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January 19, 2010 

Export Control Practitioners Group Issues U.S. Export Control Reform Recommendations

Today the Export Control Practitioners Group, composed of a diverse group of associations, businesses, practitioners and seasoned compliance experts, released a comprehensive set of specific recommendations for transparent and efficient reform of the U.S. export control system.

The recommendations were included in a letter sent to National Security Advisor General James Jones and National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers, both of whom are actively involved in the Obama Administration's export control reform initiative that was announced by the White House in August 2009.

The Export Controls Practitioners Group, which has been active for the past decade, began preparing these recommendations following the Administration’s announcement.

In addition to outlining their guiding principles for export control reform, the Export Controls Practitioners Group provided specific and practical recommendations in the following areas:

  • Structure of the export control agencies;
  • Changes to the Commodity Jurisdiction process;
  • Control list review and reduction;
  • Accountability in the export control process, including an appeals process of classification or jurisdiction decisions or technical and definitional decisions made by the agencies;
  • Recommendations involving the process for decontrolling items in light of their foreign availability;
  • Specific recommendations on changes to the procedures for the issuance of export licenses, license agreements, license exemptions, and license exceptions;
  • Reforms to the export control enforcement process, including a suggestion for a graduated penalty process that would ensure that violations resulting from mistake or inadvertent conduct would not be subject to the most severe penalties;
  • Limiting deemed export licensing requirements to sensitive, multilaterally controlled technology only (e.g., the Wassenaar Arrangement Very Sensitive List and the multilateral proliferation lists).
  • Providing Trusted Party License Exceptions for dual-use intra-company transfers to and among non-embargoed destinations.
  • Urging Congress to adopt legislation restoring Executive Branch authority to determine licensing
    jurisdiction for commercial satellites and associated items and technologies;
  • Modernize the treatment of products and software containing encryption algorithms;
  • Modifying end-user and end-Use Screening Requirements, including consolidating the various end-user lists maintained by the various agencies into one centralized list that includes names and data in the end users’ native languages, to afford easier access by exporters and other interested parties.
Several members of the Group are a part of the business community’s Coalition for Security and Competitiveness, which released its recommendations for reform last week. While the recommendations issued by the two groups differ in terms of emphasis, the key message is the same: the U.S. business community is united in the effort to work with the Administration to effectuate reform of outdated U.S. export controls.

The associations that signed the Export Controls Practitioners Group letter included the following:

  • American Association of Exporters and Importers
  • American Council on International Personnel
  • Association For Manufacturing Technology
  • Coalition for Employment Through Exports
  • Computer and Communications Industry Association
  • Electronic Design Automation Consortium
  • Emergency Committee for American
  • National Council on International Trade Development
  • National Defense Industrial Association
  • National Foreign Trade Council
  • Satellite Industry Association
  • Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International
  • Semiconductor Industry Association
  • TechAmerica
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce

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