The Bureau of Industry and Security’s (BIS’s) Office of Technology Evaluation (OTE) analyzes the foreign availability of controlled products and technologies. Following the procedures in  Part 768 of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), U.S. exporters may submit a claim supported by evidence of foreign availability, which, if assessed and determined positively by the U.S. Department of Commerce, could lead to a revision of existing controls for a commodity or technical data controlled by the EAR. A Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) may also request that BIS initiate a Foreign Availability Assessment.

OTE conducts Foreign Availability Assessments on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce. The Export Administration Act of 1979, as amended, (EAA), and Part 768 of the EAR authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to conduct Foreign Availability Assessments to examine and evaluate the effectiveness of U.S. Export Controls on certain items that are controlled for national security reasons under the EAR. Foreign availability exists for a national-security controlled item when a non-U.S. origin item of comparable quality is foreign available, and in sufficient quantities, such that the U.S. export controls on that item would be rendered ineffective. To assess comparable quality, OTE would consider the similarity of the non-U.S.-origin items to its U.S.-origin counterparts in function, technical approach, performance thresholds, maintainability, and service life. As part of the assessment process, OTE considers data and recommendations submitted by the Departments of Defense and State and other relevant departments and agencies, TACs, and industry.

The program is designed to involve the business community directly in assessing and maintaining appropriate levels of control to reduce burdens of licensing where export controls have become ineffective due to the foreign availability of specific items.


Q&A Guidance on Foreign Availability Assessments

9/8/2014 - Notice of Initiation of a Foreign Availability Assessment: Anisotropic Plasma Dry Etching Equipment

2/9/2015 - Notice of Foreign Availability Determination: Anisotropic Plasma Dry Etching Equipment










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