The Obama Administration’s efforts to reform the U.S. export control system remain the dominant theme in the export trade compliance field. More than three years after it was announced, the export Control Reform (ECR) initiative continues its slow but steady progress. in 2011, the new License exception Strategic Trade Authorization (ATA) was introduced. it was designed to authorize certain exports of items moved from the U.S. Munitions List (USML) under the international Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to the Commerce Control List (CCL) under the export Administration Regulations (EAR). efforts during 2012 focused on the continued review of the USML to identify items that are candidates for transfer from the rather onerous USML to the EAR. The Bureau of industry and security (BIS) at the Commerce department, which is responsible for administration of dual-use exports under the EAR, and the directorate of defense Trade Controls (DDTC) at the state department, which is responsible for exports of defense articles under the ITAR, are working in close cooperation to conduct the review of the USML under the ECR initiative.
BIS and DDTC have published coordinated proposed rules covering nine of the USML categories. The proposed rules identify items that the Administration believes should be transferred from ITAR jurisdiction to EAR jurisdiction. none of those rules has advanced beyond the proposed stage, but with the president’s reelection, it is expected that all will now proceed to the final rule stage, and that export jurisdiction over many items will, in fact, be transferred from state to Commerce.