The Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) issued a final rule on December 28, 2020, in which it amended the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to revise the Country Group designations for Ukraine, Mexico and Cyprus. The EAR designates countries in Country Groups (A, B, D and E) which reflect each country’s export control policy, multilateral regime membership, system, and practice. These Country Groups generally serve as a basis for the availability of certain license exceptions for exports to the listed countries.
In this final rule, BIS moved Ukraine from Country Group D:1 (more restrictive license requirements) to Country Group B (less restrictive). For Ukraine, the final rule notes that the country is a member of the four multilateral export control regimes (Australia Group; Missile Technology Control Regime; Nuclear Suppliers Group; Wassenaar Arrangement), and that it works with the United States on a variety of export control matters. The change in group allows a less restrictive licensing policy for the export and reexport to Ukraine of items listed on the Commerce Control List (CCL), which will no longer be subject to the case-by-case licensing policy, but instead will be subject to a licensing policy of approval.
In the final rule, BIS added Mexico and Cyprus in Country Group A:6 (making them available for License Exception Strategic Trade Authorization (STA)) although both also remain on Country Group B as well.
For Mexico, the final rule notes that the country is a member of three multilateral export control regimes (Australia Group; Nuclear Suppliers Group; Wassenaar Arrangement), and that it has national security interests and policies compatible with those of the United States. For Cyprus, the final rule notes that the country is a member of the European Union (EU) and that the EU’s export control regulations implement the controls of the four multilateral export control regimes and apply to all members.
Importantly, Cyprus also remains listed in Country Group D:5 (U.S. Arms Embargoed Countries), where exports and licensing requirements continue to necessitate a review of and compliance with the restrictions on items in a 9×515 or ‘‘600 series’’ Export Control Classification Numbers (ECCN).
These Country Group changes were effective as of December 28, 2020.