On June 1, 2022, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) issued a Final Rule amending the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to adopt a congressional notification requirement for license applications of semiautomatic firearms meeting certain requirements. This final rule is effective on July 18, 2022.
This Final Rule adds a new section 15 C.F.R. § 743.6 adopting a congressional notification requirement for export license applications involving semiautomatic firearms that are (i) classified under Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) 0A501.a and (ii) valued at $4 million or more. The congressional notification requirement will not apply to license applications if the 0A501.a semiautomatic firearms are destined for countries in Country Group A:5 or A:6 (i.e., close U.S. allies – see supplement no.1 to part 740 of the EAR), with the exception of Mexico, South Africa, and Turkey. Nor will this requirement apply to exports to personnel and agencies of the U.S. Government under License Exception GOV or when for the official use by an agency of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The Final Rule cautions that license applicants should not break-up any sales contract values in order to come under the $4 million dollar threshold.
BIS stated that it determined that congressional notification of such exports is warranted due to the fact that such semiautomatic firearms were previously subject to control under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and are often used by military and law enforcement personnel. BIS has stated that this notification requirement does not change the interagency license process for impacted firearms or how license applicants need to structure or generally apply for a BIS export license.