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Decision Tree Tools for Self-Classification

What Controls Apply: Self-Determination

If a classification cannot be obtained from the source of the item (i.e. manufacturer, vendor, university, principal investigator, etc.), the University will have to self-determine the export control classification. While there are some items (such as, pencils or printer paper) where the classification is obvious (for instance, a ream of printer paper is certainly not on the USML or the CCL and is therefore EAR99), it is not always as clear on more advanced technology.

Determining the correct classification usually requires technical knowledge and an understanding of the export control regulations. The export control regulations are ambiguous, internally inconsistent, and rely on defined and undefined terms that have specific meaning to export control professionals that is different from common usage. The researcher’s technical knowledge may be necessary and helpful to complete the self-classification process, but the researcher should not attempt to determine the classification without consulting the export control office.

An ITAR review takes precedence. The item is ITAR-controlled if it is enumerated on the USML.

  • Some items are listed explicitly on the USML. The order of review is specified in 22CFR 121(b) (ITAR 2016) and reflected in the USML Order of Review Decision Tool.
  • If the item is not explicitly listed on the USML, it may still be subject to the ITAR if it is “specially designed” for an item on the USML. The steps for this analysis are specified in 22 CFR 121(d) (ITAR 2016) and reflected in the Specially Designed Decision Tool.

Most items that are not ITAR-controlled are EAR-controlled.

  • The item may be listed explicitly on the CCL. The order of review is specified in Supplement No. 4 to 15 CFR 774 and reflected in the CCL Order of Review Decision Tool.
  • If the item is not explicitly listed in the CCL, it may still be included if it is specially designed. The steps for this analysis are specified in the EAR’s (15 CFR 772.1) definition of specially designed, and reflected in the Specially Designed Decision Tool.

Any EAR-controlled item not specifically identified on the CCL is given an ECCN of EAR99. Like all EAR-controlled items, EAR99 items are subject to controls (such as, the general prohibitions, restricted end users and end uses, and embargoes). The EAR (2016) states, “the majority of commercial products are designated EAR99 and generally will not require a license to be exported or reexported.” EAR99 items can be used in research with few, if any, restrictions. Unfortunately, there is no list of EAR99 items a researcher can check.

Degree of Control Diagram

Some items previously subject to the ITAR have been moved to the EAR, and are now enumerated on the CCL. These items are notable because they are more highly controlled than other ECCNs.

  • 9x515 - Space-related items with ECCNs such as, 9A515 (spacecraft, equipment, and components), 9B515 (test, inspection, and production equipment), 9D515 (development, production, or use software), and 9E515 (development, production, or use information).
  • 600 series - Defense items with ECCNs such as, 9A610 (military aircraft and related items), 9B610 (test, inspection, and production equipment), 9D610 (development, production, or use software), and 9E610 (development, production, or use information).