Regional stability (RS) controls ensure that exports and reexports of controlled items do not contribute to the destabilization of the region to which the items are destined. These controls traditionally cover items specially designed or modified for military purposes and certain dual-use commodities that can be used to manufacture military equipment.
In Fiscal Year 2005, regional stability controls were expanded by increasing the scope of control for microbolometers and cameras that incorporate microbolometers (sensors that change electrical characteristics based on changes in temperature). On July 15, 2005, the Department of Commerce published a regulation in the Federal Register (70 FR 41094) that imposed a license requirement on exports and reexports of additional commodities (and related technology) controlled under ECCNs 6A002.a.3.f and 6A003b.4.b for RS reasons to all countries, except Canada. ECCN 6A002.a.3.f controls non-space-qualified non-linear (2-dimensional) infrared focal plane arrays based on microbolometer material having individual elements with an unfiltered response in the wavelength range equal to or exceeding 8,000 nanometers (nm) but not exceeding 14,000 nm. ECCN 6A003b.4 controls imaging cameras incorporating these focal plane arrays. These RS controls are in addition to the multilateral national security controls on these items. Applications to export and reexport these commodities will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine whether the export or reexport could contribute directly or indirectly to any country’s military capabilities in a manner that would alter or destabilize a region’s military balance contrary to the foreign policy interests of the United States.
Section 742.6 of the EAR requires a license for RS reasons to export certain image-intensifier tubes, infrared focal plane arrays, as well as certain software and technology for inertial navigation systems, gyroscopes, and accelerometers, to all destinations except Canada. The U.S. Government reviews all license applications for these items on a case-by-case basis to determine whether the export could contribute, directly or indirectly, to a country’s military capabilities in a manner that would destabilize or alter a region’s military balance contrary to U.S. foreign policy interests.
Section 742.6 of the EAR also requires a license for RS reasons to export explosive detection equipment and related software and technology, military-related items (e.g., certain vehicles and trainer aircraft), and certain commodities used to manufacture military equipment to all destinations except member nations of NATO, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand. The U.S. Government will generally consider applications for such licenses favorably, on a case-by-case basis, unless the export would significantly affect regional stability.
Regional stability controls provide a mechanism for the U.S. Government to monitor the export of controlled items, to restrict their use in instances that would adversely affect regional stability or the military balance within a region, and to protect the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States.
1. Probability of Achieving the Intended Foreign Policy Purpose. The Secretary has determined that these controls are likely to achieve the intended foreign policy purpose, in light of other factors. He has also determined that most of the items subject to these controls are also controlled, as a result of international negotiations, by the United States’ partners in the Wassenaar Arrangement and the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). Regional stability controls contribute to U.S. national security and foreign policy objectives by enabling the United States to restrict the use or availability of certain sensitive U.S.-origin goods and technologies that would adversely affect regional stability or the military balance in certain areas.
2. Compatibility with Foreign Policy Objectives. The Secretary has determined that these controls are compatible with U.S. foreign policy objectives, and that the extension of these controls will not have any significant adverse foreign policy consequences. Regional stability controls are consistent with U.S. foreign policy goals to promote peace and stability and prevent U.S. exports that might contribute to weapons production, destabilizing military capabilities, or terrorist acts.
3. Reaction of Other Countries. The Secretary has determined that any adverse reaction to these controls is not likely to render the controls ineffective, nor will any adverse reaction by other countries be counter-productive to U.S. foreign policy interests. A number of other countries limit exports of items and technologies with military applications to areas of concern, recognizing that such items and technologies could adversely affect regional stability and military balances. For example, the United States and other member countries of the Wassenaar Arrangement each have their own national controls on the export of certain night vision devices. All members of the MTCR maintain controls on software and technology related to missile guidance and control devices. Although other countries may object to new unilateral RS controls, allies and partners of the United States support U.S. efforts against regional conflict and terrorism and appreciate the need to keep certain equipment and technologies from those who could misuse the items to destabilize countries or regions.
4. Economic Impact on U.S. Industry. The Secretary has determined that any adverse effect of these controls on the economy of the United States, including on the competitive position of the United States in the international economy, does not exceed the benefit to U.S. foreign policy objectives. Items controlled for regional stability reasons generally require licenses for export to all destinations except NATO countries, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand. Certain RS-controlled items, including those controlled concurrently for missile technology reasons and cameras controlled under ECCN 6A003, however, require licenses for export to all destinations except Canada. Cameras account for a large percentage of regional stability-controlled exports.
In Fiscal Year 2005, the Department of Commerce approved 3,140 license applications for items controlled for RS reasons, with a total value of $603 million. One application for an RS-controlled item was denied (a camera under ECCN 6A003), with a value of $7,032. In addition, the Department of Commerce returned without action (RWA) 232 applications, valued at $44.2 million. The majority of RWA cases, 168 of the 232, were for imaging cameras classified under ECCN 6A003. Many of the RWA’s were due to insufficient end-user or end-use information. The Department returned without action 43 cases, with total value of $1.3 million, because the export transaction fell through due to delays in the licensing process, including instances in which the U.S. exporter lost a sale as a result of delays.
The licensing volume for items controlled for regional stability declined slightly from Fiscal Year 2004, in which the Department of Commerce approved 3,383 license applications for items controlled for RS reasons. The slight decrease in volume was due to a decrease in the number of license applications for thermal imaging cameras (from 2,767 to 2,413). The value of RS-related licenses actually fell from $813 million in Fiscal Year 2004 to $603 million in Fiscal Year 2005, with a sizable decline in the value of thermal imaging camera (6A003) exports partially offset by an increase in the value of exports of military trainer aircraft/vehicles for military use (9A018). Exports of explosive detection equipment (ECCN 2A983) worth $95 million were authorized, accounting for the second highest value of licenses approved. The majority of these exports were of equipment for use in airport security around the world.
