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Rule

Expansion of License Exception CIV Eligibility for “Microprocessors” Controlled by ECCN 3A001 and Graphics Accelerators Controlled by ECCN 4A003

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AGENCY:

Bureau of Export Administration, Commerce.

ACTION:

Interim rule with request for comments.

SUMMARY:

The Bureau of Export Administration (BXA) maintains the Commerce Control List (CCL), which identifies those items subject to Department of Commerce export licensing requirements. Consistent with technological changes, this interim rule adjusts the License Exception CIV eligibility level for microprocessors controlled by Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) 3A001 from a composite theoretical performance (CTP) of equal to or less than 3500 million theoretical operations per second (MTOPS) to a CTP of equal to or less than 4500 MTOPS. This rule also adjusts the License Exception CIV eligibility level for graphics accelerators controlled by Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) 4A003 from 75 million vectors per second to 100 million vectors per second. License Exception CIV authorizes exports and reexports to civil end-users for civil end-uses in Country Group D:1. CIV may not be used for exports or reexports to military end-users or end-uses.

To avoid unwarranted burdens on industry and keep the export control levels for commodity microprocessors at controllable levels, the Administration is committed to reviewing the CIV level on an ongoing basis. Based on industry projections, substantially more powerful commodity microprocessors will be released later this year. In light of this information, the Administration will continue to monitor the microprocessor market, and as circumstances warrant, we anticipate raising the CIV eligibility levels from 4500 MTOPS to a level somewhere between 5500 and 7000 MTOPS to account for the more powerful microprocessors entering mass production.

The exponential advance of microprocessor technology directly affects High Performance Computer (HPC) technology. Accordingly, the Administration is also committed to reviewing HPC control levels regularly. This summer, we will once again assess the HPC market to determine at what level computers are no longer controllable due to wide commercial production and dissemination of the computers and their components. Additionally, we will determine if the individual licensing levels for computers exported to Tier 2 and Tier 3 countries require adjustment. Finally, we will continue to examine whether CTP remains a viable metric for determining HPC export controls.

DATES:

This rule is effective June 13, 2000. Comments on this rule must be received on or July 13, 2000.

ADDRESSES:

Written comments should be sent to Hillary Hess, Regulatory Policy Division, Bureau of Export Administration, Department of Commerce, P.O. Box 273, Washington, DC 20044.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

James Lewis, Director, Office of Strategic Trade and Foreign Policy Controls, Bureau of Export Administration, Telephone: (202) 482-4196.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Although the Export Administration Act (EAA) expired on August 20, 1994, the President invoked the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and continued in effect the EAR, and, to the extent permitted by law, the provisions of the EAA in Executive Order 12924 of August 19, 1994, as extended by the President's notices of August 15, 1995 (60 FR 42767), August 14, 1996 (61 FR 42527), August 13, 1997 (62 FR 43629), August 13, 1998 (63 FR 44121), and August 10, 1999 (64 FR 44101, August 13, 1999).

Rulemaking Requirements

1. This interim rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of E.O. 12866.

2. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information, subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB Control Number. This rule involves a collection of information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This collection has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 0694-0088.

3. This rule does not contain policies with Federalism implications sufficient to warrant preparation of a Federalism assessment under Executive Order 13132.

4. The provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) requiring notice of proposed rulemaking, the opportunity for public participation, and a delay in effective date, are inapplicable because this regulation involves a military and foreign affairs function of the United States (5 U.S.C. 553(a)(1)). Further, no other law requires that a notice of proposed rulemaking and an opportunity for public comment be given for this interim rule. Because a notice of proposed rulemaking and an opportunity for public comment are not required to be given for this rule under the Administrative Procedure Act or by any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) are not applicable.

However, because of the importance of the issues raised by these regulations, this rule is issued in interim form and comments will be considered in the development of final regulations.

Accordingly, the Department encourages interested persons who wish Start Printed Page 37040to comment to do so at the earliest possible time to permit the fullest consideration of their views.

