President Reports on Progress of the New U.S. Export Control System Implementation

On December 9, 2010, President's Export Council held a meeting at the White House where President Obama discussed progress made on the goal to double exports over the next five years.

The President announced at the meeting that the Administration released a series of regulations and requests for comment as part of the implementation of the new U.S. export system. The Administration also deployed its Export Control Reform Initiative webpage at www.export.gov, which includes a new tool to facilitate compliance with U.S. export control requirements by bringing together, for the first time, the various screening lists maintained by multiple Departments.  

The announcement included introducing new proposed regulations published by the Department of State and by the Department of Commerce, both of which request public comments within 60 days:

"First, the Department of State published a proposed regulation to rewrite Category VII (Tanks and Military Vehicles) of the U.S. Munitions List (USML). The proposed Category is a "positive list" of those defense articles that an interagency technical working group has determined provide at least a significant military or intelligence advantage to the United States.  The Department of State is soliciting public comment to ensure that the new Category clearly and concisely identifies the items that are controlled in this Category.

Second, the Department of State published a companion notice that provides details on the U.S. Government's methodology for generating the revised, positive Category VII as a model for other categories.  The notice also solicits public input for virtually all the remaining categories on the USML (excluding the categories for classified defense articles and for miscellaneous articles), requesting input on:

1. Describing currently controlled defense articles in a "positive manner"; 

2. Recommending each defense article's proposed tier of control; and

3. Identifying any current defense article that does not meet any of the tiered control criteria, with an explanation of the analysis that resulted in that conclusion. 

These inputs will be reviewed by the interagency technical working groups as the U.S. Government continues its work in revising the control lists.  The Administration has an aggressive schedule to complete its rewrite of the entire USML in 2011.

Third, the Department of Commerce published a similar notice requesting public input on entries on the Commerce Control List as well as requesting foreign availability information on a wide range of controlled items outside a proposed set of countries who are allies and multilateral regime partners.

Fourth, the Department of Commerce published a proposed regulation that offers an initial set of new licensing policies.  The proposed regulation would create a new license exception (STA) that would allow exports of controlled items (consistent with statutory and treaty requirements) to countries that are members of all four multilateral export control regimes or other regime members that also are members of NATO.  It would also allow exports of items controlled on the Wassenaar Arrangement's Basic List to countries that are members of or adherents to all four multilateral export control regimes, members of NATO, or for civil end-uses in destinations that have not historically represented a significant diversion or proliferation risk for U.S.-origin items.  The proposed exception would impose new requirements to provide safeguards against possible unauthorized re-exports, including notification, destination control statement and consignee statement requirements."