Commercial Control List

Commercial Control List: The Ultimate FAQs Guide

In this guide, you will find all information you’re looking for about the commercial control list.

So if you have any questions on the commercial control list, you will find the answer right here.

Keep reading.

What is Commercial Control List?

This refers to a comprehensive outline of product categories and groups used to determine the need for licenses to export to the US.

You can get the license to export from the U.S Department of Commerce.

It is from CCL that ultimately generates the alphanumeric code (4E001), also referred to as the export Control Classification Number(ECCN).

The commercial control list has ten categories and five groups of products.

Commerce Control List

 Commerce Control List

What is the Background and Purpose of Commercial Control List?

The Commercial Control list was established after the Second World War.

It is used in the classification of goods and services, which is important in identifying the required export license.

What are Export Controls?

Export Controls are the federal laws that prevent any unlicensed export of information or some commodities.

These are the laws that seek to restrict any transfer of military or useful technology, goods, services, and information.

These include any technology and equipment used in researching foreign policy and national security.

Some of the export transactions will require written approval or licensing from the government of the United States before exporting.

This happens for the protection of trade or national security reasons.

Export controls can occur for more or any of the following reasons:

  • The nature of export either has economic protection issues or has potential or actual military protections.
  • If the government has any concerns about the organization, individual, or the destination country.
  • The government has concerns about the suspected or declared end-use or even the intended user of the export

Why do I need a Commercial Control List?

You will need the Commercial Control List (CCL) whenever you need to classify your items for export.

This will help you understand which licenses you will need to successfully export your products.

If your item is missing on the CCL, then it will be considered EAR99.

Where can I find the Commercial Control List?

You can get the Commercial Control List in the EAR Supplement from1 up to part 774.

What is the Export Control Classification number in relation to Commercial Control List?

An Export Control Classification Number or ECCN is an alphanumeric key that comprises five characters.

It is vital in a Commerce Control List to help in the classification of goods being exported from the U.S.

The classification number enables you to find out if you require an export license from the Department of commerce.

The ECCN categorizes products based on software, technology, or commodity.

There are 10 categories of ECCN in the CCL, which are further put into 5 product groups.

The initial character on the ECCN identifies broad characteristics like electronic, nuclear materials etc.

The second character on the ECCN represents the product group such as software, material, etc.

What is a Dual-use Product?

A dual-use product is a technology, good and software that you may use for both military and civilian applications.

The European Union controls brokering, export, and transit of dual-use products from the EU.

This helps to prevent an increase in the number of Weapons of Mass Destruction.

It also ensures that they take part in maintaining international peace and security.

It is possible to trade dual-use products freely within the European Union.

This however has an exception to some sensitive items whose transfer requires prior authorization.

How do I determine the ECCN number for my Product?

You can determine your products ECCN number by:

  • The product’s ECCN
  • The exporting destination
  • The intended user
  • And finally the product use

Start by identifying the right classification of your product.

There are three ways of determining the ECCN of your product:

Going to the Source

Contact the manufacturer, developer, or producer of the product.

Find out if their product is classified and if they are able to give you the ECCN.

They likely have the ECCN if they have exported before.

However, you must know that ECCN may change over a while.


For you to perform self-classification, technical knowledge of your product is very key.

You must understand the structure and format of CCL.

With the category and group of your product, match functions and particular characteristics of the product to a specific ECCN.

Request the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) for the Official Classification

Submit commodity classification requests on the internet via the Simplified Network Application Process – Redesign (SNAP-R) system.

You must have theCompany Identification Number (CIN) to access this system online to submit the request.

What are the Parameters of ECCN?

Control Scale

Control Scale

ECCN will categorize depending on the nature of the item i.e. technology, software, commodity type together with its technical aspects.

What Happens if my Product doesn’t Fit the Parameters of the Commercial Control List?

If after careful review you get convinced that your product is not fit for ECCN parameters, it might be set as EAR99.

No agency controls it.

You may then export your product under the license exception NLR with the emphasis that it requires no license.

For this to happen:

  • The product should not be destined to a sanctioned destination, restricted end-user or a sanctioned entity
  • The product is not meant for an end-use subjected to higher controls

How is the Commercial Control list Classified?

Commercial Control List (CCL) is classified into categories labeled from 0 to 9 with each category having 5 groups.

Each of these groups is labeled from letter A to E.

The groups are the same across all the ten categories.

The list of the ten categories has the first number used in identifying the primary category.

