Comment period looms for proposed changes for U.S. exports regulations on photonics and optics technologies

June 22, 2015
Those looking to comment on the proposed changes to U.S. exports regulations covering a wide range of key photonics technologies have only until July 6 to do so.  

Those looking to comment on the proposed changes to U.S. exports regulations covering a wide range of key photonics technologies have only until July 6 to do so. The proposed changes have broad implications for the U.S. optics and photonics industry both now and into the future, and SPIE urges those within the industry to submit their comments.

The proposed rule, which was published in the U.S. Federal Register this past May, contains changes to U.S. Munitions List (USML) Category XII of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) that would have a direct impact on the U.S. optics and photonics industry both now, and going forward.

Specifically, the rewrite to Category XII (Fire Control, Range Finder, Optical and Guidance Control Equipment) is part of an overarching Export Control Reform (ECR) initiative undertaken by the Administration, according to Jennifer Douris, a lobbyist for SPIE, and a member of the Sensors and Instrumentation Technical Advisory Committee (SITAC) of the Bureau of Industry and Security in the U.S. Department of Commerce. Category XII covers many of the optics and photonics commodities and components controlled under ITAR.

The proposed rule describes "how articles the President determines no longer warrant control under Category XII of the USML of ITAR would be controlled under the Commerce Control List (CCL) by creating new “600 series” Export Control Classification Numbers (ECCN)s 6A615, 6B615 and 6D615 for military fire control, range finder, and optical items, by revising ECCN 7A611 and by creating new ECCNs 7B611, 7C611 and 7E611 for military optical and guidance items."

In addition, for certain night vision items currently subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), this rule proposes to expand the scope of control, eliminate the use of some license exceptions, and create new ECCNs for certain software and technology related to night vision items. This proposed rule would also expand the scope of end-use restrictions on certain exports and reexports of certain cameras, systems, or equipment and expand the scope of military commodities described in ECCN 0A919.

The U.S. Department of State is accepting comments on the Category XII rules until July 6.

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About the Author

James Carroll

Since joining the team 2013, James covered machine vision and imaging from numerous angles, including application stories, industry news, market updates, and new products. In addition to writing and editing articles for each issue of the magazine, James managed the Innovators Awards program and webcasts.


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