On October 12, 2016, the Department of State (State) issued a rule (81 Fed. Reg. 70,340) finalizing two proposed rules, published on May 5, 2015 (80 Fed. Reg. 25,821) and February 19, 2016 (81 Fed. Reg. 8438), amending the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). The final rule revises Category XII (fire control, laser, imaging and guidance equipment) of the US Munitions List (USML) by removing certain items from the control of the USML and describing in greater detail the articles continuing to warrant USML control. By more accurately describing the articles warranting control under the USML, the rule establishes a clearer boundary between the USML and the Commerce Control List (CCL). State also amended USML Categories VIII, XIII and XV in such a way that certain items previously described in those categories are now controlled by the revised Category XII or the CCL. Lastly, USML Category XI was revised by the rule to move items previously covered by that Category to the CCL. Items moved off of the USML to the CCL include fire controls, range finders, optical, and guidance and control equipment. As part of President Obama’s export control reform initiative, this rule will have a significant impact on exporters of items that were once subject to State’s more stringent controls under the ITAR, but will now fall under the jurisdiction of the Commerce Department’s (Commerce) Export Administration Regulations (EAR).

The final rule becomes effective December 31, 2016.

On October 12, 2016, Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) issued a corresponding rule (81 Fed. Reg. 70,320) finalizing two proposed rules, published on May 5, 2015 (80 Fed. Reg. 25,797) and February 19, 2016 (81 Fed. Reg. 8,421). This rule describes how the articles no longer warranting control under the USML will be controlled under the CCL of the EAR. Certain items no longer warranting control under the USML due to this rule, such as items in normal commercial use, will generally be subject to fewer controls and different licensing requirements.

The final rule becomes effective December 31, 2016.