Classification and Licenses

Commerce Control List Categories

Under the EAR, the list of items controlled is called the Commerce Control List (CCL). Exporters are required to navigate through this list to determine the correct Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) for both their item and its associated technology.

An ECCN is a five-character alphanumeric designation used in the CCL to classify exports and determine if export licenses are needed from the Department of Commerce. An ECCN categorizes exports based on commodity and respective technical parameters.  The ECCN combined with the destination of the item determines whether or not you will need a license.

Here is a quick reference of the ten categories included in an ECCN:

  • 0 = Nuclear materials, facilities, and equipment (and miscellaneous items)
  • 1 = Materials, Chemicals, Microorganisms, and Toxins
  • 2 = Materials Processing
  • 3 = Electronics
  • 4 = Computers
  • 5 = Telecommunications and Information Security
  • 6 = Sensors and Lasers
  • 7 = Navigation and Avionics
  • 8 = Marine
  • 9 = Propulsion Systems, Space Vehicles, and Related Equipment

The ECCN categorization system is broad, so your company needs to be careful when you determine the ECCN. If your product falls under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), then you could be subject to additional scrutiny outside of ITAR or EAR.

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What Other U.S. Export Control Classifications Should I Know About?

The Harmonized Tariff Schedule

The Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS) is a 10-digit code used by the U.S. government to classify imports. This code is controlled by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and must be used by U.S. importers.

Schedule B Numbers

The U.S. government pays careful attention to exports for national security and monetary reasons. To help with the process, the U.S. government collects statistical information about exports with Schedule B codes.

HS Codes

HS codes are a set of six-digit codes used by countries around the world. This standardized code helps identify product groups’ duty and tax rates, software, and related technology. Your company will use HS codes when working with customers, vendors, and foreign nationals who reside outside the U.S.

Does Your Company Have The Right Classifications & Licenses?

U.S. export controls and licenses can be a challenge to understand and maintain. Classification requires an in-depth knowledge of your products and regulations to accurately choose a specific ECCN. If you don’t have the ECCN correct, you cannot correctly determine whether or not you will need a license.

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