What is an Export Control Classification Number (ECCN)?

When exporting commodities from the United States (or releasing technology or source code to a foreign national in the United States), under U.S. law it is the responsibility of the exporter to classify the item(s) to determine if an export license is required from any U.S. Government agency.

Use the Homeland Security ECCN Analyst to determine the Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) for your goods — a fundamental step in ensuring your company is in compliance with U.S. export control regulations. If an item falls under the U.S. Department of Commerce export licensing jurisdiction, finding its ECCN is the first step toward determining if an export license is required, or if a license exception is available. Online help is available.

If an item is not found, or if for a controlled item the goods are not within the specifications detailed in the ECCN entry, the goods are classified as "EAR99". An EAR99 classification doesn't mean the goods are clear to ship to anyone anywhere, however. All export goods are subject to the EAR, and must respect the terms of U.S. federal sanction programs, embargoes, and blocked party restrictions. Information and screening for these respective areas is also provided at Homeland Security.

When is an ECCN required on the Shippers Export Declaration (SED)?

The ECCN must be entered on an SED when:

1) a BIS license is issued;
2) when exporting under license exceptions GBS, CIV, LVS; or
3) when the item(s) fall under an ECCN controlled for national security (NS) reasons under Column 2 (NS2), but the export is eligible for NLR.

An exporter who enters a license exception symbol on an SED is representing to the U.S. Government that the transaction meets all of the terms and conditions of that license exception.

What is a Commodity Jurisdiction request?

A commodity jurisdiction (CJ) request is used to determine whether an item or service is subject to the export licensing authority of the Department of Commerce or the Department of State, Office of Defense Trade Controls (DTC). The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is the primary licensing agency for dual-use exports, while the DTC licenses defense articles and services.

If you are unsure of the export licensing jurisdiction of an item, or if you believe that jurisdiction has been incorrectly assigned and should be transferred to another agency, you can request a CJ determination. Note that a CJ determination will only identify the proper licensing authority for an item, and is not a license or approval to export.

What does "dual use" mean?

The term "dual use" is often used to distinguish the types of items covered by the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) from those that are covered by the regulations of certain other export licensing agencies. In general, it serves to distinguish EAR-controlled items that can be used both in sensitive (e.g., military or nuclear) and other, non-sensitive applications from those that are:

(a) weapons or military-related in use or design and subject to the controls of the Department of State, or
(b) subject to the nuclear-related controls of the Department of Energy or the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.