August 18, 2016
On July 28, 2016, as part of the Export Control Reform Initiative (“ECR”), the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) and the U.S. Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (“DDTC”) published companion final rules removing articles from Categories XIV (toxicological agents, including chemical agents, biological agents, and associated equipment) and XVIII (directed energy weapons) of the U.S. Munitions List (“USML”) and transferring them to the lower threshold of controls in the Commerce Control List (“CCL”), particularly the “600 series.”  Both rules become effective on December 31, 2016.
The affected Category XIV articles consist mainly of dissemination, detection, and protection “equipment” and related articles and are now controlled under new ECCN 1A607 and the corresponding B, C, D, and E provisions. For instance, new ECCN 1A607 controls certain chemical or biological protective gear and also medical countermeasures that can be used in widespread emergencies. New ECCN 1C607 controls tear gases, riot control agents and materials for the detection and decontamination of chemical warfare agents.
The affected Category XVIII articles primarily consist of tooling, production “equipment,” test and evaluation “equipment,” test models, and related articles and are now controlled under new ECCN 6B619 and the corresponding software and technology provisions. For example, new ECCN 6B619.a controls commodities used to produce directed energy weapons, such as active denial systems.
BIS’s final rule also amended License Exception Baggage (BAG) and License Exception Temporary Imports, Exports, Reexports, and Transfers (In-country) (TMP) with respect to their availability for certain exports, reexports, and in-country transfers of certain chemical or biological agent protective gear. The BAG and TMP amendments are designed to conform to the scope of a similar ITAR exemption and essentially allow travelers to hand-carry certain chemical or biological agent protective gear overseas, provided that the conditions of the applicable license exception are met.
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