New Export Controls Announced: Is your Company in Compliance?


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New Export Controls Announced: Is your Company in Compliance?

Many countries recently have expanded export controls by making additional products subject to export licensing requirements. Is your company in compliance?

Every year, the multilateral Wassenaar Arrangement reviews the control lists that outline which products require export licenses. This is a collaborative effort between the governments of the European Union, Japan, Korea, the United States and others. The purpose is to keep the control lists up-to-date by adding, removing and modifying controls.

Each Wassenaar member implements these changes through their national rule-making process. For example, the controls agreed to during the 2007 review cycle were recently published in the United States and went into effect October 14, 2008. To ensure compliance, companies are urged to check the regulations in all countries where they have operations since implementing regulations can vary among countries. Be aware that these rules often apply to software and technology associated with the listed product.

The updated controls cover the following products (text from www.wassenaar.org):

  • Amended entry for Mask Making Equipment:

    3. B. 1. f. 3. Equipment specially designed for mask making or semiconductor device processing using direct writing methods, having all of the following:

    a. Using deflected focussed electron beam, ion beam or "laser" beam; and

    b. Having any of the following: 1.) A spot size smaller than 0.2 μm; 2.) Being capable of producing a pattern with a feature size of less than 1 μm; or

    3.) An overlay accuracy of better than ± 0.20 μm (3 sigma);

  • New Entry for Resists for Imprint Lithography:

    3. C. 2. e. All resists designed or optimised for use with imprint lithography equipment specified by 3.B.1.f.2. that use either a thermal or photo-curable process. Technical Note: Silylation techniques are defined as processes incorporating oxidation of the resist surface to enhance performance for both wet and dry developing.

  • Amended entry for Selected Materials:

    3. C. 5. Silicon carbide (SiC), gallium nitride (GaN), aluminium nitride (AlN) or aluminium gallium nitride (AlGaN) "substrates", or ingots, boules, or other preforms of those materials, having resistivities greater than 10,000 ohm-cm at 20°C.

  • New Entry for Selected Materials:

    3. C. 6. "Substrates" specified in 3.C.5. with at least one epitaxial layer of silicon carbide, gallium nitride, aluminium nitride or aluminium gallium nitride.

Export Controls Apply to Some Solar Applications Too

The Wassenaar review cycle in 2006 resulted in controls for certain solar products. This control recently went into effect in the United States and companies should check the rules for all countries in which they operate:

  • 3. A. 1. e. 4. Solar cells, cell-interconnect-coverglass (CIC) assemblies, solar panels, and solar arrays, which are "space qualified," having a minimum average efficiency exceeding 20% at an operating temperature of 301 K (28°C) under simulated 'AM0' illumination with an irradiance of 1,367 Watts per square meter (W/m2); Technical Note: 'AM0', or 'Air Mass Zero', refers to the spectral irradiance of sun light in the earth's outer atmosphere when the distance between the earth and sun is one astronomical unit (AU).

All Member Companies Should Review Export Control Lists to Ensure On-Going Compliance

SEMI actively works with governments around the world to advocate for the best interests of the semiconductor and emerging technology equipment and materials industries. This includes providing industry input on export control proposals.

In recent years, we have successfully argued against unnecessary new controls and we have achieved positive changes to the control list, such as the decontrol of semiconductor test equipment. SEMI is pushing for a comprehensive review of the controls for our industry and for improved licensing practices. To learn more, please contact Maggie Hershey at mhershey@semi.org. For more information on the new export controls, visit www.wassenaar.org.

Posted Nov 3, 2008