The Export Administration Act has been in existence – in one form or another – for nearly 100 years. (Assuming you go all the way back to the Trading With The Enemy Act of 1917). In the late 1960’s, there was a reexamination of the U.S. Export Control system and a less restrictive Export Administration Act of 1969 was passed to replace the Export Control Act of 1949. Later, in 1979, the Act was revised and rewritten into the Export Administration Act of 1979. This legislation formed the basis of the export control system that continues today.
A variety of global events, including the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989 and the institution of the Wassenar Agreement (replacement to CoCOM) in 1994, caused multiple reexaminations of the purposes and goals of the Export Administration Act of 1979. However, no resolutions were forthcoming and the Act continued between 1989 and 1994 through temporary statutory extensions and by application of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA). Then, in 1994, Congress voted to extend the Export Administration Act of 1979 (through the IEEPA) for a period of six years, followed again in November 2000 with another extension until August 2001. The Export Administration Act of 1979 expired on August 20, 2001. Since that time, successive Presidents have kept the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) in effect under the powers of the IEEPA.
As the statutory authority for the EAR, the Export Administration Act of 1979 has to be renewed by Congress, rewritten as new legislation or continued under IEEPA through Executive Order … and thus it has been since 2001. Otherwise, the EAR would have no legal basis to exist.
That brings us to today. In keeping with a 15-year tradition, on August 17, 2016, the President announced that he will continue the EAR under the IEEPA for another one-year period. This was a continuation of Executive Order 13222 of August 17, 2001.
So, happy birthday EAR! After all these years, you don’t look a day over 16. (Or is it 99?)
Jim McShane is a Sr. Consultant, Trade Compliance for Export Solutions -- a full-service consulting firm specializing in ITAR and EAR regulations.