On March 18, 2021, the US State Department (State) published a Federal Register notice that formally outlines the various US export controls targeting Russia that will be strengthened pursuant to the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 (CBW Act) as a result of State’s determination that the Russian Government had used a chemical weapon against its own nationals in violation of international law. These measures were previously announced by State and were summarized in our recent blog post here. On the same day, State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) published a notice explaining its implementation of the CBW Act in the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published its own notice explaining its implementation of the CBW Act in the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).
DDTC has amended the ITAR to add subsection (l) to Section 126.1, which identifies the countries subject to US arms embargoes. Subsection (l) provides that applications for exports or reexports of defense articles or defense services to Russia will be subject to a policy of denial, except the following, which will be subject to a case-by-case licensing policy: (i) exports/reexports for government space cooperation and (ii) exports/reexports prior to September 1, 2021 for commercial space launches.
As noted in our prior blog post here, Russia’s inclusion in Section 126.1 means that ITAR violations that involve Russia or Russian nationals could trigger a mandatory reporting requirement to DDTC. DDTC could also bring more scrutiny to bear on deemed export authorizations for persons considered Russian nationals under the ITAR . Furthermore, parties making use of the exemption in ITAR Section 126.18, will need to screen for an employee’s “substantive contacts” with Russia.
The notice published by BIS does not amend the EAR. Rather, it primarily summarizes national security waivers implemented by State (described in our prior blog post here) that are reflected in the EAR, many of which were already in effect as a result of the first round of CBW Act sanctions imposed in August 2018. The notice confirmed that BIS is suspending EAR License Exception RPL (Service and Replacement of Parts and Equipment), License Exception TSU (Technology and Software Unrestricted), and License Exception APR (Additional Permissive Reexports) for exports or reexports of items controlled for national security reasons that are destined to Russia. However, BIS did not amend the language of those EAR license exceptions or other provisions of EAR Part 740 to memorialize this change.
Separately, pursuant to the note to Country Group D:5 in Supplement No. 1 to Part 740 of the EAR, the addition of Russia to ITAR Section 126.1 means that Russia is a Country Group D:5 country. The BIS notice published on March 18 did not implement this note to Country Group D:5, but it did acknowledge that this change is already in effect. It also noted that there are restrictions on EAR license exceptions when items subject to the EAR are destined to Country Group D:5 countries.