You are ready to send your product out of the country today and your freight forwarder or delivery service tells you that it needs an ECCN to complete the Automated Export System (AES) or other documentation and you need to call the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) to get one! What do you do?
There is a process for determining the proper ECCN for your item. BIS's Office of Exporter Services (202-482-4811) in Washington, D.C. or (949-660-0144) in Irvine, CA will guide you in attempting to determine your ECCN using the Commerce Control List. The Commerce Control List is found in Supplement 1 to Part 774 of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). BIS cannot provide official classification determinations by phone because we do not have access to all of the necessary technical information about the product. However, we can help guide you through the classification determination process. First, we ask that you look at the index to the Commerce Control List and the list itself to see if there's a description similar to that of your item.
ECCN, stands for Export Control Classification Number. An ECCN is an alpha-numeric classification used in the Commerce Control List to identify items for export control purposes. An ECCN is different from a Schedule B number, which is used by the Bureau of Census to collect trade statistics. It is also different from the Harmonized Tariff System Nomenclature, which is used to determine import duties.
All ECCNs will have 5 characters, for example, 1A001, 4B994, or 8D001. There are 10 categories on the Commerce Control List. The first number of the ECCN identifies the category to which it belongs, for example, 1 = Nuclear Materials Facilities and Equipment, 4 = Computers, 9 = Propulsion Systems, Space Vehicles and Related Equipment.
However, EAR99 is a different type of classification. It serves as a "basket" designation for items that are covered by the EAR, but are not specified on the Commerce Control List. EAR99 items can be shipped without a license to most destinations under most circumstances. There are limitations on the use of EAR99. However, the majority of the commercial exports from the United States fall into this category.
There are three ways to determine the ECCN for your product.
Review the alphabetical index to the Commerce Control List (CCL) (Supplement 1 to Part 774 of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR)). The index will give an ECCN for each item listed. Look in the corresponding CCL category to determine if your item is described by that ECCN. You may need to review more than one ECCN description. Instructions for using the CCL are found in EAR Part 738.
Ask the manufacturer, producer or developer of the item. If the item has been exported in the past, they may know the ECCN, what countries require a license, and whether a license exception may be used. Information on license exceptions can be found in EAR Part 740.
Submit a classification request on-line through the Simplified Network Application Process Redesign (SNAP-R). For instructions on obtaining a Company Identification Number (CIN) to access the on-line SNAP-R system, go to http://www.bis.doc.gov/snap/pinsnapr.htm.
Instructions and additional guidance on submitting a classification request is available on this Web site http://www.bis.doc.gov/licensing/cclrequestguidance.html and http://www.bis.doc.gov/licensing/bis_eccn.pdf
This is the only way to receive an official BIS classification of your item. While BIS can provide oral advice and guidance on using the CCL, we cannot give definitive classification decisions over the phone.
If after careful review of the item against the CCL, either by you, your supplier or BIS, you are convinced that your item is not described under any ECCN, the item may be classified as EAR99, assuming it is not controlled by another agency (for example, a munitions item controlled by the State Department). EAR99 should be entered in Block 28 of the Automated Export System (AES) for items under Commerce jurisdiction that are not listed on the CCL but subject to the EAR. For most destinations, these items may be exported using the authorization, "NLR" (No License Required), in Block 27 of the Automated Export System (AES).
Before you ship! Shipments of EAR99 items to embargoed destinations, denied persons, sanctioned entities or prohibited end-users or end-uses may require a license from BIS. For further details on these export restrictions read EAR Parts 736, 742, 744 and 746. For information on the Denied Persons List, consult EAR Part 764.
Contact BIS! If you still need guidance in determining the ECCN for your item or your license requirements once you know your ECCN, you may contact the Outreach and Educational Services Division at (202-482-4811) or the Western Regional Office at (949-660-0144).