Russia - Commercial Guide
U.S. Export Controls

Includes the U.S. government export controls that companies need to abide by when exporting to this country.

Last published date: 2019-10-13

The United States imposes export controls to protect national security interests and promote foreign policy objectives. The United States also participates in various multilateral export control regimes to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and prevent destabilizing accumulations of conventional weapons and related materials. The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) administers U.S. laws, regulations and policies governing the export and re-export of commodities, software, and technology (collectively “items”) falling under the jurisdiction of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). The primary goal of BIS is to advance national security, foreign policy, and economic objectives by ensuring an effective export control and treaty compliance system and promoting continued U.S. strategic technology leadership. BIS also enforces anti-boycott laws and coordinates with U.S. agencies and other countries on export control, nonproliferation and strategic trade issues.

BIS is responsible for implementing and enforcing the EAR, which regulate the export and re-export of items with chiefly commercial uses that can also be used in conventional arms, weapons of mass destruction, terrorist activities, or human rights abuses; and less sensitive military items, including “production” and “development” technology.  Items subject to the EAR may require a license prior to export or re-export.  Items with an Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) that are regulated for Chemical and Biological Weapons (CBW), National Security (NS), Missile Technology (MT), Regional Stability (RS) or Crime Control purposes may require a license from BIS for export to Russia.

BIS reviews license applications for exports, re-exports and deemed exports (technology transfers to foreign nationals in the United States) subject to the EAR.  Through its Office of Exporter Services, BIS also provides information on BIS programs, conducts seminars on complying with the EAR, provides guidance on licensing requirements and procedures, and presents an annual Update Conference on Export Controls and Policy as an outreach program to industry.

In response to Russia's actions in southern and eastern Ukraine, since April 28, 2014, BIS has followed a policy of denying of applications for licenses to export or re-export any high-tech item that contributes to Russia's military capabilities subject to the EAR to Russia or occupied Crimea. In addition, Commerce has imposed export controls on entities that contributed to the occupation and imposed a license requirement for activities involving production or development of crude oil or gas from deep water, artic off shore or shale.

U.S. exporters should consult the EAR for information on how export license requirements may apply to the sale of their goods to Russia.  If necessary, a commodity classification request may be submitted in order to obtain BIS assistance in determining how an item is controlled (i.e., the item’s classification) and the applicable licensing policy.  Exporters may also request a written advisory opinion from BIS about application of the EAR to a specific situation. Information on commodity classifications, advisory opinions, and export licenses can be obtained through the BIS website at www.bis.doc.gov or by contacting BIS’ Office of Exporter Services at the following numbers:
Washington, D.C. Tel: +1 (202) 482 4811 Fax: +1 (202) 482 3322
Western Regional Office Tel: +1 (949) 660 0144 Fax: +1 (949) 660 9347

Further information on export controls is available on BIS' website.
BIS has developed FAQs and a Russia Due Diligence Guidance specifically for Russia.

BIS provides a variety of training seminars to U.S. exporters throughout the year.  These sessions range from one- to two-day seminars and focus on the basics of exporting, as well as more advanced topics. 

The EAR does not control all export-controlled goods, services, and technologies.  Other U.S. government agencies regulate more specialized exports:  For example, the U.S. Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls has authority over defense articles and services.  A list of other agencies involved in export control can be found on the BIS website or in Supplement No. 3 to Part 730 of the EAR.

The Consolidated Screening List can be a very helpful tool for companies’ due diligence efforts.  The Screening List is a web-based platform which consolidates eleven separate export screening lists of the Departments of Commerce, State and the Treasury into a single list of parties for which the USG maintains restrictions on certain exports, reexports, sanctions, and transfers of items.  Companies can search the list by entity name, country, and other criteria to help ascertain whether potential transaction parties might be subject to export restrictions or other sanctions.