The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published a final rule in the Federal Register effective June 17, 2020, amending the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to implement the decisions made at the February 2020 Australia Group Intersessional Implementation Meeting, and those subsequently  adopted pursuant to the group’s procedures.

The Australia Group is a multilateral forum consisting of 42 participating countries and the European Union that maintain export controls on a list of chemicals, biological agents, and related equipment and technology that could be used in a chemical or biological weapons program.

Specifically, this rule amends the following Export Control Classification Numbers (ECCNs) to reflect the AG changes:

  • ECCN 1C350 is amended by adding 24 precursor chemicals, as well as mixtures in which at least one of these chemicals constitutes 30 percent or more of the weight of the mixture, to ECCN 1C350.d.
  • ECCN 1C351 is amended to add Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (MERS related coronavirus).
  • ECCN 2B352 is amended by adding a Technical Note to indicate that cultivation chamber holding devices controlled in 2B352.b.2.b include single-use cultivation chambers with rigid walls.

The items addressed by this final rule were not previously listed on the CCL or controlled multilaterally. BIS’ notice states that it identified the items now controlled pursuant to this change as emerging technologies that are essential to U.S. national security and for which effective controls can be implemented, “consistent with the inter agency process described in Section 1758 of the Export Control Reform Act of 2018 (ECRA).”  BIS did not, however, provide a notice and comment period prior to issuing this final rule, as required under the Section 1758 ECRA process for identifying emerging technologies for control.  As a result, it remains unclear whether the items now controlled as a result of this final rule constitute “emerging and foundational technologies controlled under Section 1758” for purposes of the Committee on Foreign Investment (CFIUS) definition of  “critical technologies,” under 31 C.F.R. § 800.215(f).  In any event, the newly controlled technologies now meet the second prong of that definition because they are controlled on the Commerce Control List pursuant to a multilateral regime (the Australia Group).