Speakers at a panel on export control reform at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington on Tuesday said that the part of the US Munitions List (USML) that deals with satellites and related items, Category XV, is the next one to be finalized. Kevin Wolf, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration, said that satellites and another category, covering military electronics, are starting the process of Congressional notification “as soon as we can.” He declined to give a specific timeline for completing that effort and publishing the final rule, beyond that it should be done by “spring and early summer.”
“Satellites will be first, ahead of electronics,” added Brian Nilsson, Director of Non-Proliferation and Export Controls at the National Security Council.
The administration published a draft of the revised Category XV in late May. While generally well received by industry, given that it moved most commercial satellites and their components off the USML and thus no longer under ITAR, one area of concern was the decision to keep “man-rated sub-orbital, orbital, lunar, interplanetary or habitat” spacecraft on the USML. Nearly half of the comments submitted during the public comment period after the release of the draft Category XV list addressed this issue, with the vast majority calling for taking such spacecraft off the list. The panelists at the CSIS event did not directly address this specific issue.