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December 08, 2009 

Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls Modifies Control Lists at Recent Plenary Session

Last week the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies held its 15th annual Plenary session in Vienna, Austria.

During the Plenary the participating countries agreed to a number of changes to the WA's List of Dual-Use Goods and Technologies and the Munitions List. The changes to the List of Dual-Use Goods and Technologies included the modification of a number of entries on the control lists (including changes in parameters and specifications), the addition and changes to several notes, as well as other changes to the text that were intended to make the lists more "user-friendly" for exporters and licensing authorities.

Among the more significant changes is a new Note 4 to Category 5 - Part 2 of the Dual-Use List, the category that covers information security and encryption. The new note indicates that Category 5–Part 2 does not apply to items incorporating or using "cryptography" and meeting all of the following:

a. The primary function or set of functions is not any of the following:
1. "Information security";
2. A computer, including operating systems, parts and components therefor;
3. Sending, receiving or storing information (except in support of entertainment, mass commercial broadcasts, digital rights management or medical records management); or
4. Networking (includes operation, administration, management and provisioning);
b. The cryptographic functionality is limited to supporting their primary function or set of functions; and
c. When necessary, details of the items are accessible and will be provided, upon request, to the appropriate authority in the exporter’s country in order to ascertain compliance with conditions described in paragraphs a. and b. above.
Because the U.S. is a participating member of the WA, the U.S. must modify the Commerce Control List (CCL) in order to incorporate these changes. However, as indicated by our previous post regarding the changes made at the 2008 WA Plenary, the changes made at the 2009 Plenary will not take effect until the CCL is modified by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) next year.

The next regular Wassenaar Arrangement Plenary meeting will take place in Vienna in December 2010.

A summary of changes adopted at the December 2009 Plenary can be found here.

The latest version of the List of Dual-Use Goods and Technologies and the Munitions List incorporating the made at last week's Plenary can be found here.

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