[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 196 (Friday, October 9, 2015)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 61138-61139]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-25751]


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DEPARTMENT OF STATE

22 CFR 121

[Public Notice: 9313]


Notice of Inquiry; Request for Comments Regarding Review of 
United States Munitions List Categories VI, VII, XIII, and XX

AGENCY: Department of State.

ACTION: Notice of inquiry, request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The Department of State requests comments from the public to 
inform its review of the controls implemented in recent revisions to 
Categories VI, VII, XIII and XX of the United States Munitions List 
(USML). In light of the ongoing transition of the USML to a more 
``positive list'' pursuant to the President's Export Control Reform 
(ECR) initiative, the Department intends to periodically review the 
revised USML categories to ensure that they are clear, do not 
inadvertently control items in normal commercial use, account for 
technological developments, and properly implement the national 
security and foreign policy objectives of the reform effort. This 
review will also consider any drafting issues related to the USML 
categories under review.

DATES: The Department of State will accept comments from the public 
until December 8, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Interested parties may submit comments by one of the 
following methods:
     Email: DDTCPublicComments@state.gov with the subject line, 
``Review of USML Categories VI, VII, XIII and XX.''
     Internet: At www.regulations.gov, search for this notice 
using its docket number, DOS-2015-0054.
    Comments submitted through www.regulations.gov will be visible to 
other members of the public; the Department will publish all comments 
on the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls Web site 
(www.pmddtc.state.gov). Therefore, commenters are cautioned not to 
include proprietary or other sensitive information in their comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. C. Edward Peartree, Director, 
Office of Defense Trade Controls Policy, Department of State, telephone 
(202) 663-2792; email DDTCPublicComments@state.gov. ATTN: Review of 
USML Categories VI, VII, XIII and XX.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

[[Page 61139]]

List Review

    On December 10, 2010, the Department provided notice to the public 
of its intent, pursuant to the ECR initiative, to revise the USML to 
create a ``positive list'' that describes controlled items using, to 
the extent possible, objective criteria rather than broad, open-ended, 
subjective, or design intent-based criteria (see 75 FR 76935). As a 
practical matter, this meant revising USML categories so that, with 
some exceptions, the descriptions of defense articles that continued to 
warrant control under the USML did not use catch-all phrases to control 
unspecified items. With limited exceptions, the defense articles that 
warranted control under the USML were those that provided the United 
States with a critical military or intelligence advantage. All other 
items were to become subject to the Export Administration Regulations. 
Since that time, the Department has published final rules setting forth 
revisions for fifteen USML categories, each of which have been 
reorganized into a uniform and more positive list structure.
    The advantage of revising the USML into a more positive list is 
that its controls can be tailored to satisfy the national security and 
foreign policy objectives of the U.S. government by maintaining control 
over those defense articles that provide a critical military or 
intelligence advantage, or otherwise warrant control under the 
International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), without inadvertently 
controlling items in normal commercial use. This approach, however, 
requires that the lists be regularly revised and updated to account for 
technological developments, practical application issues identified by 
exporters and reexporters, and changes in the military and commercial 
applications of items affected by the list. In addition, the USML and 
the Commerce Control List require regular revision in order to ensure 
that they satisfy the national security and foreign policy objectives 
of the reform effort, which are to (i) improve interoperability of U.S. 
military forces with allied countries, (ii) strengthen the U.S. 
industrial base by, among other things, reducing incentives for foreign 
manufacturers to design out and avoid U.S.-origin content and services, 
which ensures continued U.S. visibility and control, and (iii) allow 
export control officials to focus government resources on transactions 
that pose greater concern.
    On June 17, 2015, the Department published a Notice of Inquiry in 
the Federal Register requesting public comment on USML Categories VIII 
and XIX, both of which were revised pursuant to the ECR initiative in 
late 2013. It was the first of what is planned to be a series of 
solicitations requesting feedback on those USML categories that have 
reached their one-year anniversary of revision. This Notice of Inquiry 
is the second such request. As suggested in its title, the subjects are 
Categories VI, VII, XIII and XX, which became effective on January 6, 
2014 (see 78 FR 40922). As with the previous inquiry, the Department 
seeks comment from the public on the condition and efficacy of these 
categories and whether they are meeting the ECR objectives for the list 
revisions.

Request for Comments

    The Department requests public comment regarding USML Categories 
VI, VII, XIII and XX. General comments on the overall ECR initiative or 
other aspects of the ITAR, to include other categories of the USML that 
do not relate to or are not affected by Categories VI, VII, XIII or XX, 
are outside of the scope of this inquiry. In order to contribute 
effectively to the USML review process, all commenters are encouraged 
to provide comments that are responsive specifically to the prompts set 
forth below.
    The Department requests comment on the following topics, as they 
relate to Categories VI, VII, XIII and XX:
    1. Emerging and new technologies that are appropriately controlled 
by one of the referenced categories, but which are not currently 
described in the subject categories or not described with sufficient 
clarity.
    2. Defense articles that are described in subject categories, but 
which have entered into normal commercial use since the most recent 
revisions to the category at issue. For such comments, be sure to 
include documentation to support claims that defense articles have 
entered into normal commercial use.
    3. Defense articles for which commercial use is proposed, intended, 
or anticipated in the next five years.
    4. Drafting or other technical issues in the text of either of the 
referenced categories.
    The Department will review all comments from the public. If a 
rulemaking is warranted based on the comments received, the Department 
will respond to comments received in a proposed rulemaking in the 
Federal Register.

C. Edward Peartree,
Director, Office of Defense Trade Controls Policy, Bureau of Political-
Military Affairs, U.S. Department of State.
[FR Doc. 2015-25751 Filed 10-8-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4710-25-P