By Emmalie Armstrong, Export Solutions

To some, it may seem as if it was just yesterday that the Export Control Reform (ECR) initiative began to take shape. For others, it may seem as if the process has spanned decades. However you view it, ECR has been a very present reality for the past year. On November 3rd, the U.S. Department of State and the Department of Commerce marked the one-year anniversary of the implementation of the President’s ECR initiative. While you are celebrating with a generous slice of cake (or perhaps an intimate dinner with your new set of regulations), let’s take some time to reflect on the changes that have happened throughout the year, and look at those still on the horizon.

To date, 15 of the 21 Categories of the United States Munitions List (USML) have been revised. By the end of this year, revisions to all 15 of these categories will be effective. As a result of these changes, the bulk of Commodity Jurisdiction (CJ) decisions are now determined to be under the jurisdiction of the Department of Commerce, and there has been a drastic reduction in the number of licenses issued. (A reduction of 64%, to be exact.)

The most recent changes include the final implementation of Category XV (Spacecraft and Related Articles), effective November 9. Up next will be Category XI (Military Electronics), which becomes effective on December 30 of this year. Remaining categories to be revised include Category I (Firearms), Category II (Artillery), and Category III (Ammunition).

In addition to USML revisions, exporters can also expect additional changes to come. While one of the main focal points will be finishing the amendments to the USML, other areas of focus will include continued harmonization of the current structure of export controls and regulations, as well as increased outreach to the trade community.

Amendments to come include:

  • Changes to existing definitions (including Defense Services, Technical Data, Public Domain, Export and Fundamental Research)
  • Updates to the “See-Through Rule”’
  • An annual review of the revised USML categories
  • Harmonization of end use monitoring
  • Updates to the Export Control Reform web page, including updated resources and FAQs.
As you can see, it looks like another busy year with more changes. Let’s just hope the next anniversary doesn’t usher in any “Terrible Two’s”!

Emmalie Armstrong is a Trade Compliance Consultant with Export Solutions – a firm specializing in U.S. import/export regulations.