The Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) today issued a final rule amending certain requirements in the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”) that apply to Albania and Croatia based on these countries’ accessions to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (“NATO”) (see 74 FR 68142, available at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/pdf/E9-30484.pdf ). BIS has made these changes in order to provide consistent treatment to all NATO member states by removing certain crime control, national security, and regional stability license requirements for Albania and Croatia. These changes, which are effective immediately, increase the availability of license-free trade opportunities with companies in Albania and Croatia.

The EAR set forth licensing requirements for different countries and country groupings related to the control of certain exports, reexports, and activities. Countries that are members of NATO enjoy exemption from some EAR restrictions (though not uniformly). As such, NATO enlargement calls for the amendment of the relevant parts of the EAR. With Albania and Croatia having acceded to formal membership in NATO (on April 1, 2009), the current amendment by BIS makes related changes to the EAR.

This new rule impacts several sections of the EAR. In addition to revising the definition of NATO in Part 772.1 of the EAR to add Albania and Croatia per their accessions, the BIS amendment removes certain crime control (CC), national security (NS) and regional stability (RS) license requirements for these countries. Albania is also removed from Country Group D and added to Country Group B (Croatia has already been designated as a Country Group B country), thus removing previous limitations and making it an eligible destination for exports and reexports that are authorized by certain license exceptions. Minor amendments were also made to other sections.

While other license requirements for exports and reexports to Albania or Croatia remain, these changes increase the availability of license-free trade opportunities with companies in Albania and Croatia.