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BIS Considers Tracking Exports of Electronic Waste

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security is accepting comments through 24 December on the feasibility and cost of implementing a mechanism for tracking and controlling exports of electronic waste. BIS states that in recent years a number of congressional studies and actions have raised concerns regarding counterfeit goods that may enter the U.S. military and civilian electronics supply chain. One of the potential sources for such goods is the unregulated recycling of discarded electronic equipment (e-waste) that has typically been shipped overseas for disposal.

Although no specific legislation has yet been passed mandating export controls related to e-waste, BIS is seeking public comments on the following issues to help it assess the prevalence of counterfeit goods in military and civilian electronic supply chains and whether the proposed changes would adequately address this problem.

  • proposed definition of “electronic waste” (e.g., computers, television, video display devices and consumer electronics)
  • prohibition on e-waste exports unless certain conditions are met
  • export prohibition exemption for specified goods (e.g., consumer appliances with electronic features, electronic motor vehicle parts, recalled electronics)
  • two potential methods for tracking exports of e-waste exempt from the prohibition – a licence exception or a new data element in the Automated Export System – and related recordkeeping requirements
  • potential cost of these regulatory and policy changes to exporters
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