On December 23, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) amended the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to remove the People’s Republic of China (PRC or China) Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong from the list of destinations in the EAR.  The amendment implements Sections 2 and 3 of Executive Order 13936 of July 14, 2020, in response to new security measures imposed on Hong Kong by the government of China.  BIS states that the “new measures [by China] fundamentally undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy increasing the risk sensitive U.S. technology and items will be diverted to unauthorized end uses and end users in China.”

On December 28, BIS amended the EAR to revise the Country Group designations for Ukraine, Mexico and Cyprus.

In this rule, BIS moved Ukraine from Country Group D to Country Group B and added Mexico and Cyprus to Country Group A:6. In both cases, these countries now have access to additional license exceptions available in the EAR.

The EAR designates countries into Country Groups A, B, D, and E which reflect each country’s export control policy, multilateral regime membership, system, and practice. The Country Groups generally serve as a basis for the availability of exceptions from license requirements of the EAR. Country Groups may also be used when describing license review policy and end-user and end-use based controls.