What is a Commodity Jurisdiction request and when and how do I submit one?

The Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C 2778(a) and 2794(7)) provides that the President shall designate the articles and services deemed to be defense articles and defense services. State Department administers this process under 22 CFR 120.3 and 120.4. The Departments of Commerce, Defense, and others participate in the process.

A commodity jurisdiction (CJ) request is used to determine whether an item or service is subject to the export licensing authority of the Department of Commerce or the Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC). Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is the licensing agency for exports subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), while DDTC licenses defense articles and services covered by the U.S. Munitions List (USML), subject to the International Traffic Arms Regulations (ITAR). The commodity jurisdiction procedure is used if doubt exists as to whether an article is covered by the U.S. Munitions List. It may also be used for consideration of a redesignation of an article or service currently covered by the U.S. Munitions List. A CJ determination will only identify the proper licensing authority for an item, and is not a license or approval to export.

CJ requests are processed by DDTC under procedures established by that office (see 22CFR 120.3 and 120.4). For specific filing procedures, contact DDTC at (202) 663-1282 or access further information clicking on the link below. Effective September 2, 2010, all CJ requests must be submitted electronically using the DS-4076 CJ Request Form. Paper submissions will be Returned without action (RWA). The DS-4076 form and additional filing information can be accessed at the following link:


For specific instructions you may contact DDTC by telephone at (202) 663-1282.

See Other United States Government Departments and Agencies with Export Control Responsibilities.

Determination as to whether or not authorization is required to export is determined by the following criteria in the transaction: 1) what is the ECCN of the item; 2) where it is going; 3) who is the end-user; and 4) what is the end-use. While the majority of U.S. commercial exports do not require a license, the first step in this process is determining the correct classification of your item.

If your item is subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Commerce, you must then determine if your item has a specific Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) found on the Commerce Control List (CCL). Keep in mind that items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) that are not listed on the CCL are designated EAR99

There are three ways to determine the Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) for your product.

1. Go to the Source.

Contact the manufacturer, producer, or developer of the item you are exporting to see if they have classified their product and can provide you with the ECCN. If they have exported the item in the past, it is likely they have the ECCN. Keep in mind that ECCNs may change over time, so please review the ECCN to be sure you are in agreement.

2. Self-Classify.

In order to perform a self-classification, you must have a technical understanding of your item, and you need to be familiar with the structure and format of the CCL. The CCL is divided into ten categories, represented by the first digit of the ECCN. Each of the ten categories is divided into five product groups, represented by the second digit of the ECCN. Once the appropriate category and product group are identified, match the particular characteristics and functions of your item to one of the specific ECCNs that follow.

You can also utilize the Commerce Control List Index to navigate the CCL. Begin by searching for your item on the CCL Index. When you find a potential ECCN, you must then read through the ECCN entry on the CCL before determining if your item fits into the parameters of that ECCN. If the ECCN contains a list under the “Items” heading, broken down into subparagraph(s) it is important to read through these subparagraph(s) to determine that your item meets the technical specifications listed in the ECCN category. You may need to review more than one ECCN description before you find the correct ECCN entry.

Read Part 738 of the EAR for specific instructions on how to use the CCL. You can also access our Introduction to Commerce Department Export Controls, which is an easy-to-follow guide that walks you through the classification process step-by-step.

3. Request an official classification from the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS).

Submit a commodity classification request online through the Simplified Network Application Process - Redesign (SNAP-R). You must obtain a Company Identification Number (CIN) before accessing the online SNAP-R system and submitting your request.

You can also access our Guidelines to Reexport Publications to gain more insight into what information you should provide at the time of your request.

4. What if my product is not listed?

After careful review of your item against the CCL, if you are convinced your item does not fit into the parameters of any ECCN, your item may be designated as EAR99, keeping in mind it is not controlled by another agency. If this is the case, your item may be exported using the license exception NLR specifying no license is required, as long as all of the following criteria is met:

For further details on these export restrictions, read Parts 736, 742, 744, and 746 of the EAR. If you still need guidance, you may contact the Outreach and Educational Services Division at (202-482-4811) or the Western Regional Office at (949-660-0144). While BIS can provide oral advice and guidance, we cannot give definitive classifications over the phone.

(Supplement to Part 748.3)

The guidelines below identify some common problems with or omissions from commodity classification requests and suggest steps you can take to avoid them.

1. If a commodity classification request is related to a previous classification by the Bureau of industry and Security (BIS), please indicate the "CCATS" (Commodity Classification Automated Tracking System) number of the previous classification. This number begins with a "G." Put this information in Block 24 of the SNAP-R Commodity Classification Work Item form. This will speed processing.

