Firearms Export Control Pause & Review October 27, 2023
Effective immediately, the U.S. Department of Commerce (the Department) is pausing for approximately 90 days the issuance of new export licenses involving certain firearms, related components, and ammunition under its jurisdiction and the provision of new export assistance activities for such products to all non-governmental end users worldwide, apart from those in certain destinations.
During this “pause” period, the Department will further assess current firearm export control review policies to determine whether any changes are warranted to advance U.S. national security and foreign policy interests.
The review will be conducted with urgency and will enable the Department to more effectively assess and mitigate risk of firearms being diverted to entities or activities that promote regional instability, violate human rights, or fuel criminal activities. ITA simultaneously will review its export assistance policy to ensure that ITA export assistance is consistent with applicable export controls and does not undermine U.S. policy interests.
This pause applies to the Bureau of Industry and Security’s (BIS) issuance of new licenses involving certain firearms, related components, and ammunition controlled on the Commerce Control List, Supp. No. 1 to part 774 of the Export Administration Regulations, 15 CFR parts 730-774 (EAR), specifically, the following four Export Control Classification Numbers (ECCNs): ECCN 0A501, ECCN 0A502, ECCN 0A504, and ECCN 0A505, that are destined for non-governmental end users worldwide apart from those located in Ukraine, Israel, or a country in Country Group A:1 (Wassenaar Arrangement Participating States), Supp. No. 1 to part 740 of the EAR.
Consistent with the above, the Department’s International Trade Administration (ITA), Global Markets and U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service is pausing acceptance of new requests for export assistance (fee or non-fee-based) for firearms and ammunition to non-governmental end users worldwide, apart from those located in Ukraine, Israel, and Country Group A:1. The ITA pause applies to semi-automatic and non-automatic firearms, shotguns, and receivers (frames) and ammunition. Additional information may be found at (https://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/documents/policyguidance/3374-2023-10-27-bis-faqs-firearms-pause-and-review/file).