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What regulations apply to exports from the United States?
US Export Administrative Regulations (EAR) cover the export and re-export of most commercial items, including some civilian and military-grade items. An export includes any item transported outside of the country, whether temporary or permanent and whether sold, gifted, or transferred to a US subsidiary. This includes shipments originating in the US, shipped through the US, or being returned from the US to another country. EARs establish export requirements depending upon the product or service being exported and the destination country. Notably, the EAR places licensing requirements on certain types of exports. The Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is charged with implementing EARs. EARs also establish requirements for end-user control of licensed exports.
• Note: EARs completely ban the export of certain goods and any exports to certain countries (Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Sudan, Syria).
• Example: Items connected with nuclear, chemical, biological, or missile proliferation in specific countries would require a license.
EARs also control the sale of US strategic products and technologies abroad. These types of products may also include services or data. The purpose of these provisions is to control the acquisition and use of technologies by combatant nations. These regulations combine with the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) that are administered by the State Department, which govern the export of any defense articles or services. Defense services may include design, development, engineering, manufacturing, assembly testing, destruction, etc., of defense items. A license is required to export any of these items.
• Note: The US is also signatory to the Wassanaar Arrangement, which is an international agreement among 33 Countries to control the spread of both military and dual-use technology to unstable areas of the world.
• Discussion: What do you think are the government interests involved in exporting goods outside of the United States? Do you think these commercial controls are adequate to achieve the objectives behind the regulations?
• Practice Question: ABC Corp manufacturers a number of types of chemical fertilizer for plants. These fertilizers have properties that make them highly explosive in certain conditions. What laws apply to ABC if it intends to export these products outside of the United States?