Last month the Defense Department released the final version of the so-called “Section 1248″ report describing the national security implications of moving satellites and related components off the US Munitions List (USML) and thus out of the restrictive jurisdiction of ITAR. The report found that most items can, in fact, be moved off the USML to the less restrictive Commerce Control List (CCL), with the exception of purely military and intelligence satellites and component unique to them as well as remote sensing satellites with “high performance parameters”.
The report, named after the section of the 2010 defense authorization bill that called for it, was due two years ago; administration officials said at a briefing about the report at the National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs that the effort got caught up in broader export control reform efforts, although an interim report was provided by the Pentagon to Congress a year ago. The final report, officials hope, will help efforts in Congress to move the identified space-related items off the USML, something that can only be done through legislation since those items were added to the USML by law in the late 1990s.
The prospect for such reform is the subject of a couple of events this week in Washington. On Wednesday the AIAA and the American Bar Association are cohosting a “Conversation on Export Controls” on Capitol Hill, featuring a number of executives and government officials to discuss the Section 1248 report and its implications for export control reform. Thursday afternoon the Export Control Working Group of the FAA’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) will meet to discuss the Section 1248 report and related issues. That event features Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), ranking member of the Select Committee on Intelligence.