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Proposed Rule

Amendment to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations: Revision of U.S. Munitions List Category XX

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AGENCY:

Department of State.

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY:

As part of the President's Export Control Reform effort, the Department of State proposes to amend the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to revise Category XX (submersible vessels and related articles) of the U.S. Munitions List (USML).

DATES:

The Department of State will accept comments on this proposed rule until February 6, 2012.

ADDRESSES:

Interested parties may submit comments within 45 days of the date of publication by one of the following methods:

Comments received after that date will be considered if feasible, but consideration cannot be assured. Those submitting comments should not include any personally identifying information they do not desire to be made public or information for which a claim of confidentiality is asserted because those comments and/or transmittal emails will be made available for public inspection and copying after the close of the comment period via the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls Web site at www.pmddtc.state.gov. Parties who wish to comment anonymously may do so by submitting their comments via www.regulations.gov, leaving the fields that would identify the commenter blank and including no identifying information in the comment itself. Comments submitted via www.regulations.gov are immediately available for public inspection.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Director Charles B. Shotwell, Office of Defense Trade Controls Policy, Department of State, telephone (202) 663-2792; email DDTCResponseTeam@state.gov. Attn: Regulatory Change, USML Category XX.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), U.S. Department of State, administers the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) (22 CFR parts 120-130). The items subject to the jurisdiction of the ITAR, i.e., “defense articles,” are identified on the ITAR's U.S. Munitions List (USML) (22 CFR 121.1). With few exceptions, items not subject to the export control jurisdiction of the ITAR are subject to the jurisdiction of the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR,” 15 CFR parts 730-774, which includes the Commerce Control List in part 774), administered by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), U.S. Department of Commerce. Both the ITAR and the EAR impose license requirements on exports and reexports. Items not subject to the ITAR or to the exclusive licensing jurisdiction of any other set of regulations are subject to the EAR.

Export Control Reform Update

The Departments of State and Commerce described in their respective Advanced Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) in December 2010 the Administration's plan to make the USML and the CCL positive, tiered, and aligned so that eventually they can be combined into a single control list (see “Commerce Control List: Revising Descriptions of Items and Foreign Availability,” 75 FR 76664 (December 9, 2010) and “Revision to the United States Munitions List,” 75 FR 76935 (December 10, 2010)). The notices also called for the establishment of a “bright line” between the USML and the CCL to reduce government and industry uncertainty regarding export jurisdiction by clarifying whether particular items are subject to the jurisdiction of the ITAR or the EAR. While these remain the Administration's ultimate Export Control Reform objectives, their concurrent implementation would be problematic in the near term. In order to more quickly reach the national security objectives of greater interoperability with our allies, enhancing our defense industrial base, and permitting the U.S. Government to focus its resources on controlling and monitoring the export and reexport of more significant items to destinations, end uses, and end users of greater concern than our NATO and other multi-regime partners, the Administration has decided, as an interim step, to propose and implement revisions to both the USML and the CCL that are more positive, but not yet tiered.

Specifically, based in part on a review of the comments received in response to the December 2010 notices, the Administration has determined that fundamentally altering the structure of the USML by tiering and aligning it on a category-by-category basis would significantly disrupt the export control compliance systems and procedures of exporters and reexporters. For example, until the entire USML was revised and became final, some USML categories would follow the legacy numbering and control structures while the newly revised categories would follow a completely different numbering structure. In order to allow for the national security benefits to flow from re-aligning the jurisdictional status of defense articles that no longer warrant control on the USML on a category-by-category basis while minimizing the impact on exporters' internal control and jurisdictional and classification marking systems, the Administration plans to proceed with building positive lists now and afterward return to structural changes.

Revision of Category XX

This proposed rule revises USML Category XX, covering submersible vessels and related articles. The proposed revision accounts for the movement of submarines from Category VI and consolidates the controls that will apply to all submersible vessels in a single category. In addition, naval nuclear propulsion power plants for submersible vessels controlled under Category XX, formerly controlled under Category VI(e), will now be controlled under Category XX(b).

This proposed rule also creates § 121.14 to more clearly define “submersible vessels and related articles.”

Finally, this revision makes conforming edits to §§ 123.20, 124.2, and 125.1 (nuclear related controls).

This proposed rule controls only those parts, components, accessories, and attachments that are specifically designed for a defense article controlled in this category. All other parts, components, accessories, and attachments will become subject to the new 600 series controls in Category 8 of the CCL to be published separately by the Department of Commerce.

Definition for Specially Designed

Although one of the goals of the export control reform initiative is to describe USML controls without using design intent criteria, a few of the controls in the proposed revision nonetheless use the term “specially designed.” It is, therefore, necessary for the Department to define the term. Two proposed definitions have been published to date.