The list includes:

  • Category number 0 – Nuclear facilities, materials, and equipment
  • Category number 1 – Special materials together with their related pieces of equipment
  • Category number 2 – Materials processing
  • Category number 3 –The Electronics
  • Category number 4 –Laptops and Computers
  • Category number 5 – Information security and Telecommunications
  • Category number 6 – Lasers and Sensors
  • Category number 7 – Navigation and avionics
  • Category number 8 –The Marine
  • Category number 9 – Aerospace and Propulsion

The next number identifies each group as a sub-category. The group includes:

  • A – Systems, components and equipment
  • B – Tests, inspection, and production equipment
  • C – Materials
  • D – Software
  • E – Technology

The third number classifies the regime from which the item/s originates.

This includes:

  • 0 – Wassenaar Arrangement
  • 1 – Missile Technology Control Regime
  • 2 – Nuclear Suppliers Group
  • 3 – Australia Group
  • 4 – Chemical Weapons Convention

The goods are further classified for a more detailed report on the goods which can be followed by subcategories.

They include:

  • A  to mean Australia Group
  • C to meanCWC (Chemical Weapons Convention)
  • M  to mean TCR (Missile Technology Control Regime)
  • N  to mean (Nuclear Suppliers Group) Dual-Use List
  • T to mean Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) Trigger List
  • W to mean The Wassenaar Agreement
  • WVS to mean Wassenaar Agreement Sensitive List
  • WVS – Wassenaar Agreement Very Sensitive List

The majority of IT items will fall under “4A002a” or “5A002a”– but may not be entirely exclusive.

What are the Licensing Requirements for Items Listed in the Commercial Control List?

For Dual Use/Commercial Technologies, you will need a license from:

  • “Friendly Countries” like all others (South/Central America, European countries, etc.)
  • “Terrorist Supporting Countries” such as Syria, Sudan, North Korea, Iran, Cuba and Libya.
  • “Countries of Concern” such as former Soviet Republics, Vietnam and China.

Licensing Policy (Space Technologies/Military)

  • The policy of Denial: States that sponsor terrorism (Syria, Sudan, North Korea, Iran, Cuba, and Libya) and arms embargo (Haiti, Liberia, PR China, Sudan, Somalia, and Burma). Others include Vietnam, Belarus, and Iraq.
  • The policy of Denial will be based on the item or the end-user: Congo, Rwanda, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

How do I determine if my Products require Licensing?

If the items you intend to export are listed in the Commercial Control List, you need to have an export license.

The process of obtaining it can be lengthy probably two to three months.

If you manage to get the approval, it may come with restrictive conditions.

What is EAR99 in relation to Commercial Export Control?

EAR99 is a way of classifying a product.

It is essential in indicating that a particular product can be subjected to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).

However, the product may not be specifically defined by the ECCN (Export Control Classification Number).

Even though this classification is used in describing the item, the shipment authorization for the product might change.

This will depend on the circumstances of the transaction.

You can export EAR99 products without the license.

As the exporter, you may still have to perform proper and careful due diligence to ensure that you understand the product.

License will be necessary if you are exporting to an embargoed country, restricted end-user or is meant for use in prohibited end-use.

Examples of EAR99

Examples of EAR99

How do I Export an EAR99 item from the US?

EAR99 items can easily be exported without necessarily having to apply for a license.

Therefore, it is important to exercise due diligence to avoid exporting to these destinations.

What is Commercial Control List Index?

Commercial Control List Index is a list of items that are controlled for trade.

How do I navigate the CCL using the Commercial Control List Index?

To navigate the CCL using the Commercial Control List Index, you should start by finding your product on the CCL Index.

Once you have a potential ECCN, take time and read through the ECCN on the Commercial Control List index.

Continue and determine if your product is suitable for the parameters of that ECCN.

Check to find if the ECCN entry does have a list under the “Items” heading, which is then divided into subparagraph(s).

If so, check whether your product meets the technical parameters listed in the ECCN category.

Before you find the correct ECCN entry, you may have to review several ECCN descriptions.

How do I apply for an Export License in the US?

Here is the procedure for applying for export license in the US:

Obtaining your CIN

You must have a company identification number (CIN).

CIN is the unique identifier used by the Department of Commerce to track all your international trade activities and liabilities.

You can get the CIN by filling company registration request form at the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security website.

Research Export Controls

You have to make yourself familiar with the Department of Commerce’s export controls.

The federal government does not allow the export of products that may be used for military purposes in other countries.

For example, the Department of Energy does not allow the export of any products that can be used in the creation of nuclear weapons.

Applying for the Export License

Some products like the basic consumer goods that have no particular technological sophistication, may be exported without necessarily having a license.

Otherwise, you will need to visit the Department of Commerce’s SNAP-R website to apply for the license if it is necessary.

You must be careful to read all the specific instructions.

Export licenses are additional licenses to normal business requirements that are necessary and are not meant to replace any of them.

What is a Sanctioned Country?

Sanctioned country refers to a country restricted from trading with certain countries like the US.

