The Department of State has published a Final Rule in the Federal Register amending the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (“ITAR”) United States Munitions List (“USML”) effective July 17, 2007. See 72 Fed. Reg. 39,010 (July 17, 2007). The Department of Commerce also published a Final Rule addressing the export classifi cation of items removed from the USML. See 72 Fed. Reg. 39,009 (July 17, 2007).
The amendment to the text of the USML, Category XV - Spacecraft Systems and Associated Equipment, alters one of the performance characteristics of articles classifi ed in that Category and clarifi es others. This change impacts only radiation-hardened microelectronic circuits that are subject to the ITAR based on their performance characteristics alone. Please note that any microelectronic circuit that is specifi cally designed, developed, confi gured, adapted or modifi ed for a military or space application is subject to the ITAR, regardless of whether or not it meets the new performance criteria.
The one substantive change in the amendment is to the single event upset rate parameter in Category XI(d), which provides for “Radiation-hardened microelectronic circuits that meet or exceed all fi ve of the following characteristics.” The exponential measure describing the single event upset rate in Category XV(d)(4) is changed from “1x10-7 or less error/bit/day” to 1x10-10. This change “refl ects the minimal performance standard for space applications, and addresses the outcome of evolving refi nements in the manufacturing process for these circuits.” In addition, the word “threshold” is added into Category XV subparagraphs (d)(2) and (d)(4), and the expression “1 MeV Equivalent” is added to the end of Category XV(d)(3), describing the energetic activity of neutrons.
As a result, radiation-hardened microelectronic circuits that meet or exceed all fi ve of the characteristics set forth in Category XV(d) are subject to the ITAR. Microcircuits that are not specifi cally modifi ed or adapted for a space or military application, and which no longer meet the performance criteria of Category XV(d), are now subject to the licensing jurisdiction of the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security under the Export Administration Regulations, and are classifi ed under Export Control Classifi cation Number (“ECCN”) 3A001.a.1.