U.S Commerce Department Implements 2011 Wassenaar Arrangement Update

U.S. Commerce Department Implements 2011 Wassenaar Arrangement Update

In a quick turnaround, the US Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) updated the Commerce Control List (CCL) in July to reflect this latest Wassenaar revision, which includes some positive changes for the semiconductor and PV industries. Since 1996, the Wassenaar Arrangement has served as the primary international authority governing the transfer of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies.  This multilateral export control regime exists to support global security standards and reinforce a nation’s existing control mechanisms.

The 17th annual Wassenaar Arrangement plenary session took place this past December with 41 member-nations convening in Vienna to revise the Arrangement’s list of dual-use good and technologies.  A primary focus of this year’s regulatory revision was to make the control lists more user-friendly for licensing authorities and exporters.  The changes also look to improve the detection and denial of undesirable exports.  Overall, the Wassenaar (and CCL) update should increase harmony in dual-use regulations across the globe. 

Prior to the December meeting, SEMI and its members worked to ensure that this plenary session would be productive for our industry and we are pleased to report such substantial progress.  We now encourage companies to carefully review the regulation and the updated CCL to determine how these changes affect your business. 

Some key areas of focus:

1)    Metal Organic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD) Equipment (3B001.a.2):  Wassenaar members determined that MOCVD equipment no longer merits inclusion on the Sensitive List.  While it originally had been added due to use in high frequency semiconductor devices used for military applications, this type of equipment is now primarily used to produce devices for mass market consumer application.  With the removal from the Sensitive List, BIS has made MOCVD equipment eligible for both GBS and CIV license exceptions.  The CIV exception is especially notable since previously epitaxial growth equipment, classified as 3B001a.1, was the sole type of semiconductor equipment eligible for this exception.

2)    Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (PECVD) Equipment (3B001.d): All PECVD equipment has been decontrolled, as Wassenaar members agreed that it is "widely available and does not merit control because it is overwhelmingly used in civil consumer applications."

3)    Hetero-Epitaxial Materials (3C001): A note was added to 3C001.d with the goal of decreasing controls on LEDs while keeping controls on laser diodes that can be used for non-civil purposes.

4)    Technology Control (3E003): Paragraph 3E003.b was revised to add the word "electronic" to "hetero-structure semiconductor electronic devices."  The purpose is to clarify that 3E003 is not intended to include LEDs or solar cells.


SEMI will continue to work in support of streamlined export mechanisms for its members.  As an advocate for progressive improvements to global export control regimes, we hope to increase productivity within the semiconductor and PV industries while also supporting regional and international security and stability.  For more information on this, or other export control issues, please contact Taylor Sholler, manager, Americas Public Policy at tsholler@semi.org

August 7, 2012