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May 13th, 2014

U.S. Department of Commerce and Department of State + Satellite Industry Association (SIA)—Satellite Export Controls Now Fundamentally Changed (Government—Policies)

[SatNews] The U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has now published regulations that will fundamentally change the nature of U.S. export controls on most commercial, scientific, and civil satellites and their parts and components.

Together with a companion rule issued by the Department of State, the action moves the items from Category XV of the State Department's U.S. Munitions List (USML) to the Commerce Control List.

"Today's action reflects the cooperation that has made the President's Export Control Reform Initiative such an extraordinary success story," said Under Secretary of Commerce Eric L. Hirschhorn.  "For the many American businesses that compete in this key technology sector, it means a stronger United States defense industrial base, the ability to focus the government's limited resources on the technologies and destinations of greatest concern, an increase in the competitiveness of the U.S. satellite industry, and a reduction in the licensing burden on U.S. exporters."

The items moving to Commerce jurisdiction include communications satellites that do not contain classified components, certain remote sensing satellites, spacecraft parts, components, accessories, attachments, equipment, or systems that are not specifically identified in the revised category, and all radiation-hardened microelectronic microcircuits. In many instances, the updated regulations also allow the commercial, scientific and civil satellites transferred to Commerce jurisdiction to incorporate parts and components listed on the USML and remain under Commerce licensing authority. The changes to the controls on radiation-hardened microelectronic microcircuits take effect 45 days after publication of the rule, while the remainder of the changes take effect 180 days after publication.

BIS controls exports and reexports of commodities, technology, and software for reasons of national security, missile technology, nuclear non-proliferation, chemical and biological weapons non-proliferation, crime control, regional stability, foreign policy, and anti-terrorism.

The Satellite Industry Association (SIA) has applauded the publication of new regulations that reform the export controls for satellites and related items.

The U.S. Departments of State and Commerce each published rules that will transfer commercial communications satellites and some remote sensing satellites, along with tens of thousands of associated parts, components, and ground terminals from the more restrictive U.S. Munitions List to the Commerce Control List. This action marks the end of a 15-year period during which all U.S. satellite exports were licensed as munitions, creating unnecessary constraints on U.S. satellite competitiveness internationally.

The Administration issued final rules less than 18 months after the U.S. Congress passed legislation permitting satellite export control reform, with bipartisan and bicameral support. The new regulations will take effect in six months’ time, to allow U.S. manufacturers, their international suppliers and customers, and government agencies to update their internal licensing and compliance systems.

"SIA congratulates the U.S. government on this truly comprehensive overhaul to the U.S. satellite export control system," said Patricia Cooper, President of the Satellite Industry Association. "With a more modern regulatory environment for exports in place, we look forward to unleashing the full force of American ingenuity and innovation at work in the international market."

The Satellite Industry Association has promoted satellite export reform for more than 15 years, by actively advocating for legislation to permit reform and participating extensively in the process to develop final rules.

Ms. Cooper added, "We at SIA thank the many Administration and Congressional officials who undertook this thoughtful and wide-sweeping update and look forward to a careful review of the new regulations and active engagement throughout the implementation period."

For copies of the final regulations, please visit the following links

U.S. Department of State
U. S. Department of Commerce

The SIA is a U.S.-based trade association providing worldwide representation of the leading satellite operators, service providers, manufacturers, launch services providers, and ground equipment suppliers. Since its creation more than eighteen years ago, SIA has advocated for the unified voice of the U.S. satellite industry on policy, regulatory, and legislative issues affecting the satellite business.

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