translated into various entries on the U.S. Munitions List and Commodity Control List. Most of the items listed in the annex fall on the Munitions List.

Chemical agents or chemical weapons are controlled under the authority of the Arms Export Control Act, and chemicals that may be precursors of chemical weapons are considered dual use and are controlled under the Export Administration Act. The Australia Group has identified a core list of 11 chemical weapons precursors and a warning list of 39 precursors. The Department of Commerce administers these controls.


The Arms Export Control Act is the basis for the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), which contain the U.S. Munitions List. According to the 1976 AECA, "The President is authorized to designate those items which shall be considered as defense articles and defense services." Four considerations are listed in the ITAR for determining whether something is a defense item:

  1. Whether an item "is deemed inherently military in character."

  2. Whether an item "has a predominantly military application."

  3. The fact that an item has military and civil uses "does not in and of itself determine" whether it is classified as a defense article.

  4. "Intended use . . . is also not relevant" to an item's classification. 3

The AECA and, in turn, the President give the State Department complete authority to determine whether an item is a defense article.

The list construction process for the Munitions List is not nearly as lengthy or involved as for the CCL because the ML does not contain the same degree of detail on performance parameters or the technical characteristics of controlled items as found in the CCL. Moreover, a large part of the ML construction process is dynamic in that categories, rather than performance parameters, of items are listed and control determinations often are made on the basis of individual interpretations.


Each October, the Department of Commerce publishes the Export Administration Regulations (EAR),4 which state how the Export Administration Act is to be implemented. Changes are published in the Federal Register to update the EAR during the year. Changes in existing regulations or new regulations are first circulated for interagency review and comment; the Office of Management and Budget also reviews the regulations. Public comments are usually sought and are ordinarily summarized with publication of the final regulation in the Federal Register.

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