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Commerce Department Expands Restrictions on Exports to Russia and Belarus in Response to Ongoing Aggression in Ukraine


Today, the Department of Commerce, through the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), is issuing a final rule that expands its highly restrictive controls on the export and reexport of U.S.-origin and certain foreign-produced commodities, software, and technologies to Russia and Belarus, further choking off access to inputs and products needed to sustain their military capabilities.

As a result of the rule issued today, BIS has imposed highly restrictive license requirements on all categories of items on the Commerce Control List (CCL) to Russia and Belarus, which expands U.S. scrutiny of transactions to almost any sensitive dual-use technology, software, or commodities that could be used to support Russia’s war effort. Furthermore, by applying a policy of denial to applications involving these items, the U.S. is effectively cutting off Russia and Belarus from access to a range of items. These restrictions should continue to severely degrade Russia’s ability to sustain its aggression, as supported by Belarus.

“Last weekend’s horrific revelations are further evidence that Russia’s brutality must be met strongly by the international community. The Department of Commerce is using the authorities it has to respond to Putin’s depravity,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “Today’s action by BIS, in cooperation with our international allies and partners, shows that we will continue to apply pressure on Russia’s and Belarus’s strategic sectors to degrade their military capabilities.”

“It’s difficult to see the images and hear the reports from Bucha and not be deeply affected. Vladimir Putin’s campaign of destruction is appalling, and the United States and our allies and partners will continue applying severe pressure in multiple ways to bring an end to this carnage,” said Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves. “The Department of Commerce will continue to use the authorities it has to do its part in that international and interagency effort.”

“Vladimir Putin’s absolute disregard for the humanity of the people of Ukraine demonstrates why Russia’s military must be cut off from the high-tech commodities, software, and technologies that the U.S. and our allies and partners produce,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration Thea D. Rozman Kendler. “Russia and Belarus have used their access to inputs and products not to purse peaceful prosperity but instead to commit atrocities. Today’s action will further isolate Russia and Belarus and stifle their military capacity.”

Specifically, today’s rule expands the license requirements on Russia and Belarus to all items designated on the CCL. This rule applies the additional restrictions established under previous Russia and Belarus rules to the three categories of unilaterally-controlled technology remaining on the Commerce Control List (CCL). These are Categories 0-2, which include materials and equipment relevant to nuclear, chemical, and materials processing. While the vast majority of items in Categories 0-2 already required a license for Russia and Belarus (or are subject to the licensing authorities of other agencies), this rule imposes new license requirements for items including certain composite materials, medical products containing certain toxins or genetically modified organisms, hydraulic fluids, pumps, valves, and lower-level machine tools.

Additional information on the CCL is available on BIS’s website at: https://bis.doc.gov/index.php/regulations/commerce-control-list-ccl

In connection with this expansion in scope, the rule also applies the new Foreign Direct Product (FDP) Rules for Russia/Belarus and to Russian/Belarusian Military End Users (MEUs) to all items on the CCL. With limited exceptions, BIS will review applications involving all such CCL items under a policy of denial.

Additionally, the rule excludes aircraft registered in, owned, or controlled by, or under charter or lease by Belarus or a national of Belarus from using License Exception AVS (Aircraft, Vessels, Spacecraft). In a prior rule, BIS similarly limited the availability of AVS for aircraft registered in, owned, or controlled by, or under charter or lease by Russia, or by a national of Russia.
The rule takes effect upon being put on public display by the Federal Register on April 8, 2022 and is available here. These actions were taken pursuant to the authorities provided under the Export Control Reform Act of 2018.

Additional information on the Bureau of Industry and Security’s actions in response to Russia’s aggression is available here.

For more information, visit www.bis.doc.gov.

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