United States: Satellites And Spacecraft Move To Commerce Control List: Proposed Rule

Last Updated: February 11 2014
Article by Jennifer Horvath

In a long-awaited move, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the Department of Commerce, announced a proposed rule in January 2013 transferring certain commercial satellite, spacecraft and related items to the control of the Commerce Department from that of the State Department. This proposal is the result of extensive efforts by the satellite and spacecraft industries in the U.S. whose exports have been controlled by the regulations of the State Department. The proposed rule is the latest step in the overall Export Control Reform Initiative first begun in 2007. Currently, the government is working to implement this proposed rule.

Spacecraft and related items are currently controlled under Category XV of the U.S. Munitions List (USML), found in the International Traffic In Arms Regulations (ITAR), overseen by the State Department. The proposed rule would transfer the control of certain items in Category XV to the Commerce Control List (CCL) of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) overseen by the Commerce Department. The transfer of these items does not result in a "de-control" as the items would still be subject to controls stated in the EAR. Also, it is likely that many, if not all, of the transferred items would still be subject to a license requirement under the EAR. However, an exporter would no longer be responsible for complying with the sometimes more onerous provisions of the ITAR. A new "500" series on the CCL will be created to house these items. The transfer of the items results from a joint effort of the State Department and the Commerce Department, together with input from the Department of Defense, to identify those items in Category XV of the USML which are eligible for transfer. Items will remain on the USML if they meet the following criteria: 1) are inherently military and otherwise warrant control on the USML or 2) if, common to non-military space applications, possess parameters or characteristics that provide a critical military or intelligence advantage to the U.S. and that are almost exclusively available from the U.S. All other items are proposed to move to the CCL in the potential new rule.

One major change is that all spacecraft, including commercial communications satellites, manned or unmanned space vehicles, even if designated as developmental, experimental, research or scientific, will be controlled under the new EAR category. Spacecraft which is specifically listed in the current Category XV of the USML will remain controlled by ITAR. Space qualified parts, components, accessories and attachments will also be controlled. Other items that would fall under the EAR include software specially designed for specific commodities controlled in certain listed 500 series, and technology required for services such as development, production, operation and repair related to certain other listed 500 series.

The new 500 series will still be subject to the main controls in the EAR including anti-terrorism, national security and regional stability. Some items will be subject to missile technology controls in some cases. The licensing policy will be on a case-by-case basis to determine whether the transaction is contrary to national security or foreign policy interests of the U.S. However, some EAR license exceptions will be available for the new series. The STA (Strategic Trade Authorization) license exception is also available, which is applicable to exports to certain countries that are NATO members or multi-regime close allies. This exception will be subject to certain requirements, such as requiring the consignee to agree to an end-user check by the U.S. government in addition to the standard consignee statement required for all STA transactions. Other applicable exceptions include LVS (limited value shipment) up to a value of $1,500 or $5,000 for a specific enumerated item, TMP (temporary exports), GOV (government exports) and RPL (servicing and replacement of parts). As with the rest of the EAR and the ITAR, the use of license exceptions is prohibited if the destination is the subject of a U.S. arms embargo, except if it is a U.S. government export under exception GOV.

There are also some specific export clearance requirements included in the proposed rule. Exports of all the items in the new 500 series must be filed in the Automated Export System (AES) regardless of value or destination, which is a departure from the current general rule governing shipments to Canada, or that have a value of less than $2500. In addition, post-departure filing in the AES is not permitted for the 500 series items. Finally, the Export Control Classification Number in the EAR for a 500 series item must be listed on the same documents on which the destination control statement is provided, and must be listed in the invoice, bill of lading, air waybill or other export control document accompanying the shipment from the point of origin in the U.S. to the ultimate consignee or end user abroad. Both the Department of Commerce and the Department of state published Federal Register notices regarding the proposed move of these satellite and spacecraft items to Commerce's control. Both notices are published in Federal Register Vol. 78, No. 101 (May 24, 2013).

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Steptoe & Johnson LLP
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Steptoe & Johnson LLP
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions