The U.S. Department of Commerce is moving ahead with the Obama Administration’s plan for simplifying the country’s export control program.
First on the agenda is streamlining the licensing process. Under the current setup, export licenses are issued by the Department of State and the Bureau of Industry & Security under the Department of Commerce. Exporters are frequently confused about which agency has licensing jurisdiction over their commodity. The fact that the State and Commerce Departments sometimes can’t agree on jurisdiction amongst themselves is another indication that the current system is flawed.
To resolve this dilemma, the Department of Commerce recently began merging the export control lists of both agencies. Combining the Department of State’s Munitions List and the Bureau of Industry and Security’s Commerce Control List is the first step forward in streamlining the country’s export control program. The new single export list should be completed by the end of next year, according to government officials. Eventually, a single agency will be responsible for issuing export licenses.