Export Control Reform Reaches One-Year Milestone

This week marks the first anniversary of the implementation of President Barrack Obama’s Export Control Reform Initiative (ECR). Since Oct. 15, 2014, the first export reform rules implementing the ECR have been in effect for one year.

In 2009, President Obama directed a broad-based interagency review of the U.S. export control system, and launched the ECR Initiative, as a way to enhance national security and U.S. competitiveness. Prior to this review, the U.S. Munitions List (USML) administered by the Department of State and the Commerce Control List (CCL) administered by the Department of Commerce had not been comprehensively updated in nearly two decades.

The administration is implementing the reform in three phases. Phases I (completed in 2010) and Phase II reconcile various definitions, regulations, and policies for export controls, all the while building toward Phase III, which will create a single control list, single licensing agency, unified information technology system, and enforcement coordination center.

Among the key accomplishments of the ECR Initiative in the first-year include:

  • The move of less sensitive equipment, parts, and components from the regulatory jurisdiction of the Department of State’s U.S. Munitions List (USML) to the Department of Commerce’s Commerce Control List (CCL), following exhaustive technical and policy reviews conducted by the Departments of State, Defense, and Commerce, as well as representatives from other relevant departments and agencies. These reforms were also developed in close consultation with Congress and the private sector, which provided extensive public review and comment on the proposed changes.
  • A 64 percent reduction in license volume in the thirteen implemented categories. This leads to more flexible licensing authorizations for the export of less sensitive items to allies and partners, while increasing the number of U.S. enforcement officials available to safeguard against illicit attempts to procure sensitive defense technologies.
  • These changes have enhanced our national security by increasing interoperability with our close allies and partners. These changes also reduce incentives for purchasers to deliberately avoid U.S.-origin parts and components.

As of today, 15 of the 21 categories from the USML have been revised. Thirteen categories are currently in transition, with two more category changes expected to go into effect before the end of the year. Category XV Spacecraft and related Articles will be effective on Nov. 10 and Category XI Military Electronics will be effective on Dec. 30. Work on the remaining six categories continues to move forward.

For more information regarding ECR visit export.gov/ecr/ and the U.S. Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls website.