Written by : Tom Shoesmith, Michael Amberg, Anna An

The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) within the US Department of Commerce has announced in an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that it is seeking public comments on how it should define and identify “foundational technologies” as it examines whether to impose stricter export controls on items that receive that label in order to protect US national security interests.

Under section 1758 of the Export Control Reform Act of 2018, BIS is required to establish appropriate export controls on emerging and foundational technologies, which are described as those technologies that are essential to US national security but which are not already identified as “critical technologies” under the earlier Defense Production Act of 1950. Such controls on emerging and foundational technology would apply, at a minimum, to countries embargoed by the United States.

In November 2018, BIS issued a similar call for public comment on how to define and identify “emerging technologies” but has yet to issue a final rule on the application of that term. In that notice, BIS provided a number of categories and subcategories of technology in which it sought to determine whether there are specific emerging technologies essential to US national security. The categories of emerging technologies included biotechnology, artificial intelligence, microprocessors, quantum information technology, and robotics.

In today’s notice, BIS does not provide the same degree of guidance on what it considers foundational technologies. It suggests that semiconductor manufacturing equipment and software, lasers, sensors, and underwater systems could be foundational technologies because they “can be tied to indigenous military innovation efforts in China, Russia or Venezuela,” and may accordingly pose a national security threat. BIS also suggests that items being used or required for innovation in developing conventional weapons or weapons of mass destruction or in enabling foreign intelligence collection activities.

Aside from those examples, BIS provides a list of eight specific areas on which it seeks public comment, including the impact that specific foundational technology controls might have on the development of those technologies in the United States. BIS also asks whether its eventual definition of foundational technology should include “enabling technologies” such as tooling, testing, and certification equipment.

Public comments related to foundational technologies are due on or before October 26, 2020.

For inquiries or assistance related to these announcements or compliance with US export controls, please contact Aaron Wolfson (aaron.wolfson@us.kwm.com) or Meg Utterback (meg.utterback@us.kwm.com).


美国商务部下属美国工业和安全局(BIS)在一项“拟议立法预先公告”中宣布,由于其正在考虑是否为保护美国的国家安全利益而对“基础技术”项目采取更为严格的出口管制措施, BIS将就应该如何定义和认定“基础技术” 征求公众意见。

根据2018出口管制改革法案第1758节规定,BIS需要对新兴和基础技术实施适当的出口管制。新兴和基础技术在1950国防生产法中被定义为对美国国家安全至关重要但尚未被认定为 “关键技术” 的科学技术。对新兴和基础技术的管制至少适用于被美国实施贸易限制的国家。

2018年11月,BIS发出类似公告,就如何定义和认定 “新兴技术” 向公众征求意见,但BIS至今尚未就该名词的应用发布最终规则。在2018年的公告中,BIS将技术分成不同的类别和子类别,试图确定是否存在对美国国家安全至关重要的新兴技术。新兴技术的类别包括生物科技、人工智能、微型处理器、量子信息技术和机器人技术。




如有疑问、或就此类通告或在美国出口管制合规方面需要帮助的,请与Aaron Wolfson (aaron.wolfson@us.kwm.com)或Meg Utterback (meg.utterback@us.kwm.com)联系。