High Performance Computers

High Performance Computers

Details

End Users of Concern

Military end users, research institutions, and universities undergo closer scrutiny than most other end users, especially when there will be remote access end users with full computational access. When applying for export or re-export to such end users, the applicant must ensure that all the required information is submitted. Submitting complete information on the end user and end use will avoid delays in processing these types of applications.

Remote Access End Users

License applications always must identify whether or not there are remote access end users, their location, and the computational access they will have. This includes, for example, whether the end users will have full or limited computational access.

In general, when remote access end users have full computational access and they are not tied to using a specific software application, addenda to the Security Safeguard Plans (SSP) may be required for each remote access end-user site. In most instances, an individual at that site (or responsible for that site) will have to sign the SSP. On the other hand, if a remote access end user is part of a large corporation and the computational ability is limited to running certain software applications (e.g., business, financial), only one SSP will be required. A corporate official at the parent company or the system administrator will be required to sign the SSP.

Statement of Aggregation

If there is more than one system on a license application, remember that an item appendix, form BIS-748P-A, is necessary for each system (see Supplement 1 to EAR Part 748) and you must identify the WT value of each proposed system listed on the license application. The transaction will be evaluated based on the final configuration of the system.

For example, if an end user already has a system with a WT value of 0.70 (received under License Exception APP or a license) and the new transaction is adding 0.50 WT to the existing computer system, you must list a WT value of 1.2 WT on the license application. Make sure you include any information on the "old" system being upgraded. You must indicate what type of system it is, the APP, MHz, number of CPUs, etc.

Security Safeguard Plans (SSPs): End-User Certifications

In general, a "Standard" SSP is required for most end users in Computer Tier 3 countries if the WT level is above the License Exception APP threshold. Since approximately 90% of all licenses for these countries receive a standard Tier 3 SSP, BIS encourages exporters to either submit the end-user certified SSP with the application or to obtain the SSP while the application is being processed. However, this is not a requirement. Once the license application is approved by all agencies, there may be additional SSP requirements (depending on the presence of remote access end users or the type of end user) beyond the standard Computer Tier 3 SSP. In this case, the exporter will have to obtain a certified addendum from the end user. The end-user must certify the SSP and the exporter may participate in all aspects of the SSP generation and SSP delivery to BIS.

The U.S. exporter may facilitate this process by assisting the end user in several ways, including:

      1. Determining the correct agency to certify the SSP
      2. Briefing the certifying agency should it require additional information on this process, and
      3. Contacting the Foreign Commercial Service Officers in the U.S. Embassies.

People's Republic of China (PRC) End-User Certificates

All HPC exports and re-exports under license to the PRC China require a PRC End-User Certificate issued by the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation (MOFTEC). The Chinese government does not provide these certificates for companies that are not Chinese legal entities under Chinese law. If you are exporting or re-exporting to companies that are not Chinese legal entities under Chinese law, you should submit a BIS-711 form in lieu of the End-User Certificate. Please refer to EAR Part 748 for additional information on required support documentation.

MOFTEC officials have informed BIS that to expedite the issuance of the PRC End-User Certificate, the applicant or the end user must ensure that all the relevant information is included. Therefore, you should provide your customers with the following information:

  • Country of Exporter
  • Title of Contract
  • Contract Number
  • Date of Signature
  • Name of Importer
  • Name of Exporter
  • End-user
  • End-use
  • Commodity Name and Description
  • Quantity
  • Value

Post-Shipment Reporting Requirements

For exports or reexports of high performance computers (or upgrades) under license to a Computer Tier 3 country, post-shipment reports must be filed where the APP is greater than 1.5 WT. These reports must be submitted to BIS no later than the last day of the month following the month in which the shipment took place. See section 743.2 of the EAR for the specific requirements and instructions on HPC reporting. BIS multipurpose forms are available for reporting purposes: BIS-742R (pdf)| BIS-742S (pdf).

Practitioner's Guide to Adjusted Peak Performance

The Bureau of Industry and Security is pleased to provide a Practitioner's Guide to Adjusted Peak Performance (PDF) to aid in the calculation of the Weighted Teraflops (WT) values of high performance computers. This Guide has been prepared in conjunction with the Information Systems Technical Advisory Committee (ISTAC).