Executive Order 12981

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By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including but not limited to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et. seq.) ("the Act"), and in order to take additional steps with respect to the national emergency described and declared in Executive Order No. 12924 of August 19, 1994, and continued on August 15, 1995,

I, William J. Clinton, President of the United States of America, find that it is necessary for the procedures set forth below to apply to export license applications submitted under the Act and the Export Administration Regulations (15 C.F.R. Part 730 et. seq.) ("the Regulations") or under any renewal of, or successor to, the Export Administration Act of 1979, as amended (50 U.S.C. App. 2401 et. seq.) ("the Export Administration Act"), and the Regulations. Accordingly, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. License Review.

To the extent permitted by law and consistent with Executive Order No. 12924 of August 19, 1994, the power, authority, and discretion conferred upon the Secretary of Commerce ("the Secretary") under the Export Administration Act to require, review, and make final determinations with regard to export licenses, documentation, and other forms of information submitted to the Department of Commerce pursuant to the Act and the Regulations or under any renewal of, or successor to, the Export Administration Act and the Regulations, with the power of successive redelegation, shall continue. The Departments of State, Defense, and Energy, and the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency each shall have the authority to review any export license application submitted to the Department of Commerce pursuant to the Act and the Regulations or under any renewal of, or successor to, the Export Administration Act and the Regulations. The Secretary may refer license applications to other United States Government departments or agencies for review as appropriate. In the event that a department or agency determines that certain types of applications need not be referred to it, such department or agency shall notify the Department of Commerce as to the specific types of such applications that it does not wish to review. All departments or agencies shall promptly respond, on a case-by-case basis, to requests from other departments or agencies for historical information relating to past license applications.

Section 2. Determinations.

(a) All license applications submitted under the Act and the Regulations or any renewal of, or successor to, the Export Administration Act and the Regulations, shall be resolved or referred to the President no later than 90 calendar days after registration of the completed license application.

(b) The following actions related to processing a license application submitted under the Act and the Regulations or any renewal of, or successor to, the Export Administration Act and the Regulations shall not be counted in calculating the time periods prescribed in this order:

(1) Agreement of the Applicant. Delays upon which the Secretary and the applicant mutually agree.

(2) Prelicense Checks. Prelicense checks through government channels that may be required to establish the identity and reliability of the recipient of items controlled under the Act and the Regulations or any renewal of, or successor to, the Export Administration Act and the Regulations, provided that:

(A) the need for such prelicense check is established by the Secretary, or by another department or agency if the request for prelicense check is made by such department or agency;

(B) the Secretary requests the prelicense check within 5 days of the determination that it is necessary; and

(C) the Secretary completes the analysis of the result of the prelicense check within 5 days.

(3) Requests for Government-To-Government Assurances. Requests for government-to-government assurances of suitable end-use of items approved for export under the Act and the Regulations or any renewal of, or successor to, the Export Administration Act and the Regulations, when failure to obtain such assurances would result in rejection of the application, provided that:

(A) the request for such assurances is sent to the Secretary of State within 5 days of the determination that the assurances are required;

(B) the Secretary of State initiates the request of the relevant government within 10 days thereafter; and

(C) the license is issued within 5 days of the Secretary's receipt of the requested assurances. Whenever such prelicense checks and assurances are not requested within the time periods set forth above, they must be accomplished within the time periods established by this section.

(4) Multilateral Reviews. Multilateral review of a license application as provided for under the Act and the Regulations or any renewal of, or successor to, the Export Administration Act and the Regulations, as long as multilateral review is required by the relevant multilateral regime.

(5) Consultations. Consultation with other governments, if such consultation is provided for by a relevant multilateral regime or bilateral arrangement as a precondition for approving a license.

Sec. 3. Initial Processing.

Within 9 days of registration of any license application, the Secretary shall, as appropriate:

(a) request additional information from the applicant. The time required for the applicant to supply the additional information shall not be counted in calculating the time periods prescribed in this section.

(b) refer the application and pertinent information to agencies or departments as stipulated in section 1 of this order, and forward to the agencies any relevant information submitted by the applicant that could not be reduced to electronic form.

(c) assure that the stated classification on the application is correct; return the application if a license is not required; and, if referral to other departments or agencies is not required, grant the application or notify the applicant of the Secretary's intention to deny the application.

Sec. 4. Department or Agency Review.

(a) Each reviewing department or agency shall specify to the Secretary, within 10 days of receipt of a referral as specified in subsection 3(b), any information not in the application that would be required to make a determination, and the Secretary shall promptly request such information from the applicant. If, after receipt of the information so specified or other new information, a reviewing department or agency concludes that additional information would be required to make a determination, it shall promptly specify that additional information to the Secretary, and the Secretary shall promptly request such information from the applicant. The time that may elapse between the date the information is requested by the reviewing department or agency and the date the information is received by the reviewing department or agency shall not be counted in calculating the time periods prescribed in this order. Such information specified by reviewing departments or agencies is in addition to any information that may be requested by the Department of Commerce on its own initiative during the first 9 days after registration of an application.

(b) Within 30 days of receipt of a referral and all required information, a department or agency shall provide the Secretary with a recommendation either to approve or deny the license application. As appropriate, such recommendation may be with the benefit of consultation and discussions in interagency groups established to provide expertise and coordinate interagency consultation. A recommendation that the Secretary deny a license shall include a statement of the reasons for such recommendation that are consistent with the provisions of the Act and the Regulations or any renewal of, or successor to, the Export Administration Act and the Regulations and shall cite both the statutory and the regulatory bases for the recommendation to deny. A department or agency that fails to provide a recommendation within 30 days with a statement of reasons and the statutory and regulatory bases shall be deemed to have no objection to the decision of the Secretary.

