US Satellite Export Controls Aligned, Relaxed
Washington, DC – Revisions to the federal Export Control Reform Initiative have been implemented that relax government controls over the overseas sales of satellites and satellite components.
According to the new regulations, these changes allow most commercial, scientific, and civil satellites and their parts and components to move to the Department of Commerce’s Commerce Control List (CCL).
The changes “will increase the competitiveness of cutting-edge, well-paying manufacturing and technology sectors by better aligning export controls with national security priorities,” the State Department said in a public statement.
The rules allow satellites controlled by the CCL to incorporate certain parts and components controlled by the USML to remain CCL—controlled, “if certain conditions are met.”
The revision removes communication satellites from the US Munitions List (USML) “that do not contain classified components; remote sensing satellites with certain performance parameters; any spacecraft parts, components, accessories, attachments, equipment, or systems that are not specifically identified in the revised category; and most radiation-hardened microelectronic microcircuits.”
It also removes from the USML certain spacecraft, while supporting US National Space Policy by creating conditions that allow the US Government to more easily host payloads on commercial satellites.
The Washington, DC-headquartered Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) applauded the move.
“While government spending on space has declined, the space market is rapidly changing with new opportunities in commercial space emerging,” the trade group said. “It therefore has become even more important to increase the space sector’s sales in the commercial arena and enhance its global competiveness.”
The AIA in a 2012 report estimated that US manufacturers lost $21 billion in satellite revenue from 1999 to 2009, costing about 9,000 direct jobs annually once USML controls were applied to commercial satellites.
Together with the re-authorization of the Export-Import Bank by Congress later this year, the trade group said, “would dramatically level the global market playing field and greatly enhance the prospects for US companies selling space related goods and services overseas.”
The projected international market outside the US for satellite manufacturing and launch services through 2021 is $132 billion with developing markets in South America and the Middle East experiencing a steady increase in growth, the AIA said.
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