The period for submission of comments will close on July 13, 2000. The Department will consider all comments received before the close of the comment period in developing final regulations. Comments received after the end of the comment period will be considered if possible, but their consideration cannot be assured. The Department will not accept public comments accompanied by a request that a part or all of the material be treated confidentially because of its business proprietary nature or for any other reason. The Department will return such comments and materials to the person submitting the comments and will not consider them in the development of final regulations. All public comments on these regulations will be a matter of public record and will be available for public inspection and copying. In the interest of accuracy and completeness, the Department requires comments in written form.

Oral comments must be followed by written memoranda, which will also be a matter of public record and will be available for public review and copying. Communications from agencies of the United States Government or foreign governments will not be made available for public inspection.

The public record concerning these regulations will be maintained in the Bureau of Export Administration Freedom of Information Records Inspection Facility, Room 6883, Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20230. Records in this facility, including written public comments and memoranda summarizing the substance of oral communications, may be inspected and copied in accordance with regulations published in Part 4 of Title 15 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Information about the inspection and copying of records at the facility may be obtained from the Bureau of Export Administration Freedom of Information Officer at the above address or by calling (202) 482-0500.

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List of Subjects in 15 CFR Part 774

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Accordingly, part 774 of the Export Administration Regulations (

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1. The authority citation for part 774 is revised to read as follows:

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Authority: 50 U.S.C. app. 2401 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; 10 U.S.C. 7420; 10 U.S.C. 7430(e); 18 U.S.C. 2510 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 287c; 22 U.S.C. 3201 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 6004; Sec. 201, Pub. L. 104-58, 109 Stat. 557 (30 U.S.C. 185(s)); 30 U.S.C. 185(u); 42 U.S.C. 2139a; 42 U.S.C. 6212; 43 U.S.C. 1354; 46 U.S.C. app. 466c; 50 U.S.C. app. 5; E.O. 12924, 59 FR 43437, 3 CFR, 1994 Comp., p. 917; E.O. 13020, 61 FR 54079, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 219; E.O. 13026, 61 FR 58767, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 228; Notice of August 10, 1999 (3 CFR, 1999 Comp. 302 (2000)).

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PART 774—AMENDED

Supplement No. 1 to Part 774—Amended

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2. In Supplement No. 1 to part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 3—Electronics, Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) 3A001 is amended by revising the License Exceptions section to read as follows:

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3A001 Electronic components, as follows (see List of Items Controlled).

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License Exceptions

LVS: N/A for MT

$1500: 3A001.c

$3000: 3A001.b.1, b.2, b.3, .d, .e and .f

$5000: 3A001.a, and .b.4 to b.7

GBS: Yes, except 3A001.a.1.a, b.1, b.3 to b.7, .c to .f

CIV: Yes, except 3A001.a.1, a.2, a.3.a (for processors with a CTP greater than 4500 Mtops), a.5, a.6, a.9, a.10, and a.12, .b, .c, .d, .e, and .f

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3. In Supplement No. 1 to part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 4—Computers, Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) 4A003 is amended by revising the License Exceptions section to read as follows:

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4A003 “Digital computers”, “electronic assemblies”, and related equipment therefor, and specially designed components therefor.

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License Exceptions

LVS: $5000; N/A for MT and “digital” computers controlled by 4A003.b and having a CTP exceeding 10,000 MTOPS; or “electronic assemblies” controlled by 4A003.c and capable of enhancing performance by aggregation of “computing elements” so that the CTP of the aggregation exceeds 10,000 MTOPS.

GBS: Yes, for 4A003.d, .e, and .g and specially designed components therefor, exported separately or as part of a system.

CTP: Yes, for computers controlled by 4A003.a, .b and .c, to the exclusion of other technical parameters, with the exception of parameters specified as controlled for Missile Technology (MT) concerns and 4A003.e (equipment performing analog-to-digital or digital-to-analog conversions exceeding the limits of 3A001.a.5.a). See § 740.7 of the EAR.

CIV: Yes, for 4A003.d (having a 3-D vector rate less than or equal to 100 M vectors/sec), .e, and .g.

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Dated: June 8, 2000.

R. Roger Majak,

Assistant Secretary for Export Administration.

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[FR Doc. 00-14903 Filed 6-12-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-33-P