On March 4, 2021, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) announced further export restrictions on Burma initially implemented in February 2021. See Update of February 18, 2021. These actions are in response to the coup in Burma on February 1, 2021, in which the military overthrew the democratically elected civilian government. Since that time, the Burmese military has continued to arrest government leaders and escalated its violent response to protestors.

Restrictions on Exports to Burma

BIS has placed new restrictions on exports and reexports to Burma, and transfers (in-country) within Burma, of sensitive items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) by moving Burma from Country Group B and placing it in the more restrictive Country Group D:1 category for license application reviews. Also, in this notice, BIS has formalized in the EAR its February 18 determination to remove license exceptions (i) Shipments of Limited Value (LVS), (ii) Shipments to Group B Countries (GBS), (iii) Technology and Software under Restriction (TSR), and (iv) Computers (APP) as eligible exceptions for use on exports to Burma. Further, with its placement in Country Group D:1, the following additional license exceptions are no longer available for Burma: (i) Temporary Imports, Exports, Reexports and Transfers (TMP) for shipments of national security (NS) controlled items, (ii) Servicing and Replacement Parts and Equipment (RPL), (iv) certain provisions of Aircraft, Vessel and Spacecraft (AVS), (v) Additional Permissive Reexports (APR) for shipments of NS items, (v) Encryption Commodities (ENC) for certain encryption items, software and technologies.

BIS will also apply restrictions under the EAR on exports, reexports, or transfers of certain “military end use” or “military end user” restrictions for Burma, resulting in a license requirement for exports of certain items intended for military use or users. License applications to export or reexport items to Burma for a military end use or military end user will be reviewed under a “presumption of denial.” Finally, BIS will apply the license application review policy for “national security” (NS) purposes for any exports and reexports to Burma and restrict exports of any items that would make a “significant contribution to the military potential” of Burma or would “prove detrimental to the national security of the United States.” Thus, Burma will now be treated similarly to BIS’ policy in this area of license reviews for China, Russia, and Venezuela.

Entity List Additions

BIS has also added four entities to the Entity List under the destination of Burma:

  • Burma’s Ministry of Defence
  • Burma’s Ministry of Home Affairs
  • Myanmar Economic Corporation
  • Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited

BIS has imposed a license requirement for all items subject to the EAR that are destined for Burma and a license review policy of “presumption of denial” for transactions involving these entities. The two commercial entities are known to be owned and operated by the Ministry of Defense. In addition, no license exceptions are available for exports, reexports, or transfers (in-country) to these entities.

Savings Clause

BIS has stated that shipments of items removed from eligibility for a License Exception or export or reexport without a license (NLR) as a result of these new export restrictions or these entities being placed on the Entity List that were en route aboard a carrier to a port of export or reexport, on March 8, 2021, pursuant to actual orders for export or reexport to Burma, may proceed under their previous eligibility.