Several sanctions may be placed for a country.

For trade sanctions, commercial and financial penalties are imposed by the sanctioning country to target an individual, organization, group, or country.

What is Considered a Foreign Entity for Purposes of Export Control in the US?

They include:

  • The foreign government
  • Any foreign organizations not incorporated or organized for doing business in the U.S
  • Any individual not registered as a U.S citizen or a lawful permanent resident in the U.S.

What does ‘Deemed’ Export mean in US Export Control?

‘Deemed’ export is disclosure or export transfer for controlled items, including technology and information to someone l or foreign entity within the U.S.

The releases are considered as an export to the home country of the foreign individual.

It can happen by such means as:

  • Touring to laboratories
  • Involving foreign students or foreign researchers in the research
  • Visual Inspection, emails or oral exchanges

What are the Common Export Laws in the US?

There exist several laws that are meant to control the export of goods and services from the U.S.

Some of the government agencies responsible for the implementation of these laws are:

The EAR is the one that regulates the export of “dual-use” goods and services identified on the Commerce Control List.

State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) implements the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) laws.

The laws apply to goods and services that are military in nature.

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is responsible for implementing the trade and economic sanctions.

 Military Equipment

Military Equipment

What are the Consequences for Violating Export Control Rules and Regulations in the US?

Violating Export Control Rules and Regulations in the US can lead to very severe actions and penalties.

Some of the administrative penalties are:

Warning Letter

these are administrative determinations indicating that a violation has occurred.

It also indicates there is a “good faith effort” or mitigating factor in trying to comply with the required laws.

It shows that an investigation has been indicated and that there are no aggravating factors.

Interim Suspension/Denial Order

This denies the sanctioned party privileges of exporting from the U.S.

It also denies any other access to any goods and services originating from the U.S.

The sanctions are supposed to exist for a specified period.

These restrictions can apply to specific goods or specific destinations.

Seizure and Forfeiture

This applies to any commodities or technical data intended for export from the U.S.

They are goods that have violated the export control rules and regulations and are held by the authorities.

They are seized and forfeited, including any vehicles that were carrying the commodities or the technical data.


This is the exclusion from practicing or denial of exporting privileges.

It involves revoking contracts, denial of funding, debarring from government contracts as well as implementing extra measures of compliance.

How do I prevent Potential Export Violations when Shipping from the US?

Whenever you are exporting from the US, you should be very careful not to break the laws associated with exports.

You shall breach the law if, for example, you mistakenly export to Iran products intended for the UAE.

You carry the risk associated with exportation.

It is therefore necessary that you do the due diligence to prevent any situations from coming up.

For that matter, it is important to:

  • Make sure you comply with the regulations
  • Get to understand the laws and regulations that may affect where you are exporting
  • Understand your customers
  • Understand the fines and penalties you are likely to face if you break the law

Are there any Exemptions to US Export Control Requirements?

Yes, there are some exemptions. They include:

  • Fundamental Research Exclusion
  • Educational Information
  • Publicly Available Information

How do I ship a Controlled Item or Commodity out of the United States?

There is control by the export regulations in the transfer of equipment and commodities whenever you are shipping products out of the U.S.

There are licenses that you will need to have even if the product results from the fundamental research.

However, you can have a valid exception license (EAR) or License exemption (ITAR).

You will require a license to ship from the US if your product is under the control of ITAR.

Under the EAR, the item and country you intend to ship to will determine whether you will need a license or not.

Sometimes is not mandatory to have an approved license from the Department of Commerce to ship outside the country.

However, you will still be required to maintain other administrative requirements.

This is in addition to maintaining records about the shipment of EAR-controlled products outside of the United States.

What is the Impact of Export Controls on the US Shipping Industry?

Since the end of World War II, the U.S remained top producer and exporter of highly demanded goods and services globally.

Export controls have however contributed to competitive difficulties in the United States.

This has imposed a very significant burden on the economy of the U.S.

Apart from the Export Controls; other factors collectively contribute to the competitive challenges in the U.S.

However, unlike the other factors, the export controls can be largely modified by the changes in the U.S.

This ameliorates the negative effects if not totally eliminating them.

Terms and conditions for the export controls will change from time to time.

This requires agencies to keep on adjusting as well as modifying the regulations to apply and enforce the new laws.

There is also the impact brought about by the presidential executive orders.

They can instantly change whatever export control is or how some activities are regulated.

Although sometimes there are specific exclusions from export controls, the exclusions come with attached terms and conditions.

Many SMEs are not able to strictly comply with the export control enough.

Many businesses do not have the money, time, or staff resources to adhere to the export control requirements.

I hope you got all information you need to know about the commercial control list.

However, in case you have any questions, feel free to contact the Bandar team.

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