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Friday, 4 March 2011

10 Key points UK + USA Export Controls

Strong & Herd LLP offer consultancy, training and helpline advice on both UK and USA Export Licensing Controls here are a few key points based on questions we regularly receive from clients.

1. SPIRE - Shared Primary Information Recourse Environment - UK computerised export licensing system links export licence information with the UK customs computer CHIEF - Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight.

2. Dual-use does NOT mean a commercial item sold to the military. To be controlled as dual-use the goods/technology must be listed in the dual-use list (in the UK/EC known as DUEC; known as EAR in the USA). This list is highly technical and lists the technology levels of controlled goods.

3. Dual-use list, high technology levels are set in the Wassenaar Arrangement by member countries and is common to all member countries. Key members are the 27 EU member states, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Switzerland, Norway, Canada and the USA.

4. Dual-use controls are known as the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) in the USA and goods caught on the EAR are subject to extra-territoriality controls if re-exported or incorporated into other equipment which is subsequently re-exported. Need to check the rules.

5. The USA extends export licensing controls to the re-export of controlled goods/technology both under EAR and under the military controls of ITAR - International Traffic in Arms Regulations. This denies re-exports to embargoed/sanctioned countries, controls re-export of EAR and ITAR items and controls "re-transfer" (ie moving to another party in the same country) for ITAR goods/technology.

6. EU DUEC and USA EAR - both based on same dual-use regulations and category numbers in both control lists are the same. EU call them category numbers, USA call them the Export Control Classification Number (ECCN). An example of one is: 3A001.b

7. The type of goods named in dual-use regulations headings, eg computers, sensors, etc but which are below the levels of technology specifically listed are not subject to export licence controls - except to embargoed/ sanctioned countries. These goods are known as EAR99 in the USA and LIC99 in the UK

8. Goods/ technology specially (specifically) designed, modified or configured for military purposes are subject to export licence controls.

9. Military goods/ technology are subject to national controls. The USA has the Munitions List (ML) under ITAR. UK has the Military List (ML). Germany, for eg, has the Ammunition List (AL). None of them are the same - though EU looking at standardising military controls. USA ITAR controls are very strict, including re-export and re-transfer of ITAR items/ technology.

10. USA extra-territoriality controls may affect any country buying USA controlled goods/ technology (both EAR and ITAR) whether it is purchased direct from an US supplier or not.

If you have any questions regarding this complicated topic we will try to help. Contact us at