US Export Controls: Firearms, Guns, Ammunition and Related Articles move from USML to CCL

With the 2018 Control of the President Determines No Longer Warrant Control Under the United States Munitions List (USML) (83 FR 24166) proposed rule, the Department of Commerce (DoC) said it would revise

Category I—Firearms, Close Assault Weapons and Combat Shotguns;

Category II—Guns and Armament; and

Category III—Ammunition/Ordnance of the USML.

These will now be controlled on the Commerce Control List (CCL). of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR)

No harm to US military but high commercial use

The Departments decided that adding these items added to the CCL does not provide a critical military or intelligence advantage to the US and, in the case of firearms, do not have an inherently military function. EAR is now the source of authority to control firearms, ammunition, and other articles previously controlled under Categories I-III of the USML. There is a significant worldwide market for items in connection with civil and recreational activities such as hunting, marksmanship, competitive shooting, and other non-military activities.

This final rule does not deregulate the transferred items.

Export license required

BIS will require authorization to export or reexport to any country a firearm or other weapon that is being moved from the USML to the CCL, including releases of related technology and software to foreign persons in the US.

Software & technology for arms production when posted on the Internet

Certain software and technology capable of producing firearms when posted on the internet under specified circumstances is being controlled; however, communication of ideas regarding such software or technology is freely permitted.

Go, get guns

The rules does not prevent Us citizens from acquiring firearms of any type—there are other laws and regulations that control the acquisition of firearms in the U.S.

The new home: BIS's 600 series

BIS has created Export Control Classification Numbers (ECCNs), referred to as the “600 series,” to control items that will be removed from the USML and controlled under the CCL.

How are these ECCNs build up?

The ECCN number is constructed as such:

  1. The first character is a digit in the range 0 through 9 that identifies the Category on the CCL in which the ECCN is located.

  2. The second character is a letter in the range A through E that identifies the product group within a CCL Category.

  3. These ECCNs are referred to as the “600 series” because the third character in each of the new ECCNs is “6.”

  4. With few exceptions, the final two characters identify the WAML category that covers items that are the same or similar to items in a particular “600 series” ECCN.

Where do Cat II items move to?

Items that are currently controlled in Category II of the USML will be controlled on the CCL under four new “600 series” ECCNs. Placement of the items currently in USML Category II into the CCL's 600 series is consistent with existing BIS practice of using 600 series ECCNs to control items of a military nature.

Where do Cat I and II items move to?

Items currently controlled in Categories I and III of the USML will be controlled in new ECCNs in which the third character is a “5.”

These items are not appropriate for 600 series control because, for the most part, they have civil, recreational, law enforcement, or other non-military applications.


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