FAQ: Export Questions

  1. What does the term "export" mean?
  2. Which U.S. government agencies control the export of products from the U.S.?
  3. What definition is given the term "export" by the U.S. State Department?
  4. Over which type of products does the U.S. Department of State have export control jurisdiction?
  5. Which items are considered defense items for export control purposes?
  6. Is there a list of defense items?
  7. What definition is given the term "export" by the U.S. Commerce Department?
  8. Over which type of products does the U.S. Department of Commerce have export control jurisdiction?
  9. Which items are considered dual use items for export control purposes?
  10. Is there a list of dual use items?
  11. What can an exporter do if the exporter is unsure as to whether a product is controlled for export purposes by the Department of State or by the Department of Commerce?
  12. Does either the State Department or the Commerce Department require an exporter to obtain a product-specific export license before exporting a product from the U.S.?
  13. When does an item subject to the export control jurisdiction of the Commerce Department require an export license?
  14. Other than product-specific export controls are there any other issues that subject the export of a product to a licensing requirement?
  15. What are end use export controls?
  16. What are end user export controls?
  17. What are ultimate destination export controls?
  18. Which countries are currently subject to ultimate destination export controls?
  19. What is a deemed export?
  20. Which products and services are subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR)?
  1. What does the term "export" mean?

    In general, the term "export" means the act of shipping goods out of one Customs' territory into another Customs' territory. Exporters should keep in mind, however, that the term "export" is defined differently -- and separately -- by the U.S. government agencies which control the export of products from the U.S.


  2. Which U.S. government agencies control the export of products from the U.S.?

    Product-specific export controls are primarily the domain of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Commerce.


  3. What definition is given the term "export" by the U.S. State Department?

    For the State Department, an export is defined as: (a) sending or taking a defense article out of the United States in any manner, except by mere travel outside of the United States by a person whose personal knowledge includes technical data; or (b) transferring registration, control or ownership to a foreign person of any aircraft, vessel or satellite covered by the U.S. Munitions List, whether in the United States or abroad; or (c) disclosing (including oral or visual disclosure) or transferring in the United States any defense article to an embassy, any agency or subdivision of a foreign government (e.g. diplomatic missions); or (d) disclosing (including oral or visual disclosure) or transferring technical data to a foreign person, whether in the United States or abroad; or (e) performing a defense service on behalf of, or for the benefit of , a foreign person, whether in the United States or abroad.


  4. Over which type of products does the U.S. Department of State have export control jurisdiction?

    The U.S. Department of State has export control jurisdiction over the export of defense items.


  5. Which items are considered defense items for export control purposes?

    Articles, services and related technical data are designated as defense items if: (a) they are specifically designed, developed, configured, adapted or modified for a military application and do not have a predominant civil application or a performance equivalent to that of an article or service used for civil applications; or (b) they are specifically designed, developed, configured, adapted, or modified for a military application and have significant military or intelligence applications, such that control by the Department of State, Office of Defense Trade Controls is necessary.


  6. Is there a list of defense items?

    Yes, that list is called the Munitions List which is found in section 121 of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).


  7. What definition is given the term "export" by the U.S. Commerce Department?

    The term "export" is specifically defined by the Commerce Department as: (a) an actual shipment or transmission of Commerce Department controlled items out of the U.S.: or (b) the release of technology or software subject to Commerce Department export control to a foreign national in the U.S. (a so-called "deemed export").


  8. Over which type of products does the U.S. Department of Commerce have export control jurisdiction?

    The U.S. Department of Commerce has export control jurisdiction over the export of dual use items and items which have strictly civilian or commercial uses.


  9. Which items are considered dual use items for export control purposes?

    In general, the term dual use items refers to items that have potential for both military and civilian commercial uses, i.e., items which do not meet either test for defense items status and which as a result, are not controlled for export by the State Department.

  10. Is there a list of dual use items?

    Yes, but it is a partial list that is called the Commodity Control List (CCL) which is found in section 774 of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). In general, however, an item is a dual use item if it is not on the Munitions List.


