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  • Final Export Control Regulations Seen As "Improvement"
Oct 2016
WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct.14, 2016 — Final export control regulations released by the federal government regarding key photonic areas are an “improvement” over last year’s proposal, according to leaders of SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

"These final rules are a positive step forward for the U.S. export control system," said SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs. "The changes will help enhance international commerce in optics and photonics, and will assist research universities trying to provide educational opportunities for both U.S.- and foreign-born students.”

In May 2015, the administration released the first proposed changes to the Category XII rules. SPIE, along with many others in the optics and photonics industry, voiced concerns with the proposal’s direction, as well as the potential of long-term negative impact on the industry.

In the largest response to proposed new rules in any one category in the export control regulations process, 120 companies, associations and universities submitted statements to the Department of State detailing why that proposal was a step back in efforts to reform the system in a positive way.

“The overhead burden for export control compliance is a challenge to these businesses and to university research laboratories where covered products are used or developed,” Arthurs said. “Well-written regulations that are limited to our highest priorities for control are key to reducing that burden."

The initiative was launched in 2009 to allow for better protection while recognizing the economic realities that are important to industry. This approach is meant to strengthen national security, while improving the competitiveness of U.S. businesses.

“SPIE is very pleased with the direction taken in these final rules for Category XII of the U.S. Munitions List and Category VI of the Commerce Control List,” Arthurs said. “We will continue to be involved as a society to build on this success on behalf of the companies and universities we represent.”

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