BIS announces review of emerging technology controls

November, 2018

Emerging technologies may be considered ‘essential to US national security’.

BIS announces review of emerging technology controls

The US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (‘BIS’) is seeking public comment on the criteria for identifying emerging technologies ‘essential to US national security’. An advance notice of proposed rulemaking (‘ANPRM’) was published on 19 November. The process, launched under s1758 of the Export Control Reform Act 2018 (‘ECRA’), is intended to identify technologies that currently fall outside the remit of existing US export control regimes, or are subject only to limited controls. BIS will then consider effective ways to impose export controls on those technologies. A separate ANPRM will be issued concerning foundational technologies ‘that may be important to US national security’; although views are also sought on the separation of ‘foundational’ and ‘emerging’ technologies.

Emerging technologies may be considered ‘essential to US national security’ if they either have ‘potential conventional weapons, intelligence collection, weapons of mass destruction, or terrorist applications or could provide the United States with a qualitative military or intelligence advantage.’ The categories of technology from which new, currently uncontrolled technologies may emerge are broadly identified in the ANPRM as:

  1. Biotechnology
  2. Artificial intelligence (‘AI’) and machine learning
  3. Position, Navigation, and Timing technology
  4. Microprocessor technology
  5. Advanced computing technology
  6. Data analytics technology
  7. Quantum information and sensing technology
  8. Logistics technology
  9. Additive manufacturing (eg, 3D printing)
  10. Robotics
  11. Brain-computer interfaces
  12. Hypersonics
  13. Advanced materials
  14. Advanced surveillance technologies.

The deadline for comments on the ANPRM is 19 December 2018. Submissions can be made to BIS by post or via the Federal eRulemaking Portal, which can be found at: The identification number for this rulemaking is BIS 2018-0024.

The address is: Regulatory Policy Division, Bureau of Industry and Security, U.S. Department of Commerce, Room 2099B, 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230. Reference no RIN 0694-AH61.


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