Newly imposed U.S. export controls following Russia’s 2022 further invasion of Ukraine has brought scrutiny on the ICT and other key sectors in Armenia potentially involved in re-export of controlled goods into Russia. Armenian authorities have committed to compliance with U.S. and EU steps sanctions and exports controls, and have taken a number of steps to do so. Most notably, the government issued May 25, 2023 decree, “Authorization for the List of Sensitive Goods Exported from the Republic of Armenia or Transited from the Territory of the Republic of Armenia,” strictly controlling export and transit 38 HS-6 coded items identified by U.S. and EU officials among the list of High Priority Battlefield Items. The United States imposes export controls to protect national security interests and promote foreign policy objectives related to dual-use items and less-sensitive military items through the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) (15 CFR Parts 730 – 774). The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is responsible for regulating, implementing, and enforcing export controls for such dual-use items and less sensitive military items. Within BIS, Export Administration (EA) is responsible for processing license applications, counselling exporters, and drafting and publishing changes to the EAR; and Export Enforcement (EE) is responsible for compliance monitoring and enforcement of the EAR. BIS works closely with U.S. embassies, foreign governments, industry, and trade associations to ensure that the export, reexport and transfer (in-country) of items subject to the EAR is accomplished in compliance with the regulations.
BIS officials conduct site visits, known as End-Use Checks (EUCs), globally with end-users, consignees, and/or other parties related to transactions involving items subject to the EAR and shipped under a license or another form of BIS authorization to verify compliance with the EAR and the conditions of the license or authorization. An EUC is an on-site verification of a non-U.S. party to a transaction to determine whether the party is a reliable recipient of items subject to the EAR. EUCs are conducted as part of BIS’s licensing process, as well as its compliance program, to determine if items were exported in accordance with a valid BIS authorization or otherwise consistent with the EAR. Specifically, an EUC verifies the bona fides of transactions subject to the EAR, including: confirming the legitimacy and reliability of the end use and end user; monitoring compliance with license conditions; and ensuring items are exported, reexported or transferred (in-country) in accordance with the EAR. These checks might be completed prior to the export of items pursuant to a BIS export license in the form of a Pre-License Check (PLC) or following an export during a Post-Shipment Verification (PSV), regardless of whether or not a BIS license is required.
BIS officials rely on EUCs to safeguard items subject to the EAR from diversion to unauthorized end uses/users and destinations. The verification of a foreign party’s reliability facilitates future trade, including during BIS license reviews. If BIS is unable to verify the reliability of the company or is prevented from accomplishing an EUC, the company may receive, for example, more regulatory scrutiny during license application reviews or be designated on BIS’s Unverified List or Entity List, as applicable.
Guidance and Training
BIS has developed a list of “red flags,” or warning signs, and compiled “Know Your Customer” guidance intended to aid exporters in identifying possible violations of the EAR. Both of these resources are publicly available, and their dissemination to industry members is highly encouraged to help promote EAR compliance.
BIS also provides a variety of training sessions to exporters throughout the year. These sessions range from one to two-day seminars that focus on the basics of exporting to coverage of more advanced, industry specific topics. Interested parties can check a list of upcoming seminars and webinars or reference BIS’s online training site. BIS’s Export Control Officers (ECOs) located at U.S. embassies and consulates in seven overseas locations also conduct outreach to raise awareness of reexport and transfer (in-country) requirements with foreign business communities.
Commerce Control List
The EAR regulates transactions involving the export, reexport, or transfer (in-country) of “dual-use” and less sensitive military items (commodities, software, and technology) as well as certain U.S. person activities. Items subject to BIS’s jurisdiction include items found on the Commerce Control List (supplement no. 1 to part 774 of the EAR) (CCL); items on the CCL are listed under individual entry by Export Control Classification Number (ECCN). The EAR also regulates items designated as ‘EAR99’ (a broad basket category of items generally consisting of low-technology consumer goods not listed under an ECCN on the CCL but subject to BIS’s jurisdiction). For advice and regulatory requirements on items under the export control jurisdiction of other U.S. Government agencies, exporters should consult other U.S. government agencies. For example, the U.S. Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls has authority over the defense articles and defense services that are not subject to the EAR. A list of other agencies involved in export controls can be found on the BIS website and in Supplement No. 3 to Part 730 of the EAR.
Consolidated Screening List
The Consolidated Screening List (CSL), available on the International Trade Administration’s Trade.gov website, is a list of parties for which the United States Government maintains restrictions or prohibitions on certain exports, reexports or transfers of items. The CSL consolidates eleven export screening lists implemented by the Departments of Commerce, State, and the Treasury into a single data feed as an aid to industry in conducting electronic screening of parties to regulated transactions. Exporters should determine the export requirements specific to their proposed transaction by classifying their items prior to export and reviewing the EAR’s requirements specific to the item(s) and the proposed end use and end user, as well as consulting the CSL to determine if any parties to the transaction may be subject to specific license requirements.
Assistance is available from BIS by calling one of the following numbers:
202) 482-4811 - Outreach and Educational Services Division (located in Washington, DC – open Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-5:00 pm ET);(949) 660-0144 - Western Regional Office (located in Irvine, CA – open Monday-Friday, 8:00 am-5:00 pm PT); or(408) 998-8806 - Northern California branch (located in San Jose, CA – open Monday-Friday, 8:00am-5:00 pm PT).
You may also e-mail your inquiry to the Export Counseling Division of the Office of Exporter Services at ECDOEXS@bis.doc.gov.
Contact information for BIS’s overseas ECOs can be found at: https://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/enforcement/oea/eco.