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Amendment to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations: Yemen

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Final rule.


The Department of State is amending the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to update the policy toward Yemen. Licenses or other approvals for exports or imports of defense articles and defense services destined for or originating in Yemen will be reviewed, and may be issued, on a case-by-case basis.


Effective Date: This rule is effective July 3, 2012.


Ms. Candace M. J. Goforth, Director, Office of Defense Trade Controls Policy, U.S. Department of State, telephone (202) 663-2792, or email ATTN: Regulatory Change, Part 126, Yemen.


The Department of State published a notice in the Federal Register on December 16, 1992, providing that the defense export policy for Yemen included a “presumption of denial” for proposed exports of lethal defense articles or items supporting such articles. On August 8, 2011, the Department amended the ITAR to include Yemen in § 126.1, which describes prohibited exports, imports, and sales to or from certain countries. That policy allowed for the export of non-lethal defense articles and defense services and non-lethal, safety-of-use defense articles for lethal end-items. License applications for the export of lethal defense articles and defense services were denied.

This rule removes the ITAR § 126.1 limitations on defense trade with Yemen. Less restrictive defense trade will further the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States. The Republic of Yemen has taken important steps to stabilize the country, including holding successful presidential elections in February 2012. Furthermore, the Republic of Yemen is a critical partner in the United States' continuing efforts against terrorism. Defense assistance to the Yemeni government will be critical to increasing stability and security throughout the country and countering this threat.

Therefore, § 126.1(u) is removed, and the Department will review on a case-by-case basis all requests for licenses or other approvals for exports or temporary imports of defense articles and defense services destined for or originating in Yemen.

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 sections 553 (rulemaking) and 554 (adjudications) of the Administrative Procedure Act. Since the Department is of the opinion that this rule is exempt from 5 U.S.C. 553, it is the view of the Department of State that the provisions of § 553(d) do not apply to this rulemaking. Therefore, this rule is effective upon publication. The Department also finds that, given the national security issues surrounding U.S. policy towards Yemen, notice and public procedure on this rule would be impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest; for the same reason, the rule will be effective immediately. See 5 U.S.C. 808(2).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

Since the Department is of the opinion that this rule is exempt from the rulemaking provisions of 5 U.S.C. 553, it does not require analysis under the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

Unfunded Mandates Act of 1995

This 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 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 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 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 amendment.

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

Executive Orders 13563 and 12866 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributed impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rule has been designated a “significant regulatory action,” although not economically significant, under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Executive Order 12988

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

Paperwork Reduction Act

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

List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 126

Accordingly, for the reasons set forth above, Title 22, Chapter I, Subchapter M, part 126 is amended as follows:


1. The authority citation for part 126 continues to read as follows:

Authority: Secs. 2, 38, 40, 42, and 71, Pub. L. 90-629, 90 Stat. 744 (22 U.S.C. 2752, 2778, 2780, 2791, and 2797); E.O. 11958, 42 FR 4311; 3 CFR, 1977 Comp., p. 79; 22 U.S.C. 2651a; 22 U.S.C. 287c; E.O. 12918, 59 FR 28205; 3 CFR, 1994 Comp., p. 899; Sec. 1225, Pub. L. 108-375; Sec. 7089, Pub. L. 111-117; Pub. L. 111-266; Section 7045, Pub. L. 112-74; Section 7046, Pub. L. 112-74.

2. Section 126.1 is amended by removing and reserving paragraph (u), as follows:

Prohibited exports, imports, and sales to or from certain countries.
* * * * *

(u) [Reserved]

* * * * *

Dated: June 26, 2012.

Rose E. Gottemoeller,

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

[FR Doc. 2012-16283 Filed 7-2-12; 8:45 am]