The Hindu has reported that the US has announced its intention to remove India’s defense and space related organizations from the list of entities subject to export restrictions.
The report quotes Deputy National Security Adviser for International Economic Affairs Mike Froman as saying, “The export control reform package being announced is that we will remove India’s defense and space-related entities from the U.S. entity list. The list at one point had, I believe, 220 Indian entities on it. And there are only four left. And today we will be announcing a removal of three. They are the organizations under (the) Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), the four subordinates under the Indian Space and Research Organization (ISRO), and Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL),” observed
According to the Entities List, the organizations under the DRDO consisted of the Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) in Pune, the Defense Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) in Hyderabad, the Missile Research and Development Complex (MRDC) in Hyderabad and the Solid State Physics Laboratory in New Delhi.
Organizations of ISRO in the Entities List included the Liquid Propulsion Systems Center (LPSC) in Valiamala, the Solid Propellant Space Booster Plant (SPROB) at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sri Harikota, the Sri Harikota Space Center (SHAR) itself and the Vikram Sarabhai Space Center in Thiruvananthapuram.
Till now, export of any items listed on the Commerce Control List (CCL) of the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) under the US Department of Commerce to any of the above-listed organizations was on a case-by-case basis, except for export of items which fell under the classification ‘EAR99’ (where EAR stands for Export Administration Regulations), which were deemed approved ab initio. Such items come under the jurisdiction of the Department of Commerce but are not listed on the CCL. These items ‘generally consist of low-technology consumer goods and do not require a license in many situations’, according to the BIS website. “However, if your proposed export of an EAR99 item is to an embargoed country, to an end-user of concern or in support of a prohibited end-use, you may be required to obtain a license,” it adds.
Froman mentioned three out of four Indian organizations being removed from the Entities List. So which is the fourth?
Entities under the Department of Atomic Energy. The Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC) at Trombay near Mumbai, the Indira Gandhi Atomic Research Center (IGARC) at Kalpakkam near Chennai, Indian Rare Earths Limited in Mumbai, and nuclear reactors (including power plants) not under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards (excluding Kundankulam 1 and 2), fuel reprocessing and enrichment facilities, heavy water production facilities and their co-located ammonia plants.
The general reasons for the export restrictions are listed in the Commerce Country Chart. The boxes marked ‘X’ indicate a license requirement for the reasons in the heading, in the absence of a License Exception.