U.S. Department of Commerce relaxes Burma/Myanmar dual-use export controls

On 27 December 2016, the U.S. Department of Commerce/Bureau of Industry Security (BIS) published a final rule which substantially eases the U.S. dual-use export controls against Burma (Myanmar). 

The final rule amends the Export Administration Regulations (EAR – 15 C.F.R. Parts 730-774) (re)export restrictions against Burma. This amendment is consistent with President Obama’s (controversial) drive to ease trade restrictions with the Asian country (Executive Order 13742, which was issued in October 2016).

E.O. 13742 ended the U.S. national emergency declared with respect to Burma (Myanmar) under the IEEPA, along with several sanctions programs targeted against Burma (Myanmar) administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury/OFAC.

However, the country still remains subject to an U.S. arms embargo (under ITAR), certain Burmese persons remain designated on OFAC’s List of Specially Designated Nationals under other sanctions programs unrelated to Burma/Myanmar (e.g. programs related to North Korea and narcotics trafficking).

Further, it should be noted that not all EAR restrictions are lifted. 


BIS Final Rule Burma

  • Final rule eases certain EAR restrictions related to (re)exports to Burma/Myanmar.
    1. BIS is removing and reserving Section 744.22 EAR, which imposed a licensing regime for (re)exports of all items “subject to” the EAR to persons designated under executive orders imposing sanctions targeting Burma.
    2. BIS is moving Burma from Country Group D:1 to Country Group B, which will allow (re)exports to Burma eligible for a more EAR license exceptions.
  • However, not all EAR restrictions have been lifted by the final rule.
    1. Burma remains in Country Groups D:3 (countries raising proliferation concerns related to chemical and biological weapons) and D:5 (U.S. arms embargoes). As a result, Burma remains ineligible for certain license exceptions, including (but not limited to) those related to 9×515 or 600 series items.
    2. Section 740.7 EAR still applies to Burma; the country remains in Computer Tier 3 for purposes of License Exception APP (items listed in ECCN 4A003; and exports of technology and software controlled by ECCN’s 4D001 & 4E001. This means that Burma is only eligible for (re)exports of certain technology and source code under APP, which is less than Computer Tier 1 countries (a status that Burma had prior to the U.S. sanctions).

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