ECCN Classification and Export Compliance: Ways of Doing It More Efficiently

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Many US exporters and organizations involved in international trade recognize the importance of following US federal regulations regarding the export of goods and technology.

However, achieving compliance is not entirely easy or straightforward. In the absence of carefully crafted formal procedures with multiple steps for a successful program, organizations can find themselves immediately out of compliance with regulations. Since it is about national security, no one can walk away from the written agenda and guidelines and leave respect in the hands of fate. After all, export control regulations were developed to protect national security interests.

What is an ECCN and why is it important?

The ECCN (i.e. Export Control Classification Number) should be assigned to goods, software and technology before they are exported and transferred. The ECCN of a given product is listed in specific categories of the Commercial Checklist (CCL) and may vary depending on the functionality, functionality and technical parameters of the product. Additionally, the ECCN classification helps determine if the product or technology requires an export license or if there is a license exception. Each of the categories encompasses various items on the CCL, but items that are not listed on the CCL are assigned an ECCN of "EAR99".

Conventional ECCN determination methods

How to determine the ECCN? Well, the three main methods are:

1. Identify the source. You can ask the manufacturer, developer or producer for the item's ECCN. Since the ECCN is subject to change, you should make sure that you have the current one.

2. File it yourself. For this you will need a thorough technical understanding of the item's features, content, and functionality. In addition, you should familiarize yourself with the format and structure of CCL.

3. Send a request to BIS. Using the CIN or Company Identification Number and PIN or Personal Identification Number, you can submit an official classification request to the Department of Commerce – Office Industry and Security (BIS).

In the next step, you will need to find out whether the product / technology export requires an export license or not. The ECCN you determined is the key to this next step.

ECCN determination methods

Technology has literally transformed the way the world works, especially through automation, speed, and precision.

Notably, trade compliance consultants have made life easier for businesses and organizations. Indeed, the development of ECCN and HTS classification software has accelerated the performance of these companies.

In order to determine the controls, it will first be necessary to classify the product, technology or software according to the EAR and ITAR regulations. Therefore, the software which enables this procedure in a fast and efficient manner is extremely useful.

Recently, software companies have introduced web solutions for businesses that have a limited budget and cannot hire a consultant or expert. Powered by such web-based software, exporters and importers can easily identify items after answering a number of questions. Not only that, the classification results are stored for record keeping purposes. Software users will have access to extensive commercial content or information in the form of definitions, duty rates, special notes, country charts, license terms and exceptions, etc.

Overall, web solutions boost the performance of an organization, helping them to increase their efficiency with rare fluctuations. As a result, businesses will not experience indefinite delays in research, communications, classifications, etc.


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