February, 2020

Certain licence exceptions are no longer available for Russia and Yemen.

BIS tightens Country Group designations for Yemen and RussiaThe US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (‘BIS’) has amended the Export Administration Regulations (‘EAR’) so as to revise the Country Group designations for the Russian Federation (Russia) and Yemen ‘based on national security and foreign policy concerns, including proliferation-related concerns.’

BIS says the action ‘is intended to facilitate and support accountability in connection with exports and reexports of items to these destinations under the EAR, and is part of a larger effort to restructure and re-align the Country Groups based on the aforementioned interests.’

As regards Russia, the country is removed ‘from more favorable treatment under Country Groups A:2 and A:4 and [added to] Country Groups D:2 and D:4 based on nuclear and missile technology proliferation concerns, respectively. BIS also amends the licensing policy for ‘related items to reflect a presumption of denial consistent with the Country Group changes.’

Separately, Yemen has been moved from more favourable treatment under Country Group B and added to Country Group D:1 ‘to reflect national security concerns.’

BIS points out that, as a result of these Country Group changes, ‘certain license exceptions are no longer available for Russia and Yemen, and licenses are now required for those destinations in connection with exports, reexports, and transfers (in-country) of certain controlled items,’ and that some transactions may be subject to ‘more stringent licensing review policies or additional prohibitions as outlined in other parts of the EAR.’