Register revising the license requirements and license exception eligibility for certain thermal imaging cameras and foreign made military commodities incorporating such cameras. 

The rule imposes a license requirement for certain exports and reexports of military commodities manufactured outside the United States that are not subject to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), regardless of the level of U.S.-origin content, if those military commodities incorporate certain thermal imaging cameras that are subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). 

The rule also removes Commerce Control List (CCL) based export and reexport license requirements with respect to 36 destinations for certain thermal imaging cameras when they are not incorporated into military commodities and if they are not being exported or reexported to be embedded in a civil product. It imposes a semi-annual reporting requirement on the transactions from which it removes the CCL based license requirements. 

The rule also imposes a license requirement for software used to increase the frame rate of certain cameras. 

BIS states that it is making these changes in recognition of the emerging availability of these cameras around the world, the export licensing practices of other governments and the potential use of these cameras in military applications.