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Commerce, State Depts Remove Some Space-Related Items from Export Control List

The departments of State and Commerce have moved space-related equipment from the U.S. Munitions List to the Commerce Control List as part of revisions to the May 2014 export control rules, Space News reported Thursday.

Jeff Foust writes the revised rules took effect Jan. 15 and were published in the Jan. 10 issue of the Federal Register.

Space-related items that were removed from USML and will no longer be subject to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations include remote sensing systems for satellites with an aperture threshold of 0.5 meters, up from 0.35 meters in 2014, and NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope.

Foust reports industry called for the government to increase the aperture threshold of optical systems for satellites from 0.35 to 1.1 meters.

The State Department said in its notice that the approved threshold increase seeks “to reflect the current status of technology that provides the United States with a critical military or intelligence advantage and warrants control on the USML.”

The updated rules also retained to the munitions list space vehicles with integrated propulsion systems and designed for human space flight missions, the report added.

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