Regulatory intelligence for US exporters

BIS Preparing New Russia Package, Working on Chip Control Guidance, Official Says

The Bureau of Industry and Security is preparing to release another new set of Russia-related export controls next month, which could include potential additions to the Entity List, said Matthew Borman, the agency’s deputy assistant secretary for export administration.

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Borman, speaking during a Nov. 16 Materials and Equipment Technical Advisory Committee meeting, said BIS is “looking at probably sometime in December for another Russia package.” The agency has added multiple tranches of companies to the Entity List this year for aiding Russia, including 13 entities earlier this year for helping the country procure or develop drones (see 2311020015).

Borman suggested the agency also may be looking at including “additional [Harmonized System] code categories” on the list of high-priority HS codes that BIS is monitoring for Russia-related export control evasion. BIS has called on exporters to require customer certifications for some of those items, including electronic circuits, radars and capacitors (see 2310020023).

BIS is increasingly trying to catch illegal exports of machines used to make the electronics and parts needed by Russia along with the parts themselves, Borman said. “We are not only focused on what we call the high-priority microelectronics that are showing up in Russian weapons systems,” but “also, to the extent we can, the tools that are used to manufacture parts for various military systems and aircraft.”

Stopping those exports can be “a little bit harder,” he said, “because there's a lot of capability outside the United States” to make those tools. “It’s less clear that, for example, the Foreign Direct Product Rule would catch those, unlike the semiconductors and the electronics.”

Borman also said BIS has been busy “fielding questions” and preparing frequently asked questions for its recent chip export control updates, which were released last month (see 2310170055). The agency also is “looking at likely a clarification rule” to offer some corrections and alterations to the new controls, he said, an effort previewed by a BIS official earlier this month (see 2311060067).

BIS also has received requests to extend the rules’ comment period, Borman said, including from members of the Regulations and Procedures Technical Advisory Committee. The comment period is scheduled to end Dec. 18.