On April 2, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published a final rule in the Federal Register amending the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to implement the recommendations presented at the February 2017 Australia Group (AG) Intersessional Implementation Meeting, and later adopted pursuant to the AG silent approval procedure, and the recommendations made at the June 2017 AG Plenary Implementation Meeting and adopted by the AG Plenary.

The Australia Group (AG) is “an informal forum of countries which, through the harmonization of export controls, seeks to ensure that exports do not contribute to the development of chemical or biological weapons. Coordination of national export control measures assists Australia Group participants to fulfil their obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention to the fullest extent possible.”

The following Export Control Classification Numbers (ECCNs) on the Commerce Control List (CCL) have been updated to reflect the February 2017 Intersessional Implementation Meeting recommendations that were adopted by the AG:

  • ECCN 2B350 (by adding certain prefabricated repair assemblies, and specially designed components therefor, that are designed for attachment to glass-lined reaction vessels, reactors, storage tanks, containers or receivers controlled by this entry);
  • ECCN 2B351 (by clarifying that toxic gas monitoring equipment includes toxic gas monitors and monitoring systems, as well as their dedicated detecting components); and
  • ECCN 2B352 (by adding certain nucleic acid assemblers and synthesizers to this entry and clarifying how the capacity of certain fermenters should be measured for purposes of determining whether they are controlled under this entry).

Consistent with the June 2017 AG Plenary Implementation Meeting recommendations that were adopted by the AG, this rule amends the following ECCNs on the CCL:

  • ECCN 1C350 (by addingN,N-Diisopropylamino­ethanethiol hydrochloride).
  • ECCN 1C353 (to clarify that genetically modified organisms include organisms in which the nucleic acid sequences have been created or altered by deliberate molecular manipulation and that inactivated organisms containing recoverable nucleic acids are considered to be genetic elements).
  • This rule also corrects several typographical errors in a note to ECCN 1C351 and updates the advance notification requirements in the EAR that apply to certain exports of saxitoxin.

Finally, the EAR has been amended to reflect the addition of India as a participating country in the AG.

Because of this, this rule makes “conforming amendments to the EAR to reflect the addition of India to the AG, as of January 19, 2018. Specifically, this rule amends the entry for India in the Commerce Country Chart (Supplement No. 1 to part 738 of the EAR) by removing the ‘‘X’’ from this entry under the column CB 2. In addition, this rule amends the Country Groups chart (Supplement No. 1 to part 740 of the EAR) by adding an ‘‘X’’ to the entry for India under column A:3, Australia Group.”