The Department first provided a draft definition for “specially designed” in the December 2010 ANPRM (75 FR 76935) and noted the term would be used minimally in the USML, and then only to remain consistent with the Wassenaar Arrangement or other multilateral regime obligation or when no other reasonable option exists to describe the control without using the term. The draft definition provided at that time is as follows: “For the purposes of this Subchapter, the term “specially designed” means that the Start Printed Page 80307end-item, equipment, accessory, attachment, system, component, or part (see ITAR § 121.8) has properties that (i) distinguish it for certain predetermined purposes, (ii) are directly related to the functioning of a defense article, and (iii) are used exclusively or predominantly in or with a defense article identified on the USML.”

The Department of Commerce subsequently published on July 15, 2011, for public comment, the Administration's proposed definition of “specially designed” that would be common to the CCL and the USML. The public provided more than 40 comments on that proposed definition on or before the September 13 deadline for comments. The Departments of State, Commerce, and Defense are now reviewing those comments and related issues, and the Departments of State and Commerce plan to publish for public comment another proposed rule on a definition of “specially designed” that would be common to the USML and the CCL. In the interim, and for the purpose of evaluation of this proposed rule, reviewers should use the definition provided in the December ANPRM.

Request for Comments

As the U.S. Government works through the proposed revisions to the USML, some solutions have been adopted that were determined to be the best of available options. With the thought that multiple perspectives would be beneficial to the USML revision process, the Department welcomes the assistance of users of the lists and requests input on the following:

(1) A key goal of this rulemaking is to ensure the USML and the CCL together control all the items that meet Wassenaar Arrangement commitments embodied in Munitions List Category 9 (ML9). To that end, the public is asked to identify any potential lack of coverage brought about by the proposed rules for Category XX contained in this FRN and the new Category 8 ECCNs published separately by the Department of Commerce when reviewed together.

(2) The public is asked to provide specific examples of vessels whose jurisdiction would be in doubt based on this revision.

Regulatory Analysis and Notices

Administrative Procedure Act

The Department of State is of the opinion that controlling the import and export of defense articles and services is a foreign affairs function of the United States Government and that rules implementing this function are exempt from § 553 (Rulemaking) and § 554 (Adjudications) of the Administrative Procedure Act. Although the Department is of the opinion that this rule is exempt from the rulemaking provisions of the APA, the Department is publishing this rule with a 45-day provision for public comment and without prejudice to its determination that controlling the import and export of defense services is a foreign affairs function. As noted above, and also without prejudice to the Department position that this rulemaking is not subject to the APA, the Department previously published a related Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (RIN 1400-AC78), and accepted comments for 60 days.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

Since this proposed amendment is not subject to 5 U.S.C. 553, it does not require analysis under the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

This proposed amendment does not involve a mandate that will result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more in any year and it will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no actions were deemed necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

This proposed amendment has been found not to be a major rule within the meaning of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996.

Executive Orders 12372 and 13132

This proposed amendment will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, in accordance with Executive Order 13132, it is determined that this proposed amendment does not have sufficient federalism implications to require consultations or warrant the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement. The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities do not apply to this proposed amendment.

Executive Order 12866

The Department is of the opinion that controlling the import and export of defense articles and services is a foreign affairs function of the United States Government and that rules governing the conduct of this function are exempt from the requirements of Exec utive Order 12866. However, the Department has reviewed the proposed rule to ensure its consistency with the regulatory philosophy and principles set forth in the Executive Order.

Executive Order 13563

The Department of State has considered this rule in light of Executive Order 13563, dated January 18, 2011, and affirms that this regulation is consistent with the guidance therein.

Executive Order 12988

The Department of State has reviewed the proposed amendment in light of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988 to eliminate ambiguity, minimize litigation, establish clear legal standards, and reduce burden.

Executive Order 13175

The Department of State has determined that this rulemaking will not have tribal implications, will not impose substantial direct compliance costs on Indian tribal governments, and will not pre-empt tribal law. Accordingly, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this rulemaking.

Paperwork Reduction Act

This proposed amendment does not impose any new reporting or recordkeeping requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35.

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List of Subjects in Parts 121, 123, 124, and 125

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Accordingly, for the reasons set forth above, Title 22, Chapter I, Subchapter M, parts 121, 123, 124, and 125 are proposed to be amended as follows:

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PART 121—THE UNITED STATES MUNITIONS LIST

1. The authority citation for part 121 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: Secs. 2, 38, and 71, Pub. L. 90-629, 90 Stat. 744 (22 U.S.C. 2752, 2778, 2797); E.O. 11958, 42 FR 4311; 3 CFR, 1977 Comp. p. 79; 22 U.S.C. 2651a; Pub. L. 105-261, 112 Stat. 1920.

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2. Section 121.1 is amended by revising U.S. Munitions List Category XX to read as follows:

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General. The United States Munitions List.
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XX—Submersible Vessels and Related Articles

(a) Submersible and semi-submersible vessels (see § 121.14 of this subchapter) that are:

*(1) submarines;

(2) mine countermeasure vehicles;

(3) anti-submarine warfare vehicles;

(4) armed;

(5) swimmer delivery vehicles “specially designed” for the deployment, recovery, or support of swimmers or divers from submarines;

(6) vessels equipped with any mission systems controlled under this subchapter; or

*(7) developmental vessels developed under a contract with the U.S. Department of Defense.

