ECCN Number

ECCN Number: The Complete FAQ Guide

This guide answers all questions you have been asking about the ECCN number.

Whether you want to know about the requirements, charges, or minimum shipment value that qualifies for ECCN number, you will find everything in this guide.

Keep reading to learn more.

What is the ECCN Number?

ECCN refers to an abbreviated form of the Export Control Classification Number.

It consists of alphanumeric characters and is typically used in the classification and identification of different types of products.

Most of the items identified and classified using the ECCN number have applications for defense or military purposes.

The classification of ECCN is also based on product category, group, series, and the sequential numbering of the items.

ECCN number is derived from the nature and technical specifications of the products.

This entails the type of commodity and technology, among other aspects.

In many instances, it also requires a meticulous study to comprehend the item appropriately before attempting classification.

Technically, it is the record exporter’s responsibility to know whether their exported commodities have ECCN or not.



What is the comparison among ECCN, HS code, and HTS code?

All these numbers or codes are essential in facilitating the efficiency of international business.

However, they tend to vary slightly on specific grounds, especially when it comes to the purpose in international trade.

Here is how these codes vary in international shipping;

· ECCN Number

This refers to a five-digit alphanumeric designation used in CCL to identify specific products for export control purposes.

After you identify the ECCN number, you can figure out the reasons for controlling the item.

It also allows you to know the transactions, which may need an export license depending on the specific country of destination.

You may also determine the products with export license applications using the ECCN number.

· HS Code

HS code structure

HS Code

This is a six-digit classification number used for identifying the tax rates for particular commodities.

It is used mostly by the customs authorities since it makes it easier for them to determine the duty and tax payable for an item.

In many cases, you use HS code when referencing the classification with your customers, vendors, and retailers, among others.

Most countries often add additional digits to the HS number to further differentiate products in particular categories.

Ostensibly, these extra digits usually vary in different countries.

· HTS Code

This is a 10-digit number used in import classification systems, specifically in the United States.

The HTS code is administered by the US International Trade Commission (ITC).

Moreover, commodity duty is often evaluated based on the HTS number classification.

HTS code and HS code take a similar format for the first six digits. However, the former has four different last digits.

If you are importing to the US, it is mandatory to use the HTS code.

How do you get ECCN Number?

There are several means, which can explore when in need of an ECCN number for your products.

Whenever you require this number, some of the options you always explore include the following;

· Talking to the Manufacturer

In many instances, manufacturers often have an ECCN number assigned to them.

It thus makes it easy for you to get if from them provide it to you whenever you want to export certain products.

· Commerce Control List

This refers to a list of categories and product groups used in enabling you to determine the necessity of an export license for U.S exports.

Therefore, you can simply go through this list carefully to determine the right ECCN number for your product.

Check through the specific categories and capture the right ECCN number, which closely fits your product.

· Electronic Request for Item Classification

Also known as ERIC, it is an online process allowing you to obtain the ECCN number for your respective commodity.

To start with this process, you’ll have to visit the BIS website. You’ll get a PIN code to use for applying online.

· Requesting from BIS

You can as well write from the BIS to request your ECCN.

This involves using of BIS multipurpose application form known as BIS-748P.

However, this often takes between 3-4 weeks. Therefore, if you choose to go in this direction, ensure you apply relatively early.

How is ECCN Number related to CCL?

Commerce Control List (CCL) is a list, which identifies the items regulated by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS).

This list makes it possible for you to determine whether the specific product group you are exporting requires licenses.

Ideally, a proper review of CCL makes it easy and necessary to determine the product’s ECCN.

The first ECCN digit represents the category of an item as outlined by the CCL.

Each of these categories is further subdivided into five product groups.

The sub-divided product group gives the second character of the ECCN.

The final digits in the ECCN number are provided by CCL and are dependent on the particular characteristics and functions of an item.

The product groups under CCL entail the following;

1) System, equipment, and related components

2) Test, inspection & production equipment

3) Material

4) Software

5) Technology

Are there Requirements for ECCN classification Requests?


In many instances, every request is restricted to five items.

However, there can be exceptions on a case-by-case basis for numerous related commodities.

But this is pegged on substantiation and documentation of the relationship between products.

It is always recommended to attach brochures, descriptive literature, or technical specifications.

This allows the licensing officials to determine the right ECCN.

On form BIS-748P, you need to complete blocks 1-5, block 14 and block 22 (b, c, i, j).

If there is a need for more space for technical specification in block 22 (j), you can use Appendix Form 748 PA for additional space.

It is also necessary to attempt to identify the product.

After completing, you need to sign the form and submit to BIS at their respective address.

How can you find a Product on the Commerce Control List?

