BIS Clarifies Its Authority to Revise, Suspend and Revoke Licenses

On March 7, 2011, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) amended the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to clarify the Application Processing, Issuance, and Denial provisions regarding BIS's authority to revise, suspend or revoke licenses.  

Part 750 of the EAR provides for the revision, suspension or revocation of licenses whenever it is known that the violation of the EAR has or is about to occur. The final rule revises revocation or suspension of licenses at §750.8 by removing the phrase "whenever it is known that the EAR have been violated or that a violation is about to occur." 

This change will clarify BIS's authority to revise, suspend, or revoke licenses and will harmonize §750.8(a) of the EAR, concerning licenses, with an analogous provision in §740.2(b) regarding the revision, suspension or revocation of license exceptions under the EAR.  

The change in Part 750 is expected to make it clear that the United States' ability to revoke or suspend a license is not limited to those cases where the EAR have been violated or where a violation is about to occur. The authority to revoke or suspend a license also extends to cases where BIS seeks to prevent licensed export transactions in which the U.S. may subsequently have an interest, including a foreign policy interest.