Happy Days Are Here Again

Posted by at 5:00 pm on July 21, 2011
Category: BISCCL

Yay!Back in February, this blog lamented the change in the format of the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”) on the website of the Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”). The agency deleted the PDF version of the regulations, which was clearly organized and could be easily downloaded and/or printed.

The PDF version was then replaced with the e-CFR version which, among other things, put the entire Commerce Control List (“CCL”) on one HTML page, making it very difficult to navigate to and from the various ECCNs. The e-CFR version also could not be downloaded or printed. This difficulty was further exacerbated by the notoriously slow response time of the Government Printing Office servers, meaning that you could often read War and Peace from cover to cover before a requested page loaded. Worse yet, statements from BIS staff suggested that the new format was easier for the agency to maintain and was here to stay.

Well, I am happy to report that recently — I don’t know exactly when — the old format has returned. Click here to see for yourself. Better yet, the old PDF version had the search function disabled, but you can freely search throughout these new PDF versions. Also, the ECCN references appear to be hyperlinked to the ECCNs themselves, although those hyperlinks are not currently working. If the export community is appropriately grateful, and if we all think good things about BIS for this happy reversion, maybe those ECCN hyperlinks will be activated and start working sometime down the road.

If, for some reason, you became unaccountably attached to the e-CFR version of the EAR and the CCL, you can still find it here.


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Copyright © 2011 Clif Burns. All Rights Reserved.
(No republication, syndication or use permitted without my consent.)


Indeed–this is excellent news! Thank you BIS!

Comment by Maria on July 21st, 2011 @ 8:09 pm

Yes; good news! Thanks again to you Clif for keeping your eyes and ears open for things like this. You don’t know how much your efforts with this blog are appreciated!!!

Comment by GW on July 22nd, 2011 @ 8:22 am

Wow- best news I’ve heard in a while. Thanks Clif!

Comment by Debra S on July 22nd, 2011 @ 11:30 am

Wonderful! Thank you! Now if they would only get their act together regarding the paper versions of the EAR, which we have relied heavily on after the eCFR debacle. The NTIS printing format is confusing as heck with basic, useful formatting tools such as indents, italics, and bolding out the window making it mass confusion to understand more than it was already just based on content. In addition, NTIS promised, with their 2011 subscriptions, to provide email changes (rather than quarterly print updates) no later than 2 days after the FR notice was posted. To date there have been approx. 17 changes to the EAR in the FR this year. Number of emails from NTIS: a grand total of zero. Apparently, NTIS has, for the past eight months, some mysterious technlogy issues figuring out how to launch a collective email listserv for registered customers. Which would be fine (sorta) if NTIS or GPO were still publishing the quarterly updates. But none of those have been seen either. Does Commerce really care whether or not the trade community has an up-to-date, user friendly version of their regulations? Apparently not. I know that Commerce doesn’t “own” GPO, but they should have some influence. But NTIS is, last I checked, under Commerce. So no excuse there. Shame on Commerce. Let’s put reform on pause for just long enough to tend back to basics, ay?

Comment by GH on July 22nd, 2011 @ 12:05 pm

Searchable? Woo hoo!

Comment by Chris W. on July 22nd, 2011 @ 12:25 pm

Think We can get the legel web site updated to point us here instead of GPO Access, after all this new site is owned by the dept of commerece which own the EAR. Seems they would have updates 1st here anyway.

Comment by Scott on July 22nd, 2011 @ 2:48 pm

Commerce mentioned during the Update conference that the old format wS being made a ailable again.

Comment by Kathleen OKeefe on July 23rd, 2011 @ 1:31 pm

The only good thing about the eCFR was that it allowed you to do a word search of the entire CCL without having to open each category separately and do a new word search. I don’t suppose it makes sense to have a single PDF of the whole CCL?

Comment by Kay Morrell on July 25th, 2011 @ 7:30 am

This information is Very good news even for Japanese re-exporters!
I wish DDTC would start the latest ITAR service in the same way.
Thank you, Clif.

Comment by Kengo on July 26th, 2011 @ 5:02 am