What is My ECCN Classification?

What is My ECCN Classification?


Export controls compliance is not a game. ZTE Corporation, the recent focus of a very significant enforcement case with an approximate $430 million in OFAC penalties, might agree.   Export classification (or ECCN classification), in particular, is a driving factor for determining if and when an export license is required.

Sometimes a change in perspective is helpful when dissecting the U.S. export controls regulations.  At times, it takes an export compliance officer to Think Like an Engineer or it takes an engineer to dig into regulatory definitions of scientific terms that are different than the lingo in his or her industry.

So why not play a quick “game” related to export controls?  You may end up with a fresh perspective on your research, products, software, and technology that will help refresh the stakeholder engagement or ECCN classification process at your university or corporate export control compliance program.

Eye Shadow

While eye-shadow itself is not export controlled, a common ingredient is triethanolamine, which improves the mixing of the other ingredients.  Triethanolamine, or TEA, is chemical that is commonly used in cosmetics, toiletries, and detergents.  BUT…it’s also used to manufacture nitrogen mustard, which can be used for chemical warfare. Thus, triethanolamine is regulated for export under the Chemical Weapons Convention or CWC.  The U.S. government administers its responsibilities as a Member State of the CWC via the Department of Commerce’s Export Administration Regulations (EAR).  Much, but not all of the EAR, covers “dual-use” items that have a military and commercial or civilian use.  TEA is a perfect example of a dual-use item. (Nitrogen mustard itself also has dual-use purposes, but that’s another story…)  Check out ECCN classification 1C350 to learn more.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Let’s assume that we are talking about a “non-military use” unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).  Even for a “commercial or civilian use” UAV, it’s going to depend. There are a handful of Export Control Classification Numbers (ECCNs) that might capture a non-military UAV.  ECCN 9A012 and 9A120 are just a couple of the critical ones to analyze.  Technical parameters and specifications, such as allowable wind gusts, payload, and aerosol dispenser accessories, and more will all matter.  There are many ECCN classifications that cover UAV’s, so definitely don’t play games when determining your product classification.

3 Must Have Export Compliance Templates to Strengthen Your Compliance Program

Do you need help keeping track of all your export classifications, export licenses, and export compliance risks?

Use our easy-to-use templates to create a management system that’s perfect for universities and small to medium sized companies.

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Stainless Steel

304 stainless steel (SS) is broadly used in industrial, transportation, and food-processing applications.  It is used in a wide range of products including cookware, storage vessels for corrosive substances, automotive parts, and aircrafts.  Dual-use item? Yes. Does that mean all forms and shapes of it are export-controlled? Nope. As with many items on the Commerce Control List, technical parameters will play a key role.  What are two good places to start when classifying 304 SS?  Check out ECCN 1C999 and 2B999 to learn more.

ECCN Classification

Determining the accurate EAR classification of dual-use items is tricky.  After identifying the proper ECCN that describes your item, you then need to explain to your stakeholders how to abide by the associated EAR compliance requirements (such as needing a government license.)  Unfortunately, product classification is not the child’s play of sorting candy. Our consultants can help “self-classify” your products or prepare a commodity classification request to submit to the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) in the Department of Commerce.  Contact us for more information.


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