The Bureau of Industry and Security, U.S. Department of Commerce ("BIS"), is requesting comments concerning the effects of U.S. export controls on decisions to use or not to use U.S.-origin parts, components and materials in commercial products and the potential impacts of such decisions.

The deadline for comments has been extended from February 19, 2009, to April 20, 2009. In many instances, U.S. export laws and regulations trace U.S. parts, components and materials into foreign-made products that are then exported/reexported to various countries. Some U.S. exporters are concerned that the U.S. parts, components and materials may exceed certain de minimis levels in foreign-made products and thus capture the finished article within the scope of U.S. export/reexport restrictions.

Issues may also arise when the U.S. product is technology that is used in foreign production. In certain instances, not only is the technology subject to U.S. controls, but also the "direct product" of U.S. technology may be subject to controls, prior approvals by the cognizant U.S. agency and licensing.

Violations of U.S. export laws and regulations carry heavy civil and criminal penalties, and some U.S. exporters have complained that the harshness of U.S. export laws places them in a significant competitive disadvantage globally.

The request for comments is an opportunity for those interested parties to submit opinions and comments to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Comments may be submitted to publiccomments@bis.doc.gov.