BIS Requests Comments on the Utilization Rates of BIS Licenses

On March 20, 2009, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published a request for public comments on the utilization rate of BIS licenses. Comments must be received no later than May 4, 2009.

In the notice, BIS states:

A significant percentage of the export licenses issued by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) appear to be unused or used for less than the quantity or value limits authorized by the license. BIS seeks public comment to help it ascertain the reasons for such lack of use or under use. BIS is particularly interested in whether characteristics of the export license application review process induce applicants to apply for greater authorizations than they need and, if such is the case, any costs associated with such applications.

BIS requests information to help it determine specifically:

    ·    Whether software and technology export licenses also are not used or are underused;
    ·    The reasons that export licenses sometimes are not used or are underused; and
    ·    Whether characteristics of the export licensing process (e.g., ease or difficulty of use, processing times, degree of communication between the government and the applicant, license conditions, etc.) contribute to the practice of not using or under-using export licenses.

    The scope of this inquiry is limited to export licenses. It does not encompass reexports, deemed exports or deemed reexports.

    The following kinds of information would be useful to BIS's assessment:
    ·    Whether exporters seek an export license prior to receipt of a purchase order or letter of intent, and examples of typical business cases for seeking a license absent such documentation;
    ·    Detailed information concerning instances when exporters have obtained an export license from BIS but then did not use it or used it for less than the quantity or value authorized, including information on whether the export licensing process impacted the transaction, whether sales were lost due to the licensing process and the dollar amount of any such lost sales that are directly attributable to the licensing process;
    ·    Specific information about whether licenses for the export of software or technology are not used or are under used;
    ·    Whether an extension of the validity period of export licenses issued by BIS would increase the probability of the utilization of licenses; and

    ·    Process improvements that BIS could make to enhance the utilization of export licenses (e.g., expedited treatment for applications under specific circumstances).