Reexporting No License Required: The reexporter’s guide to determining US export license requirements in a reformed world


By: Scott Gearity

— originally published in the World ECR…the journal of export controls and sanctions

This article is the third in a series of articles examining how U.S. export control reform impacts non-US firms. In this and future articles, we will introduce case studies in export control reform and identify answers to common questions.

The Case: Reexporting No License Required

There are many unpleasant aspects to applying the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), but determining license requirements is not one of them. If an item is a defense article described by the U.S. Munitions List (USML), exporting it from the U.S. requires a Department of State license perhaps 99 percent of the time (with the remaining one percent permitted by exemption). Outside the U.S., where most ITAR exemptions are unavailable, the proportion of retransfers requiring specific authorization is probably even higher. The basic rule is simple – if the item is ITAR-controlled, expect to need a license. Simple, yes, but also quite burdensome.

Now, enter the Export Control Reform Initiative (ECR). How do the recent U.S. regulatory adjustments affect the license requirements applicable to reexports of items now subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR)?

To better understand the answer to this question, imagine a fictional Belgian aerospace and defense firm known as EuroAero. EuroAero has been working diligently with its suppliers to reclassify various U.S.-origin components in its inventory to reflect ECR changes. Among the recently reclassified items are the following:

Part No. Description ECCN
34507 fuel tank 9A610.x
43900 check valve 9A610.y.4
84366 armored truck 0A606.b.1


The business team is pursuing opportunities to sell these products in Canada, Poland and Qatar. The team needs to set customer expectations for lead times, and U.S. reexport license requirements are an important factor. Your assignment is to advise them as to which of these items may be shipped No License Required (NLR) to each of the three prospective destinations.

The response:

In contrast to ITAR-controlled defense articles, reexporters may ship many EAR-controlled items NLR. This is true even for items classified in some of the new 600 series Export Control Classification Numbers (ECCNs). The determination mainly depends on the item’s ECCN and the country of destination. NLR is not merely a statement that no specific, advance approval of the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is necessary; it is a reexport authorization in and of itself on par with a BIS license or regulatory license exception.

First, consider the fuel tank classified in ECCN 9A610.x, a common classification for parts specially designed for a military aircraft, but which are not controlled on the USML. The “License Requirements” section of the ECCN tells us that items classified 9A610.x are controlled for four reasons – National Security (NS1), Regional Stability (RS1), Anti-terrorism (AT1) and United Nations (UN) Embargo. By cross-referencing the reasons for control against the EAR’s Commerce Country Chart, we learn that none of these reasons for control apply to Canada, but NS and RS are each applicable to Poland and Qatar. This fuel tank is eligible for NLR reexport to Canada, but not to Poland or Qatar. Parts described by ECCN 9A610.x are highly controlled. In fact, Canada is the only NLR-eligible destination.

The next part in EuroAero’s classification matrix is a check valve with an ECCN of 9A610.y.4. Despite sharing the same base ECCN as the fuel tank classified 9A610.x, the only applicable reason for control for the .y paragraph of ECCN 9A610 is AT1. Referring again to the Country Chart, we note that AT1 controls are inapplicable to all three of the countries of interest. Therefore, the check valve is NLR-eligible for shipment to Canada, Poland and Qatar.

Finally, there is the matter of the armored truck classified in ECCN 0A606.b.1. NS, RS, AT and UN reasons for control all apply to this truck. But, importantly, the NS and RS controls are each of the Column 2 variety, which do not apply to a much larger group of countries than the corresponding Column 1 controls. So the armored truck is eligible for NLR reexport to both Canada and Poland, but not to Qatar.

Three different items – all controlled by new 600 series ECCNs – and in each case subject to a different set of determinations for reexporting without a license.

It is important to remember that NLR eligibility does not necessarily mean that EuroAero can actually make the reexport NLR. Other factors, such as a problematic end-use or an ineligible end-user might intervene. Also beware other EAR restrictions which are not handled by the Country Chart, such as the blanket prohibition on the reexport of 600 series items (including those classified in a .y paragraph) to China.

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