The table that follows lists the total number and value by ECCN of export licenses that the Department of Commerce issued for regional stability items during Fiscal Year 2005:
|ECCN||Description||Number of Applications||Dollar Value|
|0A918||Power control searchlights and bayonets||4||$37,638|
|0E918||Technology for development/production of bayonets||0||$0|
|1B018.a||Equipment for the production of military explosives and solid propellants||0||$0|
|2A983||Explosives detection equipment||220||$94,816,183|
|2B018||Equipment on the International Munitions List||0||$0|
|2D983||Software for equipment in 2A983||50||$1,012,420|
|2E983||Technology for equipment in 2A983||33||$25,526|
|6A002.a.1, a.2, a.3, c, e||Optical detectors and direct view imaging equipment incorporating image intensifier tubes or focal plane arrays||20||$1,363,968|
|6A003.b.3,b.4||Imaging cameras incorporating image intensifiers or focal plane arrays||2,413||$68,223,651|
|6A008.j.1||Space qualified LIDAR equipment||0||$0|
|6A998.b||Space-qualified LIDAR equipment for meteorological observation||0||$0|
|6D001||Software for development/production of 6A002, 6A003, or 6A008||0||$0|
|6D991||Software for development/production/use of 6A998.b||1||$149,964|
|6E001||Technology for the development of equipment, materials, or software controlled by 6A, 6B, 6C, or 6D||4||$5|
|6E002||Technology for the production of equipment or materials controlled by 6A, 6B, or 6C||6||$6,091|
|6E991||Technology for production, development or use of items in 6A998.b||0||$0|
|7D001||Software for the development or production of equipment in 7A or 7B||10||$88,483|
|7E001||Technology for the development of items in 7A, 7B, or 7D||21||$11,007|
|7E002||Technology for the production of items in 7A or 7B||3||$7,000|
|7E101||Technology for the use of items in 7A, 7B, or 7D||49||$62,306|
|9A018.a, b||Military trainer aircraft and vehicles designed or modified for military use||304||$437,217,576|
|9E018||Technology for the development of items in 9A018.a, b||2||$2|
NOTE: The number of sub-categories under certain ECCNs that are not controlled for regional stability reasons is insignificant and is not reflected in this data.
5. Effective Enforcement of Controls. The Secretary has determined that the United States has the ability to effectively enforce these controls. Image intensifier tubes, infrared focal plane arrays, certain software and technology for inertial navigation systems, gyroscopes, and accelerometers, and other items controlled for regional stability purposes, are almost all subject to multilateral controls for either national security or missile technology reasons. The multilateral nature of these controls aids in enforcement. The Department of Commerce effectively enforces RS controls by focusing on preventive enforcement, using regular outreach efforts to keep businesses informed of U.S. concerns, and gathering leads on activities of concern. Given the enhanced anti-terrorism efforts of the U.S. Government, it is expected that industry will continue to support enforcement efforts.
The Department of Commerce consults regularly with industry and its Technical Advisory Committees (TACs) on RS controls.
In an October 13, 2005, Federal Register notice (70 FR 59678), the Department of Commerce solicited comments from industry on the effectiveness of U.S. foreign policy-based export controls. Comments were solicited from all six of the Department’s Technical Advisory Committees, as well as from the President’s Export Council Subcommittee on Export Administration. Comments also were solicited from the public via the BIS website. The comment period closed on November 14, 2005, and four comments were received. A detailed review of all comments received can be found in Appendix I.
The United States imposes RS controls on items that either are controlled, or were at one time controlled, through the Wassenaar Arrangement. The Wassenaar Arrangement member countries hold extensive consultations and certain member countries hold bilateral discussions regarding items on the Wassenaar control list. During 2005, the U.S. Government engaged in extensive consultations with its Wassenaar partners. Wassenaar participating states have agreed to incorporate the Wassenaar Dual-Use Control List into their own national export controls to prevent exports that could contribute to destabilizing buildups of conventional arms.
The United States has undertaken a wide range of actions to support and encourage regional stability and has specifically encouraged efforts to limit the flow of arms and militarily useful goods and other special equipment to regions of conflict and tension. U.S. regional stability export controls remain an important element in U.S. efforts to enhance regional stability. The United States opposes the use of U.S. origin items to destabilize legitimate political regimes or fuel regional conflicts, notwithstanding the availability of such items from other sources. Accordingly, there are no alternative means to ensure this policy objective.
Some military vehicles and other military-type equipment that are controlled for regional stability purposes may be obtained from foreign sources, but there are overlapping multilateral national security (NS) controls on many RS-controlled items. These overlapping controls support the U.S. efforts to enhance regional stability by limiting foreign availability. In fact, most of the commodities and related software and technology controlled for regional stability purposes are also subject to multilateral controls for either national security or missile technology reasons under multilateral regimes. Manufacturers of imaging cameras controlled in ECCN 6A003 have voiced complaints to the Department of Commerce that there is considerable foreign availability of these items in Europe and Japan. The U.S. Government has maintained its controls as it has determined that the national security and foreign policy objectives override the impact of foreign availability. However, the Department has initiated a comprehensive study of the industry’s condition, including the issue of foreign availability.