2. Identify the item to be classified by model or part number. Note that most technology is controlled based on the resulting hardware. If your item is "development," "production" or "use" data it will be necessary to describe the related end-item hardware. Also, when describing the technology, address the General Technology Note in supplement 2 to Part 774.

3. Review the Commerce Control List (Part 774 Supplement 1) to identify (approximately) the ECCN or ECCNs that seem to be appropriate. Try to describe your item/technology in the control parameters used in the CCL entries (you will find more information on the Commerce Control List on the Government Printing Office e-CFR website). Before BIS can confirm the classification of your item/technology, it will be necessary to compare the parameters of your item with the control list. If the parameter information is not provided with the application, we will request that you provide the information. We can not complete the application without this information. Any delay in providing the information will delay the completion of your application.

4. Pictures, sales brochures, catalogues, and other descriptive information are often useful in classifying the product but they do not take the place of the information noted above. Sales literature is often prepared for reasons other than a classification. If the pictures, sales brochures, etc., do not cover all of the relevant parameters, please supplement with additional data necessary to complete the description. BIS must have information on all the relevant parameters contained in an ECCN in order to complete the classification of an item.

5. Classification requests must be limited to six items (see Part 748.3 of the Export Administration Regulations). The item requested must be described with a recommended classification - ECCN - in Block 22 of the SNAP-R Commodity Classification Work Item form. If there are multiple items, they should be individually listed in Block 22 (the Export Item Information sub-form). Select "Add Export Item" to add items 2-6. By entering "Export Items" individually, this allows the reviewer to classify each item. If multiple items are contained in a single Block 22 description, it is more difficult to tie the classification to the individual model numbers. If the number of items to be classified exceeds six, the additional items will not be classified unless you have received prior written approval from BIS.

6. Make sure that your submission substantiates that the item, technical data or software is subject to the EAR (see Part 734.3). BIS will only classify those items that are subject to the EAR. If you are not sure that your item is subject to the EAR, you should try to resolve this question before making the submission to Commerce. Your submission should, if applicable, address the following issues and how they have been resolved:

Direct products of U.S. origin technical data (see Part 734.3(a)(4) and foreign products that have U.S. content (see Part 734.4) may be subject to the EAR and are appropriate to classify. If such a classification is requested, it will be necessary to establish on what basis the item is subject to the EAR. Keep in mind that if such an item is in the United States it is subject to the EAR (see Part 734.3(a)(1)) despite any technical data or de minimis considerations.

If it is your intention to make the technical data or software "publicly available" (see Part 734.3(b)(3)), then there is no need to request a classification as "publicly available" data or software is not subject to the EAR unless it is encryption software described in ECCN 5D002 (see Encryption for more information). Supplement 1 to part 734 provides additional guidance on "publicly available" criteria.

Other agencies such as the Departments of State and Energy, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the Patent and Trademark Office have jurisdiction over certain items. BIS cannot classify those items. Consult Part 734.3(b) for more information. If you have been informed by another agency that Commerce has jurisdiction over your item, please provide that information (such as a Commodity Jurisdiction number from State) in your application

A key in determining whether an export license is needed from the Department of Commerce is finding out if the item you intend to export has a specific Export Control Classification Number (ECCN). ECCNs are five character alpha-numeric designations used on the Commerce Control List (CCL) to identify dual-use items for export control purposes.  An ECCN categorizes items based on the nature of the product, i.e. type of commodity, software, or technology and its respective technical parameters.

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 are listed in the Commerce Control List (CCL) (Supplement No. 1 to Part 774 of the EAR), which is divided into ten broad categories, and each category is further subdivided into five product groups. The first character of the ECCN identifies the broader category to which it belongs and the second character identifies the product group (see example and boxes below).


Commerce Control List Categories

0 = Nuclear materials, facilities and equipment (and miscellaneous items)
1 = Materials, Chemicals, Microorganisms and Toxins
2 = Materials Processing
3 = Electronics
4 = Computers
5 = Telecommunications and Information Security
6 = Sensors and Lasers
7 = Navigation and Avionics
8 = Marine
9 = Propulsion Systems, Space Vehicles, and Related Equipment

Five Product Groups

A. Systems, Equipment and Components
B. Test, Inspection and Production Equipment
C. Material
D. Software
E. Technology







If Your Item is Not on the Commerce Control List - EAR99

If your item falls under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Commerce and is not listed on the CCL, it is designated as EAR99. The majority of commercial products are designated EAR99 and generally will not require a license to be exported or reexported. However, if you plan to export an EAR99 item to an embargoed or sanctioned country, to a party of concern, or in support of a prohibited end-use, you may be required to obtain a license.

To obtain further assistance regarding the ECCN of your product, see our or review the “How to Request an ECCN” brochure.

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