Every product shipping out of the United States may not require a license. The government has created the Commerce Control List (CCL) to list the items that do require an export license before moving out of the country.

What is a Commerce Control List?

The Commerce Control List is a list of items that require an export license from the US Department of Commerce while moving out of the country, as per the Export Administration Regulation (EAR).

The list classifies software, commodities, and technologies into 10 categories—each of which is further divided into 5 groups.

To ascertain whether a product is eligible for an export license, exporters must find out whether the item has an Export Control Classification Number (ECCN). The ECCN is a code comprising alphabets and numbers, like 3B001.

Note: If an item does not fall under the CCL, it is classified as EAR99. In most cases, these are low-technology items that do not require an export license. Some EAR99 products may need an export license under exceptional circumstances.

What does the Department of Commerce Control do?

The US Department of Commerce Control regulates the flow of goods to and from the country. It ensures economic growth and prosperity by strengthening the local industries and building quality job opportunities throughout the country.

The Department of Commerce has multiple strategic goals and policies along with 20+ bureaus and offices. These institutions work collectively to ensure the country’s growth, high economic competitiveness, and a strong presence in the international market.

Who controls the Commerce Control List?

The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), US Department of Commerce maintains the CCL to ensure a controlled flow of exports. Each item present in the CCL is subject to BIS authorization.

The BIS regulates this list under the EAR. The CCL is present in Supplement No. 1 to Part 774 of the EAR.

Commerce Control List of the Export Administration Regulations

The Export Administration Regulations (EAR) comprise a set of rules controlling the exports from the country. As a part of the Department of Commerce, the BIS controls the EAR concerned with physical objects and intellectual property.

The Commerce Control List is a significant part of the export regulations as it allows the government to monitor exchange activities closely. Additionally, it helps the exporters to easily determine whether they need to apply for an export license or not.

Items on the Commerce Control List

The CCL comprises of items like nuclear goods, electronic goods, marine items, and more. Here is a list of the 10 product categories and the 5 product groups (sub-categories):

Commerce Control List Categories

Commerce Control List Product Groups

Commerce Control List Country Chart

The Commerce Control List Country Chart comprises of the reason for control of export to the different countries of the world. It further helps the exporters determine which country requires a license for exports from the US.

The BIS controls the country chart under the EAR. Exporters can find the country chart in Supplement No. 1 to Part 738 of the EAR.

The CCL Country Chart might seem difficult to understand, but it’s actually easy. Here are a few steps exporters can follow to read the chart:

Step 1: Identify the ECCN of the product that needs to be transferred

Step 2: Check the ‘Reason for Control’ for the product

Step 3: Switch to the CCL Country Chart and look for the columns with the ‘Reason for Control’ codes identified in the previous step

Step 4: Check the cell where the code column meets the importing country row

Step 5: The cell will either be blank or have an ‘X.’ In the latter case, the exporter will require an export license. Whereas, if it is blank, no export license is needed for shipping that particular product to that country.

Understanding the CCL Country Chart with an example.

If an exporter wishes to ship a bulletproof vest to Belgium, here are the steps they must follow:

Step 1: Identify the ECCN from the Commerce Control List. It is 1A005.

Step 2: Check the Reason for Control codes. These include NS, UN, and AT, which stands for National Security, United Nations Embargo, and Anti-Terrorism.

Control Codes

Step 3: Checking the Belgium row for NS Column 2 and AT Column 1 of the CCL Country Chart, the exporter will find both cells to be empty. That means shipping a bulletproof vest to Belgium does not require an export license.

CCL Country Chart

Step 4: On checking Part 746.1(b), the exporter finds that Belgium is not stated among the countries that require an export license for shipping such products.

This is how exporters can easily check the CCL Country Chart to identify export license requirements.