On December 23, 2016, the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) issued a final rule amending the Export Administration Regulations (15 C.F.R. Parts 730-774) to ease export restrictions against Burma consistent with Executive Order 13742, issued in October 2016. That executive order, which we previously have summarized, terminated the national emergency declared with respect to Burma under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, along with all sanctions targeted against Burma administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”). As we noted in our summary, following the issuance of EO 13742, Burma remained subject to an arms embargo and certain export restrictions, and certain Burmese persons remained designated on OFAC’s List of Specially Designated Nationals (“SDNs”) under sanctions programs unrelated to Burma (such as programs related to North Korea and narcotics trafficking).

The BIS final rule eases certain EAR restrictions related to exports and reexports to Burma. First, BIS is removing and reserving Section 744.22 of the EAR, which imposed a licensing requirement for exports and reexports of all items “subject to” the EAR to persons designated under executive orders imposing sanctions targeting Burma, as the executive orders are no longer in effect and there are no persons designated thereunder. Second, BIS is moving Burma from Country Group D:1 to Country Group B, which will make exports and reexports to Burma eligible for a broader range of license exceptions.

It should be noted that certain EAR restrictions remain in effect with respect to Burma. First, Burma remains in Country Groups D:3 (countries raising proliferation concerns related to chemical and biological weapons) and D:5 (U.S. arms embargoes). This means that Burma remains ineligible for certain license exceptions, including (but not limited to) those related to 9×515 or “600 series” items. Additionally, Burma remains in Computer Tier 3 for purposes of License Exception “Computers (APP)” in Section 740.7 of the EAR. This means that Burma is eligible only for exports and reexports of certain technology and source code under the license exception, as compared with the range of computers, related components, technology, and source code available to countries listed in Computer Tier 1. Before the initial imposition of sanctions against Burma in 2007, it was a Computer Tier 1 country.