How to export technology: 4 checkpoints

Break the rules on export of technologies and software and you may experience the feel of handcuffs. What you need to know is neither cut and dried nor uniform. Sensors, logic, actuators, software, networking technologies (much of what Control Engineering subscribers design, use, purchase, integrate, and export) are subject to those rules and restrictions.

03/01/2007


Break the rules on export of technologies and software and you may experience the feel of handcuffs. What you need to know is neither cut and dried nor uniform. Sensors, logic, actuators, software, networking technologies (much of what Control Engineering subscribers design, use, purchase, integrate, and export) are subject to those rules and restrictions.

Export rules and requirements are set up in line with the mission of the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce). The mission is to “advance U.S. national security, foreign policy, and economic objectives” and ensure an effective system of export controls and treaty compliance, and balance all that with “continued U.S. strategic technology leadership,” while trying to keep well-minded people informed and out of jail.

Since Control Engineering ’s Global Supplement ships with this issue, here are four hints on how to stay out of trouble, if you’re shipping, selling, or carrying technologies or machinery outside the United States of America. BIS suggests:

1. A U.S. export license can be required, depending on : item (commodity, software, or technology), where it’s going, who’s going to use it, and the intended use (including commercial items without obvious military use, and dual-use items with commercial and military or proliferation applications). Just because your customer says it’s okay doesn’t end your obligations to check and secure appropriate licensing and permissions, if required.

2. Restrictions vary by country and item . Embargoes are most severe to countries that the U.S. designates as supporting terrorist activities, including Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria. Anything using a technology that could support a proliferation activity—nuclear, chemical/biological, or missiles—could be counted among prohibited end uses.

3. Look deeper . Examine BIS compliance and enforcement “Lists to check.” OEMs or resellers can search suppliers’ sites for Export Control Classification Numbers (ECCNs). Also, other U.S. agencies and departments control and regulate exports, in addition to BIS, including departments of state and treasury, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Food and Drug Administration, and Environmental Protection Agency.

4. Unsure? U.S. government says about 8,000 product classifications cover millions of trade transactions per year. If you’re uncertain, document what you’ve done or want to do, research a little more, then consult with an expert. Please check out the resources in the ONLINE box, and e-mail me your comments, advice, and suggestions to share. Or, where this posts at www.controleng.com , use the “Sound Off” function at the bottom.

MHoske@cfemedia.com





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