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Department of Defense Releases Risk Assessment on Removing Satellites from Export Control List

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The Defense Department released a report today assessing the risk of transferring satellites and space-related items from the U.S. Munitions List (USML).  The so-called “1248 Report” was requested from the Secretaries of State and Defense in Section 1248 of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2010. The White House also issued a Fact Sheet on the report.

An excerpt:

“For the sake of national and economic security, the Departments recommend that authority to determine the appropriate export control status of satellites and space-related items be returned to the President. Specifically: The President should be authorized to determine the export control jurisdiction status of satellites and related items; and The Department of Defense should be authorized to determine the need to apply special export controls to U.S. companies providing technical services in support of foreign satellite or launch vehicle development and associated launch operations, and to be reimbursed as appropriate.”

Appendix 1 of the report includes a draft proposal of USML Category XV (Satellite and Related Items), and Appendix 2 includes a draft proposal for CCL ECCN 9X515 (Spacecraft and Related Commodities). These two proposals will need legislation to be enacted.

This issue was examined by the House Foreign Affairs Committee in February, with testimony by the Aerospace Industries Association and Satellite Industry Association. Earlier this year, AIA released a study on satellite export policy that outlined the case for modernized export controls on satellites and related components.

Rep. Howard Berman and Rep. Don Manzullo also introduced legislation (H.R. 3288) last fall that would allow the president to shift satellites from the USML to the CCL. Read More