On January 25, 2011, the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) lifted restrictive export controls on trade with India in the civil space, defense, and other high technology sectors. BIS’s new rule implements the November 8, 2010 bilateral understanding between President Obama and Prime Minister Singh of India to expand the two countries’ strategic and commercial partnership. Companies doing business with India should be aware of BIS’s new rule and its impact on potential trading opportunities.  

Indian Entitieies Removed from the Entity List  

The new rule removes the following Indian defense and space-related entities from BIS’s Entity List.  

  • Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL)  
  • Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) subordinate entities:  
    • Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE)  
    • Defense Research and Development Lab (DRDL)  
    • Missile Research and Development Complex  
    • Solid State Physics Laboratory
  • Space Research Organization (ISRO) subordinate entities:  
    • Liquid Propulsion Systems Center
    • Solid Propellant Space Booster Plant (SPROB)  
    • Sriharikota Space Center (SHAR)
    • Vikram Sarabhai Space Center (VSSC)  

Removing these nine Indian entities from the Entity List eliminates the additional dual-use licensing requirements for exports to entities on the List. Exporters, however, must still obtain all necessary authorizations otherwise required under BIS’s Export Administration Regulations (EAR) for shipments to these entities.  

India Removed from Threereeree Country Groups  

BIS’s new rule removes India from EAR Country Groups listing countries with certain export restrictions imposed for reasons of nuclear nonproliferation (Country Group D:2), chemical & biological weapons (Country Group D:3), and missile technology (Country Group D:4). India’s removal from these groups eliminates certain licensing requirements for items such as medical products containing certain pathogens and toxins, and certain rocket systems and unmanned aerial vehicle end uses. In addition, with the removal of India from Country Groups D:2, D:3, and D:4, two license exceptions are now available for exports to India. Specifically, License Exception Baggage (BAG) is available for exports and re-exports of unaccompanied baggage to India, and India now is an eligible destination for reexports under License Exception Additional Permissive Reexports (APR).

India Added to One Country Group

The new BIS rule adds India to Country Group A:2 of the EAR. Country Group A lists member countries of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). Although India is not an MCTR member, its placement on the Country Group A:2 list recognizes India’s commitment to adhere to the MCTR’s export control requirements.