The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is actively engaged in formulating, coordinating, and implementing various export controls to counter the use of items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) that could enable human rights abuses or repression of democracy throughout the world. These controls are a mix of list-based, end-user, and end-use controls, as well as specific licensing policies that allow review of transactions for concerns about human rights abuses and repression of democracy. The purpose of this page is to clarify to the exporting community that licensing decisions are based in part upon whether items may be used to enable abuses of human rights or repression of democracy including through censorship; surveillance; abusive genetic collection and analysis schemes; detention; excessive use of force; and forced labor.

Notably, BIS has taken singular action, as well as joint action in concert with interagency partners, in response to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) government’s brutal repression of the Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang; denial of the autonomy and freedom of the people of Hong Kong; and to the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Burma by the military and security forces of that country.

Recent Updates

November 2021

Cambodia Business Advisory

BIS Actions

August 2021

Supporting the Cuban People’s Right to Seek, Receive, and Impart Information through Safe and Secure Access to the Internet

Expansion of Export Controls on Burma

April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

Removal of Hong Kong as a Separate Destination under the Export Administration Regulations

December 2020

Licensing Policy to Promote Respect for Human Rights (October 2020)

New Controls on Water Cannon Systems (October 2020)

Notice of Inquiry on Advanced Surveillance Systems and Other Items of Human Rights Concern (July 2020)

Addition of Entities Engaged in, or Enabling, Human Rights Abuses and Repressing Democracy to the Entity List

July 2021 (China)

July 2021 (Burma)

June 2021 (China)

March 2021 (Burma)

December 2020 (China)

July 2020 (China)

June 2020 (China)

October 2019 (China)

For additional information relating to the Entity List, and compliance with its prohibitions, please view the following webpage:

Interagency Actions

Xinjiang Supply Chain Business Advisory (July 2021)

Hong Kong Business Advisory (July 2021)

Department of State Guidance on Implementing the UN Guiding Principles for Transactions Linked to Foreign Government End-Users for Products or Services with Surveillance Capabilities (September 2020)


© BIS 2020