Enemy Act. The objective of the embargo is to demonstrate the unwillingness of the United States to maintain normal trade relations with embargoed countries until they take steps to improve relations and/or change their political behavior.

  • South Africa9 The United States maintains controls, with the presumption of denial, on the export of all national security controlled commodities and technical data to South African military and police entities. Munitions are controlled to all entities pursuant to the United Nations arms embargo of South Africa. In addition, the export of aircraft, helicopters, crude oil, refined petroleum products, and computers and software to any end user in South Africa requires an individual license.

  • Biological organisms10 The United States maintains controls on the export of certain viruses and bacteria to all destinations except Canada. These controls are intended to prevent the development of weapons for biological warfare.

  • Nuclear nonproliferation11 Nuclear controls are maintained by the United States for reasons of nonproliferation. License requirements are imposed on commodities and technologies that could be significant for nuclear explosive purposes. Products and technologies affected include, in addition to those contributing directly to nuclear explosives, those that could be used in the production of special nuclear material or equipment. In addition, all commodities and technical data are controlled to sensitive nuclear production facilities in all countries.

  • Missile technology controls12 This section of the EAR lists certain types of equipment and related technical data that require an individual license for export to all destinations except the United Kingdom, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Canada, Italy, Spain, Japan, and the Benelux countries. The primary factors for consideration in licensing decisions also are listed.

  • Chemical weapons13 The United States maintains individual license requirements on the export of 50 precursor chemicals that could be used in the manufacture of chemical weapons. Currently, there is a presumption of denial for exports to Libya, Iran, Iraq, and Syria and to any other destination if there is reason to believe that the chemicals will be used in the production of chemical weapons or otherwise be devoted to chemical warfare purposes.

License Processing


Three agencies are most prominently involved in national security license processing and review. In the Commerce Department, the Bureau of Export Administration (BXA) administers the licensing process for items on the

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