The Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has published its annual notice soliciting comments on the effects of the foreign policy-based controls contained in the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) (Effects of Foreign Policy-Based Export Controls, 79 Fed. Reg. 52,630 (Dep’t Commerce Sept. 4, 2014)). BIS is collecting these comments as part a process meant to determine whether these controls should be extended through 2015.
The EAR’s foreign policy-based controls currently cover a wide variety of products, including encryption items, crime control and detection items, aircraft and vessels, and certain nuclear-related commodities and technologies. The controls also prohibit or otherwise restrict exports of particular items and information to countries designated as Supporters of Acts of International Terrorism, certain entities in Russia, and individual terrorists and terrorist organizations, among others. As such, the foreign policy-based controls contained in the EAR impact many U.S. industries and their activities.
These controls can pose significant challenges for U.S. exporters and their ability to fully participate in the global market, as they may place limitations on the export activities of U.S. companies to which foreign competitors are simply not subject. BIS’s notice presents an important opportunity for U.S. interested parties to voice their concerns, share their experiences, and suggest ways in which BIS can either diminish or eliminate these barriers.
In its notice, BIS has highlighted several areas about which it is particularly interested in receiving comments, including the economic impact of proliferation controls, suggestions on how to make multilateral controls more effective, and even suggestions for measuring the effect of these controls on trade. BIS is also asking commenters to provide (where able) more specific data and/or information on the effect of these foreign policy-based controls on individual industrial sectors, as well as information illustrating the impact on the controls’ intended targets.
As with last year’s notice, BIS is requesting that responding parties be as specific as possible in their comments. Keep in mind, however, that the comments submitted in response to BIS’s notice will be made publicly available on BIS’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) website, through the Federal e-Rulemaking website, and in BIS’s report to Congress.
The deadline is October 6, 2014. Comments can be filed either via upload to the Federal e-Rulemaking portal (www.regulations.gov) or by sending hard-copy comments directly to BIS. For more information on BIS’s request for comments on foreign policy-based controls in the EAR, you can access BIS’s complete Federal Register notice here.