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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is an ECCN?

A: ECCNs are five character alpha-numeric designations used on the Commerce Control List (CCL) to identify dual-use items for export control purposes. Export of commercial products from the United States are subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Export Administration Regulations (EAR) sets out controls under the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) within the Commerce Department for exports and re-exports of “dual-use” products (i.e. commodities, technology and software that have both civilian, military or proliferation applications). Exports of “dual-use” products may require an Export License based upon whether or not the product has a specific Export Control Classification Number (ECCN). Ther are ten categories of products characterized by the nature of the product as follows: 0= Nuclear materials, facilities and equipment (and misc. items); 1= Materials, Chemicals, Microorganisms and Toxins; 2= Materials Processing; 3= Electronics; 4= Computers; 5= Telecommunications and Information Security; 6= Sensors and Lasers; 7= Navigation and Avionics; 8= Marine; 9= Propulsion Systems, Space Vehicles, and Related Equipment.

These categories are further divided by five product groups: A = Systems, Equipment, and Components; B = Test, Inspection, and Production; Equipment; C = Material; D = Software; E = Technology

Q: Why do I need an ECCN?

A: Export compliance has become an increasingly difficult area for many companies. With government automation of records and an active effort by U.S. government enforcement personnel, clients are increasingly being subject to export compliance verification questions and investigations. The penalties for non-compliance with respect to exports are significantly higher than for imports. Under strict liability, penalties can be as high as $250,000 per violation. Confirming whether or not a commercial product has an ECCN on the CCL is not a simple process.

Many exports are not EAR99/an ECCN required. A significant amount of commercial products are not listed on the CCL, do not have an ECCN, and are designated as EAR99 generally not requiring a license to be exported or re-exported. However, a surprising number of products are legally required to have an ECCN on the AES EEI filing and are on the CCL. Representative products many wrongly believe are EAR99 that have an ECCN include certain types of:

  • agitators
  • air compressors
  • bearings/assemblies
  • boat engines & parts
  • cameras & underwater cameras
  • cattle prods
  • certain pharmaceutical samples/products
  • chemicals
  • common software
  • compasses
  • composites & products made from them (gaskets, seals, etc.)
  • computers
  • diagnostic testing kits
  • diesel engines and parts
  • equipment capable of handling biological materials
  • genetic elements
  • genetically modified organisms
  • GPS
  • guns & parts
  • heat exchangers
  • high voltage direct current power supplies
  • human & zoonotic pathogens
  • hunting & target shooting scopes
  • incinerators
  • laptops & PC's
  • lasers
  • life jackets
  • machine tools
  • medical testing kits
  • multi-walled piping
  • night vision equipment
  • oscilloscopes
  • personalized "smart cards"
  • plastics & polymers
  • piping
  • polygraphs
  • power supplies
  • pumps
  • reaction vessels
  • remotely operated filling equipment
  • restraint devices
  • rifle scopes
  • scuba gear
  • semiconductors
  • software
  • storage tanks
  • two way radios
  • vaccines
  • valves
  • wet suits
  • X-box 360 game system
  • X-ray machines

Q: What is the cost?

A: Cost is based on the number of users as follows:

1-3 users = $3,500

4-10 users = $5,000

11-20 users = $6,500

21-50 users = $10,000

50 plus users = contact us for special pricing

Q: How does ECCNSelect® work?

A: ECCNSelect® is a decision tree used to narrow down the answer to a specific ECCN. By responding to a series of technical yes/no questions pertaining to the product, this software will provide a specific ECCN, indicate if the product is EAR99, or if the product is controlled by another government agency.

Q: How many classifications can I do a month/year?

A: Number of classifications are unlimited per user.

Q: Can anyone see my data?

A: No. All information is secured by an SSL certificate and accessed by registered users with passwords to ensure there is no unauthorized access to confidential information.

Q: Can I run the software in-house, rather than on the web?

A: No. ECCNSelect® is a very dynamic software program that functions only as an online tool.

Q: Can ECCNSelect® link to our ERP?

A: The ECCNSelect® reports can be sent to your ERP, but requires some interface work with your IT department.

Q: Do I need specific software/hardware version or web browser in order to use the software?

A: No specific hardware version is required. The web browser should be at least Internet Explorer version 8 or higher.

Q: Can ECCNSelect® help me if I am audited?

A: Yes. The software retains all of your responses and allows you to generate a PDF report that can be printed or saved to your hard drive. This report shows auditors exactly how you determined the classification.

Q: Does ECCNSelect® tell me if I need a license?

A: No. The software is designed only to assist with the classification process and provide assistance in record maintenance as required in the EARs.

Q: If I don't know the answer to a question, can I pause and get an answer?

A: Yes. The software allows you to stop classifications at any point, make changes, and resume the same classification later at your convenience.

Q: Can I go back and change my responses?

A: Yes. The software allows you to change or revise any answer to any question at any time and continue the classification process from the point where the change was made.

Q: Where do I go if I cannot answer the question?

A: Your technical staff is the best resource for obtaining specific answers regarding your products.

Q: Can the ECCNSelect® team help me classify my product and does that cost extra?

A: No, however we can refer you to an outside source for classification assistance. Contact us for details.

Q: Can a chemical product be classified by using a C.A.S. number?

A: Yes. A specific C.A.S. number can be entered and also a partial chemical name can be entered to receive a classification.

Q: What kind of background or experience do I need in order to use the software?

A: ECCNSelect® is a web based software that requires no specific training to use. However, it is significant that the user has the technical knowledge of the product being classified to answer the questions correctly.

Q: How much training do I need to use the software system?

A: Training is generally not required as we strive to make the software user friendly. However, an online demo of the software can be requested. We also offer technical support.

Q: When BIS updates the ECCN list, how long before the changes are made to the software system?

A: Whenever there is an update to the Commerce Control List every effort is made to update the software within 24 business hours. Substantial changes to the ECCN list will require additional time for updates.

Q: Is there a way to shorten the number of questions I have to answer?

A: It is possible, and is already available on some commodities including Valves, Pumps, Bearings, Bearing Assembly, Night Vision, Power Supply, Lasers, and Cameras. Provide us the product you would like to streamline and we will add it to the index.