BIS Publishes Advisory Opinion on the Scope of the General Technology Note in the EAR

On March 25, 2014, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published an advisory opinion it issued regarding the General Technology Note (GTN) and the defined term "required" as used in the GTN. The advisory opinion provides that the GTN and the term "required" apply to all Export Control Classification Number (ECCNs) controlling "technology," regardless of whether the ECCN specifically refers to the GTN or uses the term "required." 

Specifically, the advisory opinion states: 

"The United States implements in the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) commitments it has made under the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) regarding sensitive dual-use goods and technologies.  The EAR has, in pertinent part, implemented the WA's definition of technology as follows:

"Technology". (General Technology Note)-Specific information necessary for the "development", "production", or "use" of a product.  The information takes the form of "technical data" or "technical assistance". Controlled "technology" is defined in the General Technology Note and in the Commerce Control List (Supplement No. 1 to part 774 of the EAR)...

The EAR has, in pertinent part, implemented the WA's GTN as follows:

General Technology Note. The export of "technology" that is "required" for the "development", "production", or "use" of items on the Commerce Control List is controlled according to the provisions in each Category. "Technology" "required" for the "development", "production", or "use" of a controlled product remains controlled even when applicable to a product controlled at a lower level.

The EAR's definition of "technology" states that "[c]ontrolled 'technology' is defined in the General Technology Note...and the GTN states "[t]he export of 'technology' that is 'required' for the 'development', 'production', or 'use' of items on the Commerce Control List is controlled according to the provisions in each Category." The EAR does not limit its definition of technology or the GTN to only those technologies controlled in the EAR pursuant to the WA. Therefore, the GTN and the EAR's definition of "required" apply to all references to "technology" in all the ECCNs on the CCL."