Sec. 5. Interagency Dispute Resolution.

(a) Committees. (1)(A) Export Administration Review Board. The Export Administration Review Board ("the Board"), which was established by Executive Order No. 11533 of June 4, 1970, and continued in Executive Order No. 12002 of July 7, 1977, is hereby continued. The Board shall have as its members, the Secretary, who shall be Chair of the Board, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Energy, and the Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of Central Intelligence shall be nonvoting members of the Board. No alternate Board Members shall be designated, but the acting head or deputy head of any member department or agency may serve in lieu of the head of the concerned department or agency. The Board may invite the heads of other United States Government departments or agencies, other than the departments or agencies represented by the Board members, to participate in the activities of the Board when matters of interest to such departments or agencies are under consideration.

(B) The Secretary may, from time to time, refer to the Board such particular export license matters, involving questions of national security or other major policy issues, as the Secretary shall select. The Secretary shall also refer to the Board any other such export license matter, upon the request of any other member of the Board or the head of any other United States Government department or agency having any interest in such matter. The Board shall consider the matters so referred to it, giving due consideration to the foreign policy of the United States, the national security, the domestic economy, and concerns about the proliferation of armaments, weapons of mass destruction, missile delivery systems, and advanced conventional weapons and shall make recommendations thereon to the Secretary.

(2) Advisory Committee on Export Policy. An Advisory Committee on Export Policy ("ACEP") is established and shall have as its members the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration, who shall be Chair of the ACEP, and Assistant Secretary-level representatives of the Departments of State, Defense, and Energy, and the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. Appropriation representatives of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and of the Nonproliferation Center of the Central Intelligence Agency shall be nonvoting members of the ACEP. Representatives of the departments or agencies shall be the appropriate Assistant Secretary or equivalent (or appropriate acting Assistant Secretary or equivalent in lieu of the Assistant Secretary or equivalent) of the concerned department or agency, or appropriate Deputy Assistant Secretary or equivalent (or the appropriate acting Deputy Assistant Secretary or equivalent in lieu of the Deputy Assistant Secretary or equivalent) of the concerned department or agency. Regardless of the department or agency representative's rank, such representative shall speak and vote at the ACEP on behalf of the appropriate Assistant Secretary or equivalent of such department or agency. The ACEP may invite Assistant Secretary-level representatives of other United States Government departments or agencies, other than the departments and agencies represented by the ACEP members, to participate in the activities of the ACEP when matters of interest to such departments or agencies are under consideration.

(3)(A) Operating Committee. An Operating Committee ("OC") of the ACEP is established. The Secretary shall appoint its Chair, who shall also serve as Executive Secretary of the ACEP. Its other members shall be representatives of appropriate agencies in the Departments of Commerce, State, Defense, and Energy, and the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. The appropriate representatives of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Nonproliferation Center of the Central Intelligence Agency shall be nonvoting members of the OC. The OC may invite representatives of other United States Government departments or agencies, other than the departments and agencies represented by the OC members, to participate in the activities of the OC when matters of interest to such departments or agencies are under consideration.

(B) The OC shall review all license applications on which the reviewing departments and agencies are not in agreement. The Chair of the OC shall consider the recommendations of the reviewing departments and agencies and inform them of his or her decision on any such matters within 14 days after the deadline for receiving department and agency recommendations. As described below, any reviewing department or agency may appeal the decision of the Chair of the OC to the Chair of the ACEP. In the absence of a timely appeal, the Chair's decision will be final.

(b) Resolution Procedures. (1) If any department or agency disagrees with a licensing determination of the Department of Commerce made through the OC, it may appeal the matter to the ACEP for resolution. A department or agency must appeal a matter within 5 days of such a decision. Appeals must be in writing from an official appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, or an officer properly acting in such capacity, and must cite both the statutory and the regulatory bases for the appeal. The ACEP shall review all departments' and agencies' information and recommendations, and the Chair of the ACEP shall inform the reviewing departments and agencies of the majority vote decision of the ACEP within 11 days from the date of receiving notice of the appeal. Within 5 days of the majority vote decision, any dissenting department or agency may appeal the decision by submitting a letter from the head of the department or agency to the Secretary in his or her capacity as the Chair of the Board. Such letter shall cite both the statutory and the regulatory bases for the appeal. Within the same period of time, the Secretary may call a meeting on his or her own initiative to consider a license application. In the absence of a timely appeal, the majority vote decision of the ACEP shall be final.

(2) The Board shall review all departments' and agencies' information and recommendations, and such other export control matters as may be appropriate. The Secretary shall inform the reviewing departments and agencies of the majority vote of the Board within 11 days from the date of receiving notice of appeal. Within 5 days of the decision, any department or agency dissenting from the majority vote decision of the Board may appeal the decision by submitting a letter from the head of the dissenting department or agency to the President. In the absence of a timely appeal, the majority vote decision of the Board shall be final.

Sec. 6. The license review process in this order shall take effect beginning with those license applications registered by the Secretary 60 days after the date of this order and shall continue in effect to the extent not inconsistent with any renewal of the Export Administration Act, or with any successor to that Act.

Sec. 7. Judicial Review.

This order is intended only to improve the internal management of the executive branch and is not intended to, and does not, create any rights to administrative or judicial review, or any other right or benefit or trust responsibility, substantive or procedural, enforceable by a party against the United States, its agencies or instrumentalities, its officers or employees, or any other person.


William J. Clinton
The White House,
December 5, 1995.

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 2:31 p.m., December 6, 1995]

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).