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November 02, 2007 

BIS Update 2007, Day 2, Breakout Session: Export Control List Development

Elizabeth Scott, Director of the Chemical and Biological Controls Division at BIS, opened the breakout session by providing an overview of the critical components of items on the Commerce Control List (CCL) as follows:

  • Toxic Chemicals: useful for production of chemicals agents or used independently;

  • Biological agents: pose a danger to human, animal or plant;

  • Production equipment: necessary for making controlled items;

  • Technology: do not want unfriendly actors to have access to sensitive and new technologies.
The CCL is now under review and BIS will take a close look at the public comments submitted by industry in order to revise various Export Control Classification Numbers (ECCNs) on the CCL. In addition, BIS is working at the multilateral level with the Australia Group, a group of countries that work together to develop policies and guidelines regarding the export of chemicals and biological weapons.

Suggested revisions to Australia Group controls are made by member countries to the Australia Group secretariat for distribution to members. Annual plenary sessions are held to review the proposals. A consensus among all Australia Group members is needed for a revision to be adopted. Once a change to the Australia Group list is adopted, BIS notifies U.S. industries by publishing a notice in the Federal Register.

The input of U.S. industry is also sought on potential changes to the Australia Group list. For example, BIS is seeking the input of industry with respect to changes to ECCNs 2B352 (cross tangential flow filters) and 2B350 (chemical processing equipment).

The next speaker in the breakout session was Steve Clagett, Director of the Nuclear and Missile Technology Division of BIS's Office of National Security and Technology and Technology Transfer Controls. Mr. Claggett noted that his office is tasked with reviewing the CCL and the CCL guidelines, which direct how the controls work. The objective of Mr. Clagett's office is to keep the CCL modern, add new items that address specific proliferation concerns, and delete entries that are no longer germane.

With respect to the Missile Technology Control Regime, he noted that Category I items, which include first generation nuclear weapons, are the most sensitive. Category II includes dual-use items, capable of being used in missile delivery systems. The jurisdiction for these items is shared between the EAR and ITAR. He also discussed the Nuclear Suppliers Group lists, including the Trigger List (Part I), which governs the exprot of items that are especially designed for nuclear use, and the Dual-Use Annex (Part II), which governs the export of nuclear related dual use items and technologies. Notably, the Dual-Use annex is fairly static and minor changes were made to machine tool controls in order to harmonize with Wassenaar. The Trigger List is also fairly static, however, the Nuclear Suppliers Group is reviewing a number of items, such as controls on stable isotope separation and valves for gas centrifuges.

Mr. Clagett was followed by James Thompson, Director of the Sensors and Aviation Division of BIS's Office of National Security and Technology and Technology Transfer Controls. Mr. Thompson noted that U.S. controls for National Security are based on the list developed by the Wassenaar Arrangement. The Wassenaar Arrangement has 40 member countries and was established in 1996 to promote transparency and responsibility in transfers of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies. U.S. National Security (NS) controls are based on the Wassenaar List of Dual Use Goods and Technologies. Thus, changes to U.S. NS controls require a change to the Wassenaar list.

Proposed changes to the Wassenaar list are presented by member countries for review and consideration. In order to adopt a member country’s proposal, unanimous agreement is required. This review cycle occurs annually and requires several months for changes to become integrated into the EAR.

John Albert, from the State Department's Office of Conventional Arms Threat Reduction and Head of the U.S. Delegation to the Wassenaar Arrangement Experts Group, discussed the Wassenaar Arrangement process for modifying the Wassenaar List of Dual Use Goods and Technologies. He summarized the process as follows:

  • Proposals submitted by deadline early in the year

  • Initial review in the spring

  • Intersessional meetings are held
  • Final reviews occur in the fall
  • Final proposals reviewed at the Wassennaar Plenary session in December
  • Each country subsequently implements the changes to their own laws and regulations
In order to be listed on the Wassenaar list, a item has to be a key component for the development use or enhancement of military capability. In order to be placed on the Munitions list, the item must be designed for military use.

Mr. Albert noted that the Wassenaar List is an evolving process and seeks to balance security concerns with the free flow of international trade. It is also a process that seeks to develop a shared outlook.




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