*(b) Naval nuclear propulsion plants, their land prototypes, and special facilities for their construction, support, and maintenance (see § 123.20 of this subchapter).

(c) Components, parts, accessories, attachments, and associated equipment “specially designed” for any of the articles in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this category.

Note to paragraph (c):

Parts, components, accessories, and attachments that are common to vessels subject to the EAR, or that are enumerated on the CCL or elsewhere in this subchapter, are not included in this paragraph.

(d) Technical data (as defined in § 120.10 of this subchapter) and defense services (as defined in § 120.9 of this subchapter) directly related to the defense articles enumerated in paragraphs (a) through (c) of this category. (See § 125.4 of this subchapter for exemptions.)

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3. Section 121.14 is removed from reserved status and added to read as follows:

Submersible vessels and related articles.

(a) Category XX controls developmental, demilitarized, decommissioned, production, or inventory submersible and semi-submersible vessels, manned or unmanned, tethered or untethered, that:

(1) are submarines “specially designed” for military use;

(2) are armed or are “specially designed” to be used as a platform to deliver munitions or otherwise destroy or incapacitate targets (e.g., firing torpedoes, launching rockets, firing missiles, deploying mines, deploying countermeasures) or deploy military payloads;

(3) are “specially designed” for the deployment, recovery, or support of swimmers or divers from submarines;

(4) are integrated with nuclear propulsion systems; or

(5) incorporate any “mission systems” controlled under this subchapter. “Mission systems” are defined as “systems” (see § 121.8(g) of this subchapter) that perform specific military functions such as by providing military communication, electronic warfare, target designation, surveillance, target detection, or sensor capabilities.

(b) Submersible and semi-submersible vessels that are not identified in (a) above are subject to the EAR under Category 8.

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PART 123—LICENSES FOR THE EXPORT OF DEFENSE ARTICLES

4. The authority citation for part 123 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: Secs. 2, 38, and 71, Pub. L. 90-629, 90 Stat. 744 (22 U.S.C. 2752, 2778, 2797); 22 U.S.C. 2753; E.O. 11958, 42 FR 4311; 3 CFR, 1977 Comp. p. 79; 22 U.S.C. 2651a; 22 U.S.C. 2776; Pub. L. 105-261, 112 Stat. 1920; Sec 1205(a), Pub. L. 107-228.

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5. Section 123.20 is amended by revising paragraphs (a) and (c) to read as follows:

Nuclear related controls.

(a) The provisions of this subchapter do not apply to equipment, technical data or services in Category VI, Category XX, and Category XVI of § 121.1 of this subchapter to the extent such equipment, technical data or services are under the export control of the Department of Energy or the Nuclear Regulatory Commission pursuant to the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act of 1978, as amended, or is a government transfer authorized pursuant to these Acts.

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(c) A license for the export of any machinery, device, component, equipment, or technical data relating to equipment referred to in Category VI(e) or Category XX(b) of § 121.1 of this subchapter will not be granted unless the proposed equipment comes within the scope of an existing Agreement for Cooperation for Mutual Defense Purposes concluded pursuant to the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, with the government of the country to which the Article is to be exported. Licenses may be granted in the absence of such an agreement only:

* * * * *
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PART 124—AGREEMENTS, OFF-SHORE PROCUREMENT, AND OTHER DEFENSE SERVICES

6. The authority citation for part 124 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: Sec. 2, 38, and 71, Pub. L. 90-629, 90 Stat. 744 (22 U.S.C. 2752, 2778, 2797); E.O. 11958, 42 FR 4311; 3 CFR 1977 Comp. p. 79; 22 U.S.C. 2651a; 22 U.S.C. 2776; Pub. L. 105-261.

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7. Section 124.2 is amended by revising paragraph (c) to read as follows:

Exemptions for training and military service.
* * * * *

(c) * * *

* * * * *

(5) * * *

* * * * *

(iv) Naval nuclear propulsion equipment listed in Category VI and Category XX;

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PART 125—LICENSES FOR THE EXPORT OF TECHNICAL DATA AND CLASSIFIED DEFENSE ARTICLES

8. The authority citation for part 125 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: Secs. 2 and 38, Pub. L. 90-629, 90 Stat. 744 (22 U.S.C. 2752, 2778); E.O. 11958, 42 FR 4311; 3 CFR, 1977 Comp. p. 79; 22 U.S.C. 2651a.

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9. Section 125.1 is amended by revising paragraph (e) to read as follows:

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(e) The provisions of this subchapter do not apply to technical data related to articles in Category VI(e), Category XX(b), and Category XVI of § 121.1 of this subchapter. The export of such data is controlled by the Department of Energy or the Nuclear Regulatory Commission pursuant to the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act of 1978, as amended.

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Dated: December 16, 2011.

Ellen O. Tauscher,

Under Secretary, Arms Control and International Security, Department of State.

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[FR Doc. 2011-32866 Filed 12-22-11; 8:45 am]

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