Comment Period for BIS Semiconductor and Advanced Computing Items Export Controls Rules Set to End

January 09, 2024

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has set a January 17, 2024, deadline for public comment on two interim final rules — one concerning “Export Controls on Semiconductor Manufacturing Items” (the SME IFR) and the other on “Implementation of Additional Export Controls: Certain Advanced Computing Items; Supercomputer and Semiconductor End Use; Updates and Corrections” (the AC/S IFR).

Designed to update export controls on advanced computing semiconductors, semiconductor manufacturing equipment, and items that support supercomputing applications and end-uses, these two IFRs strengthen rules previously issued by BIS on October 7, 2022. Their intended purpose is to prevent persons and entities from evading U.S. export restrictions, with the ultimate goal of confronting threats to U.S. national security posed by China’s skyrocketing investment into military modernization and attempts to acquire high-end military technologies.

Both of the IFRs make extensive revisions to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). Some key changes include:

  • Controls on additional types of semiconductor manufacturing equipment (SME).
  • Expanding license requirements for SME to apply to 21 additional countries for which the U.S. maintains an arms embargo.
  • Refining controls on U.S. persons to ensure U.S. companies cannot support China’s advanced semiconductor manufacturing.
  • Modifying parameters for determining whether an advanced computing chip requires a license.
  • Imposing new and expanding existing licensing requirements to address circumvention concerns.

A brief summary of the specific changes proposed in the IFRs is provided below.

Expansion of Export Controls on Semiconductor Manufacturing Items Interim Final Rule (SME IFR)
  • Includes additional types of SME to those previously described under ECCN 3B090 and controls all such items under ECCNs 3B001 and 3B002;
  • Revises ECCNs 3D001, 3D002, 3D003, and 3E001 to make conforming changes for the license requirements for the items moved from ECCN 3B090 to ECCNs 3B001 and 3B002;
  • Revises the license exception restrictions to reflect the removal of 3B090 and makes other changes related to the availability of license exceptions for these SME items;
  • Revises the national security license requirements and review policy to impose national security controls on newly added SME and those items moved from ECCN 3B090 to ECCNs 3B001 and 3B002 for Macau and destinations specified in Country Group D:5;
  • Revises the regional stability license requirements and license review policy to, among other things, expand the license requirement to Macau and destinations specified in Country Group D:5;
  • Revises the de minimis provisions to add a 0% de minimis rule for items described in new 3B001.f.1.b.2.b;
  • Revises and reformats the “U.S. persons” activities controls and “supercomputer” and semiconductor manufacturing end-use controls to better achieve the objectives of the October 7 IFR and to improve clarity;
  • Adds two new defined terms to the EAR for “extreme ultraviolet” (“EUV”) and “advanced-node integrated circuits”;
  • Adds a new Temporary General License (TGL) to provide SME producers in the United States and Country Groups A:5 and A:6 countries additional time to identify alternative sources of supply outside of arms-embargoed countries, or to acquire individually validated licenses; and
  • Revises license requirements based on destination.
Advanced Computing Chips Rule (AC/S IFR)
  • Revises ECCN 3A090 to remove paragraph a, including paragraphs a.1 through a.4, and adds in its place simplified control paragraphs .a and .b, along with a conforming change to ECCN 3A991.p;
  • Replaces the criterion “any other item on CCL that meet or exceed the performance parameters of 3A090 or 4A090” by positively identifying those ECCNs in new .z paragraphs in nine ECCNs, along with various conforming changes related to the new .z paragraphs in other parts of the EAR;
  • Clarifies the scope of “U.S. person” and end-use controls related to supercomputers and advanced computing items;
  • Makes ECCNs 3A991.p and 4A994.l eligible for License Exception Consumer Communication Devices (CCD, 15 CFR 740.19);
  • Expands the Regional Stability (RS) license requirements and amends the RS licensing policy to adopt an additional case-by-case license review policy for certain RS items and adopts a presumption of approval for license applications for destinations other than Macau and Country Group D:5;
  • Broadens the country scope for these controls, with respect to the items controlled for RS reasons as well as the advanced computing Foreign Direct Product (FDP) rule and advanced computing provisions in § 744.23;
  • Clarifies that the model certificate published in the October 7 IFR may be used for all FDP rules;
  • Adds five new red flags to assist with compliance, including for recognizing “direct products” under the FDP rules;
  • Adds one new TGL; and
  • Creates a new license exception for Notified Advanced Computing (NAC).

For further clarification concerning the SME IFR and AC/S IFR, BIS addressed a number of frequently asked questions and conducted a public briefing, both of which are available for review.

Potential Implications for Companies Dealing with China

The implementation of these new rules will have implications not just for U.S. companies, but potentially for non-U.S. companies with a connection to the United States or U.S. technology. Companies should also be aware of any activities they engage in related to the development or export of advanced computing semiconductors and their manufacturing equipment, as such activities may have an impact on the promotion of Chinese military modernization and technological advancement. Conducting reviews now may help U.S. companies engaged in the semiconductor and semiconductor manufacturing equipment fields adapt quickly to U.S. regulations as they evolve.


The two IFRs reinforce BIS’s October 7th, 2022, guidelines designed to restrict China from purchasing or developing advanced computing semiconductors in order to gain military advantages. The use of chips is essential to producing advanced integrated circuits utilized in powerful weapons systems and military AI applications. As such, the rules are intended to promote U.S. national security interests by restricting certain chip exports to China that would encourage its military modernization and surveillance efforts.

Contact us if you have any questions about the IFRs or their potential impact on your business, or the commenting process.