Regulatory intelligence for US exporters

Expect License STA Final Rule This Summer, BIS Official Says

The Bureau of Industry and Security is expecting to soon finalize its proposed rule on License Exception Strategic Trade Authorization and is close to publishing new U.S. persons controls to restrict activities that support foreign military, security or intelligence agencies, said Thea Kendler, the agency’s assistant secretary for export administration.

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Kendler, speaking March 28 during the BIS annual conference in Washington, said BIS is expecting to finalize its STA rule (see 2312070041) “sometime this summer.” The agency is hoping those changes improve and simplify STA -- which authorizes certain exports to trusted U.S. allies if the foreign importer certifies that they won’t reexport the item outside a list of STA countries -- although exporters and industry groups warned BIS about placing new eligibility restrictions on the license (see 2402090046).

Kendler also said BIS will “shortly publish” a proposed rule to implement a provision in the FY 2023 defense spending bill designed to allow the agency to expand its U.S. persons controls to capture certain sensitive services to foreign intelligence agencies (see 2212210032, 2301060034 and 2309120023). A Commerce official earlier during the conference said the agency is still working on the rule (see 2403270063), and Kendler said to expect it soon. “We welcome your comments,” she said.

She added that the agency’s Export Administration office “had a remarkably busy 2023,” processing more than 38,000 licenses. The agency processed those licenses, not including those related to China, in an average of 32 days from the time of receipt, Kendler said. China-related licenses took an average of 89 days.

“I think that's important for you to understand -- that we are spending more time on the licenses that are more complicated,” she said.