Ideally, CCL is divided into ten classifications.

The first numerical character in the ECCN is for the identification category within which the specific entry falls.

For instance, 4A001 is in category 4; computers.

The list of CCL product categories is as follows;

0. Nuclear elements, Facilities and Equipment, and Miscellaneous

  1. Chemical materials, toxins, and Micro-organisms
  2. Materials processing
  3. Electronics
  4. Computers
  5. Telecommunication and Information security
  6. Sensors
  7. Navigation and Avionics
  8. Marine
  9. Propulsion systems, Space vehicles, and related equipment

In principle, each item is arranged by a group in each category.

The second character (alpha) indicates under which the respective groups the product is listed.

For instance, 3A001 would be in group A, equipment, assemblies as well as components.

Every category entails similar five groups, which are;

A. Equipment, Assemblies & Components

B. Test, Inspection & Production Equipment

C. Materials

D. Software

E. Technology

The rest of the digits are for identifying the purpose for control related to the item.

Ideally, you do not necessarily need to identify the specific reasons for controls associated with particular digits.

There is always a brief product description provided next to every ECCN.

You’ll also see the license requirements, license exceptions, and a list of items controlled sections.

Once you determine where your product fits within the CCL, you’ll need to use information in the License Requirement section.

This allows you to determine if there is a necessity for obtaining a license for the item.

You also need to check the Country Chart to ensure the license is not required for shipments exported to that specific country.

There is a possibility the specific product may not require a license.

However, due to the country of destination or the ultimate user, the shipment may still need an export license.

For items, which need a license, the CCL also outlines the specific reasons for control of the product.

Some of the reasons include Anti-terrorism (AT), National Security (NS); Regional Stability (RS); High-level computer (XP), and Missile Technology (MT).

Others include Crime Control (CC); Chemical and Biological Weapons (BC); Short Supply (SS); Significant Items (SI); and Encryption Item (EI) among others.

Are there Charges for Submitting a License Application to BIS?

Not at all.

You are never charged any fee when applying for a license application.

There are also no charges when applying a commodity request to BIS.

What is the Importance of ECCN Number?

ECCN number is an essential step in export compliance.

Ideally, it comes in handy in determining whether an export license is required to export a commodity.

This number is also essential for your shipment related to concerns regarding the parties to the transaction and the product’s ultimate use.

It allows you to refrain from unnecessary fines arising from incorrect classification of the product.

Technically, classification mistakes may lead to severe consequences in your business.

Moreover, obtaining the wrong classification may also subject your business to future exports.

Of course, this can be detrimental, mainly if your entity solely relies on international trade.

Thus getting ECCN number enables you to prevent all such incidents from arising.

The ECCN number also allows you to stay up to date with the ever-changing CCL classification.

Ultimately, it enables you always to get updated regarding changes, which might affect your products’ category.

What is the Code Format of ECCN Number?

In principle, ECCN is a five-character alphanumeric code.

For instance, 3A001.

So the format is structured as the following;

  • The format begins with the category from CCL, which the specific product falls into. Ideally, there are ten categories to select from.

Therefore, an ECCN code, which starts with digit 3 would be electronics.

The ECCN for chemical exported would begin with digit 1.

  • The next element in the code is a letter showing the specific product group.

Technically, there are five different product groups, including systems, material, technology, software, and test equipment.

  • The last 3 digits outline the particular reasons for licensing control on the specific type of item or product.

What is the Difference Between Schedule B and ECCN Number?

These terms are common in international business and can be somewhat confusing, especially for a newbie in this industry.

Schedule B refers to a 10-digit number, typically a subset of HTS codes for the US importers.

In many instances, Schedule B is used by the US government for statistical purposes to monitor US exports.

In other words, Schedule B numbers are codes produced by the U.S Census Bureau.

The essence is to help in tracking trade statistics and measuring value and volume of exports.

Most entities, which export ordinarily prefer using Schedule B codes for their respective commodities instead of HTS codes.

Given the Schedule B codes are a subset of HTS codes, it’s often easier and faster for exporters to classify products under Schedule B than HTS.

On the other hand, ECCN number is 5-digit alphanumeric designations used for classifying products based on their nature.

ECCN is essential in giving the exporter heads-up to determine the right reasons for licensing and respective requirements.

Ideally, ECCN enables you to determine whether or not the product requires special controls before exporting.

What Happens if you Cannot Review a Product on ECCN Number?

In some instances, you may review the CCL and end up convinced your item hardly fits into the parameters of any ECCN classification.

However, this doesn’t in any way you are off the hook from fro export control.

Primarily, end-use and end-user are the reasons controls exist.