  11. What can an exporter do if the exporter is unsure as to whether a product is controlled for export purposes by the Department of State or by the Department of Commerce?


  12. An exporter who is unsure as to the export control jurisdiction for a particular product can submit to the State Department a written Commodity Jurisdiction Request.
  13. Does either the State Department or the Commerce Department require an exporter to obtain a product-specific export license before exporting a product from the U.S.?


  14. Items subject to the export control jurisdiction of the State Department (Munitions List items) almost always require an export license before they can be exported from the U.S., whereas items controlled for export purposes by the Commerce Department (dual use items and civilian commercial) require an export license in only a very small percentage (estimated at 5% or less) of cases.
  15. When does an item subject to the export control jurisdiction of the Commerce Department require an export license?


  16. An item subject to the export control jurisdiction of the Commerce Department is currently licensable if it has been assigned a specific Export Commodity Control (ECCN) by the Commerce Department which is controlled for export to specific countries and the export is to be made to one of such countries.
  17. Other than product-specific export controls are there any other issues that subject the export of a product to a licensing requirement?


  18. Yes. There are series of export controls that are based on end use, end user and ultimate destination.
  19. What are end use export controls?


  20. End use export controls are prescribed by the Commerce Department in Part 744 of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) which clearly prohibits or otherwise restricts exports for certain end uses. Such prohibited or otherwise restricted end uses currently include nuclear end uses, missile end uses, chemical and biological weapon end uses, maritime nuclear propulsion end uses, and foreign vessel and aircraft end uses.
  21. What are end user export controls?


  22. End user export controls are export prohibitions or export restrictions that are prescribed against certain specified individuals and companies (restricted persons) by the Department of State, the Department of Commerce and the Department of Treasury. Each of these agencies produces one or more restricted persons lists. These lists currently include the State Department's list of "debarred persons', the Commerce Department's list of denied persons, the Commerce Department's Entity List and the Treasury Department's list of specially designated nationals. All U.S. exporters must screen the names of their buyers and the names of their end users against each of these restricted persons lists before completing a proposed export transaction for the purpose of determining if such buyers and or end users are prohibited buyers end users (i.e. buyers end users to whom an export sale can not be made); or restricted buyers end users (i.e. buyers end users to whom an export sale can be made only under an export license).
  23. What are ultimate destination export controls?


  24. Ultimate Destination export controls are export controls prescribed by the Department of State, the Department of Commerce and the Department of Treasury. Each of these agencies produces one or more lists of restricted or embargoed destinations. All exporters must screen the ultimate destination of their exports against the range of embargoed destinations prescribed by State, Commerce and Treasury for the purpose of determining if such ultimate destinations are subject to any general export prohibitions or to any general export license requirements.
  25. Which countries are currently subject to ultimate destination export controls?


  26. The countries which are currently subject to ultimate destination export controls are: Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Serbia Yugoslavia. In considering ultimate destination export controls, it is important to note that the export controls imposed vary on a country-by-country basis.
  27. What is a deemed export?


  28. A deemed export is the release of technology or software subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to a foreign national in the U.S.
  29. Which products and services are subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR)?


  30. The products and services that are subject to the export jurisdiction of the EAR are: (a) all items in the United States, including in a U.S. Foreign Trade Zone or moving in transit through the United States from one foreign country to another; (b) all U.S. origin items wherever located; (c) U.S. origin parts, components, materials or other commodities incorporated abroad into foreign-made products, U.S. origin software commingled with foreign software, and U.S. origin technology commingled with foreign technology, in quantities where the controlled content exceeds certain prescribed de minimis levels, generally averaging 25% of the total value of the foreign made products, software or technology, except in the case of embargoed countries where the de minimis level is 10%; (d) certain foreign-made direct products of U.S. origin technology or software; and (e) certain commodities produced by any plant or major component of a plant located outside the United States that is a "direct product" of U.S. origin technology or software.