Policy Guidance

Entity List FAQs

1. What is the Entity List?

The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) publishes the names of certain foreign persons – including businesses, research institutions, government and private organizations, individuals, and other types of legal persons - that are subject to specific license requirements for the export, reexport and/or transfer (in-country) of specified items.  These persons comprise the Entity List, which is found at Supplement No. 4 to Part 744 of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).  The persons on the Entity List are subject to individual licensing requirements and policies supplemental to those found elsewhere in the EAR.

2. What is the background and purpose of the Entity List?

BIS first published the Entity List in February 1997 as part of its efforts to inform the public of entities that have engaged in activities that could result in an increased risk of the diversion of exported, reexported or transferred (in-country) items to weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs.  Since its initial publication, grounds for inclusion on the Entity List have expanded to activities sanctioned by the State Department and activities contrary to U.S. national security and/or foreign policy interests.

3. Where can I find the Entity List?

The Entity List is found in Supplement No. 4 to Part 744 of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) (15 C.F.R. Part 744, Supp. No. 4). The most recent version of the EAR can be found here and the Entity List can be accessed here. If you would like to subscribe to BIS’s e-mail notification service that will alert you when BIS publishes rules in the Federal Register, including rules implementing changes to the Entity List, please click here.

4. Why should I check the Entity List?

You should check the Entity List because exports, reexports, and/or transfers (in-country) to those persons named on the Entity List are subject to licensing requirements and policies in addition to those elsewhere in the EAR.  Failure to adhere to EAR licensing requirements is a violation of the EAR and could result in criminal and/or civil penalties.  BIS recommends that exporters screen the parties to transactions against the Entity List as a standard part of pre-transaction due diligence activities.

5. Can a U.S. company have any dealings with a listed entity?

Yes. However, BIS considers that transactions of any nature with listed entities carry a "red flag" and recommends that U.S. companies proceed with caution with respect to such transactions.  Note that the Entity List describes license requirements and policies for the export, reexport, and/or transfer (in-country) of items subject to the EAR only.  Additionally, although many of the persons included on the Entity List are subject to policies of denial for the export, reexport, and/or transfer (in-country) of all items subject to the EAR, some are subject to policies and requirements that are narrower in scope (i.e., not all persons included on the Entity List are subject to license requirements for all items subject to the EAR, while others are subject to license requirements for all or some items listed on the Commerce Control List (CCL)).  Be sure to review the licensing policy and requirements carefully.

6. Are U.S. companies prohibited under the EAR from doing business with specific entities that are not included on the Entity List?

As set forth in the answer to question 28, both BIS and other agencies in the U.S. Government maintain other lists of entities for which there are restrictions on doing business.  In addition, the provisions of part 744 of the EAR, including § 744.6 of the EAR, apply to transactions regardless of whether the entity in question is listed on the Entity List or not.

Additionally, BIS recommends that exporters, reexporters, or persons transferring (in-country) items subject to the EAR review the U.S. Government’s list of proscribed persons to ensure that a proposed transaction does not violate other U. S. Government requirements.


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