Classification Request Guidelines

(Supplement to Part 748.3)

The guidelines below identify some common problems with or omissions from commodity classification requests and suggest steps you can take to avoid them.

1. If a commodity classification request is related to a previous classification by the Bureau of industry and Security (BIS), please indicate the "CCATS" (Commodity Classification Automated Tracking System) number of the previous classification. This number begins with a "G." Put this information in Block 24 of the SNAP-R Commodity Classification Work Item form. This will speed processing.

2. Identify the item to be classified by model or part number. Note that most technology is controlled based on the resulting hardware. If your item is "development," "production" or "use" data it will be necessary to describe the related end-item hardware. Also, when describing the technology, address the General Technology Note in supplement 2 to Part 774.

3. Review the Commerce Control List (Part 774 Supplement 1) to identify (approximately) the ECCN or ECCNs that seem to be appropriate. Try to describe your item/technology in the control parameters used in the CCL entries (you will find more information on the Commerce Control List on the Government Printing Office e-CFR website). Before BIS can confirm the classification of your item/technology, it will be necessary to compare the parameters of your item with the control list. If the parameter information is not provided with the application, we will request that you provide the information. We can not complete the application without this information. Any delay in providing the information will delay the completion of your application.

4. Pictures, sales brochures, catalogues, and other descriptive information are often useful in classifying the product but they do not take the place of the information noted above. Sales literature is often prepared for reasons other than a classification. If the pictures, sales brochures, etc., do not cover all of the relevant parameters, please supplement with additional data necessary to complete the description. BIS must have information on all the relevant parameters contained in an ECCN in order to complete the classification of an item.

5. Classification requests must be limited to six items (see Part 748.3 of the Export Administration Regulations). The item requested must be described with a recommended classification - ECCN - in Block 22 of the SNAP-R Commodity Classification Work Item form. If there are multiple items, they should be individually listed in Block 22 (the Export Item Information sub-form). Select "Add Export Item" to add items 2-6. By entering "Export Items" individually, this allows the reviewer to classify each item. If multiple items are contained in a single Block 22 description, it is more difficult to tie the classification to the individual model numbers. If the number of items to be classified exceeds six, the additional items will not be classified unless you have received prior written approval from BIS.

6. Make sure that your submission substantiates that the item, technical data or software is subject to the EAR (see Part 734.3). BIS will only classify those items that are subject to the EAR. If you are not sure that your item is subject to the EAR, you should try to resolve this question before making the submission to Commerce. Your submission should, if applicable, address the following issues and how they have been resolved:

Direct products of U.S. origin technical data (see Part 734.3(a)(4) and foreign products that have U.S. content (see Part 734.4) may be subject to the EAR and are appropriate to classify. If such a classification is requested, it will be necessary to establish on what basis the item is subject to the EAR. Keep in mind that if such an item is in the United States it is subject to the EAR (see Part 734.3(a)(1)) despite any technical data or de minimis considerations.

If it is your intention to make the technical data or software "publicly available" (see Part 734.3(b)(3)), then there is no need to request a classification as "publicly available" data or software is not subject to the EAR unless it is encryption software described in ECCN 5D002 (see Encryption for more information). Supplement 1 to part 734 provides additional guidance on "publicly available" criteria.

Other agencies such as the Departments of State and Energy, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the Patent and Trademark Office have jurisdiction over certain items. BIS cannot classify those items. Consult Part 734.3(b) for more information. If you have been informed by another agency that Commerce has jurisdiction over your item, please provide that information (such as a Commodity Jurisdiction number from State) in your application