In instances where the item does not fit in any ECCN classification, it means it may be designated as EAR99.

Even so, it doesn’t imply that a different agency controls it.

And in such cases, you may export your commodity using the license exception NLR.

This license specifies there is no license required as long as all the following measures are met;

  • Shipping to destinations that are not on the sanctioned destinations list
  • Shipping to individuals or entities is hardly considered a sanctioned entity or denied person. Additionally, the end-user must also never be restricted from the use of that item.
  • Shipping for a type of end-use that does not need higher controls.

If you are exporting a product, which meets all these conditions, it can be referred to as EAR99 (NLR). In this case, NLR refers to “No License Required.”

What is the Minimum Shipment Value that Qualifies for ECCN Number?

ECCN number structure

 ECCN number structure

The value of the shipment does not influence the requirements for obtaining an export license.

Even so, the product’s value may affect the availability of license exceptions and requirements for filing an AES record.

Ostensibly, if an export license is required, it also means the AES filing is a requirement.

What does a Designation of EAR99 mean?

Ideally, most products exported from the U.S do not necessarily require an export license.

EAR99 designation refers to a classification for an item.

It indicates that a specific item is subject to Export Administration Regulation (EAR) but not essentially described in ECCN on CCL.

In other words, it means the item does not fit within the parameters of ECCN.

However, the item can still be subject to EAR but not necessarily under the control of another federal agency.

Such an item can therefore be designated as EAR99 and require no license on the following grounds;

  • The item is not being transported to a prohibited destination
  • The item is no transported to a denied party, sanctioned entity, or forbidden end-user

What is the difference between EAR99 and NLR?

Primarily, EAR99 is a classification designation for a product subject to the EAR.

However, such a product is not essentially described by an ECCN on the Commerce Control List.

NLR, on the other hand, is an acronym for No License Required, is a shipment designation.

You may use NLR for either EAR99 products or items on CCL, which do not require an export license for the destination, end-use, and end-user.

Items listed as EAR99 may be shipped under shipment designation NLR.

However, products shipped to a prohibited country, an end-user of concern or in support of prohibited end-use may require a license.

Does ECCN Number influence the need for an Export License?

Not really.

EAR99 items will always ship under the export designation “NLR,” which is a short form of “No License Required.”

However, if you’ll need to get an export license if your proposed export for an EAR99 item exhibits the following measures;

  • Shipped to an embargoed country
  • Shipped to an end-user of concern
  • In support of a prohibited end-use

Export license

 Export license

Do all Products have ECCN Numbers?

Not necessarily.

Most commercial products are not listed on CCL and do not have ECCN.

Thus such products are designated as EAR99.

In many instances, EAR99 products tend to consist of low-level consumer goods and technology among others.

Therefore, they do not essentially require an export license in most situations.

However, there is a specific threshold that your proposed export for the EAR99 item must meet to ship it without an export license.

Sending an EAR99 product to a forbidden country, to an end-user of concern, or in support of prohibited end-use requires this number.

Can you get the ECCN Number over the Phone?

Not at all.

What happens is ECCN number is based on the technical specifications of a specific product.

Essentially, the process for determining one needs meticulous analysis of the item.

Therefore, it is difficult for the commerce department to provide you the ECCN number over the phone.

Nevertheless, BIS has counselors who may come in handy to assist you in understanding ways of self-classifying a product using online resources.

The BIS counselors may also explain the process to submit an official request to BIS to classify on your behalf.

Can a Freight Agent Assist in Obtaining ECCN Number?


Of course, the nature of obtaining the ECCN number is quite meticulous, demanding, and challenging.

In many instances, you could be dealing with multiple clients, business entities, product lines, and different time zones.

Therefore, it would be ideal to seek assistance of a freight forwarder where possible.

Most reputable and competent agents use various reliable online research tools to enhance classification determinations.

Using freight agents also makes it easy for you to obtain custom solutions.

This enables you to deliver quality determinations in a suitable and defendable format.

Moreover, seeking the assistance of this agent is also cost-effective and convenient.

You’ll save a considerable amount of time and resources in the long run.

Also, a freight agent has experience in this sector hence making it easy to enhance the efficiency of the entire process.

Is ECCN Number Permanent?

Not necessarily.

Ideally, the Commerce Control List and ECCNs often change from time to time.

There are instances when items are added to the CCL, specifications of the products are altered or removed.

Additionally, you may have an item, which may have technical specifications other than what was classified earlier.

Therefore, it is necessary to stay up-to-date with the changes to the Commerce Control List that may affect your product classification.

An ideal way of attaining this is by signing up for email notifications of changes to the EAR.

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Contact us now for fast and cost-competitive shipping solutions from China.

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