U.S. Department of Commerce Establishes Military End User List
The Bureau of Industry and Security ("BIS") has established a "Military End-User" List ("MEU List"), adding an initial tranche of Chinese and Russian entities to the list.
On December 23, 2020, BIS issued a final rule establishing a new MEU List under the Export Administration Regulations ("EAR") and adding an initial tranche of 57 Chinese and 45 Russian entities to this list. BIS explained that one of the purposes of the MEU List is to inform those who may export, reexport, or transfer items described in Supplement No. 2 to Part 744 of the EAR to the entities on the list that such action will require a license from BIS.
This rule builds upon a June 2020 amendment to the EAR that expanded restrictions on the export, reexport, and in-country transfer of items to military end users and for military end uses in China, Russia, and Venezuela. As we previously discussed here, the June 2020 amendment expanded the already existing prohibitions on exports, reexports, and transfers to certain military end users and for military end uses.
BIS noted that exporters had sought additional guidance regarding how to classify foreign military end users in China, Russia, and Venezuela following implementation of the June 2020 amendment, prompting numerous requests for clarification and advisory opinions to define which entities met the military end user criteria. BIS explained in the December 2020 rule that the new MEU List will "ease the compliance burden on the public" by identifying certain entities that BIS has classified as military end users, but cautioned that the MEU List is non-exhaustive. As such, organizations are still responsible for screening transactions and counterparties to ensure compliance with all applicable military end user license requirements.
The MEU List will be reviewed annually by the End User Review Committee ("ERC"), which is comprised of representatives from the Departments of Commerce, State, Defense, Energy, and when appropriate, the Treasury. The ERC will also administer a process for entities to request removal or modification to its MEU List designation.
Businesses should monitor the MEU List and incorporate it as an additional restricted list administered by the U.S. government into their screening mechanisms designed to ensure compliance with international trade requirements.
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