DDTC Issues Proposes Revising USML Category VII

As part of the President's Export Control Reform effort, the Department of State issued a proposed rule on December 10, 2010 to amend the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to revise Category VII of the U.S. Munitions List. The proposed rule would revise Category VII (tanks and military vehicles) to describe more precisely the defense articles described therein.

The DDTC administers the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) (22 CFR parts 120-130). The items subject to the jurisdiction of the ITAR, i.e., ''defense articles,'' are identified on the ITAR's U.S. Munitions List (USML) (22 CFR 121.1). The descriptions in many USML categories are general and include design intent as an element of causing an item to be controlled. The descriptions in most CCL categories are specific and generally include technical parameters as an element for causing an item to be controlled. 

Both the ITAR and the EAR impose license requirements on exports and re- exports. Items not subject to the ITAR or to the exclusive licensing jurisdiction of any other set of regulations are subject to the EAR. A key part of the Administration's Export Control Reform effort is to review and revise these two lists of controlled items to enhance national security so that they: (1) Are "tiered" consistent with the criteria the U.S. Government is establishing to distinguish the types of items that should be controlled at different levels for different types of destinations, end-uses, and end-users ("Criteria"); (2) create a "bright line" between the two lists to clarify jurisdictional determinations and reduce government and industry uncertainty about whether particular items are subject to the jurisdiction of the ITAR or the EAR; and (3) are structurally "aligned" so that they later can be combined into a single list of controlled items.

In the process of revising the USML, articles will be screened to determine which items that are currently USML-controlled defense articles should remain on the USML, which items that are currently USML controlled defense articles could be controlled under the CCL, and which items should be subject to the EAR without a specific Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) on the CCL. This proposed rule addresses both the need for "tiering" Category VII and the need for establishing a "bright line" between the USML and the CCL so that, after application of this process to the remaining categories of the USML and meeting the statutory and other requirements of Export Control Reform, the two lists can be combined into a single list of controlled items. Prior to the completion of a single U.S. Government control list, DDTC plans to publish in the existing ITAR a final rule amending Category VII after it has reviewed and considered all comments received on this proposed rule, received interagency input and approval, and satisfied its obligations under section 38(f) of the Arms Export Control Act.

The DDTC has revised Category VII to assign all controlled defense articles under this category one of the three control Criteria, that is Tier 1 (T1), Tier 2 (T2), or Tier 3 (T3). These tier designations were made upon a government-wide assessment of the appropriate level of export control for each item based upon different types of destinations, end-uses, and end-users. As other USML categories are reviewed and revised, the same "tiering" structure is planned to be applied to the remaining USML categories.