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To determine if you require an export license, you need to know the facts about your transaction. What are you exporting? Where is it going? Who will receive it? What will they do with it? What else do they do?

Certain provisions in the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) require an exporter to submit an individual validated license application if the exporter "knows" that an export that is otherwise exempt from the validated licensing requirements is for end-uses involving nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons (CBW), or related missile delivery systems, in named destinations listed in the EAR.


1. Determine if your item is subject to the EAR.

"Subject to the EAR" means that certain goods, software, or technology are under specific rules and regulations that control their export from the United States. These rules help ensure the items are sent to the right places and used responsibly to protect national security and global interests. If you're dealing with something that is "subject to the EAR," you need to follow these regulations before exporting it to another country.

If the item IS subject to the EAR, continue to the next step.


2. Classify your item

Classifying your item means determining its category within the Commerce Control List (CCL) to see if it's regulated by the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). This is done by finding the appropriate Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) based on the item's characteristics and use. If your item doesn't fit any ECCN, it may be designated as EAR99, subject to general export controls that often apply to low-technology consumer goods, not requiring a license in many cases.

Once you’ve classified your item, continue to the next step.

Search the CCL


3. Determine if a “General prohibition” applies

General Prohibitions (EAR - Part § 736.2) include straightforward rules that outline specific actions or transactions related to export activities that are not allowed without proper authorization from the U.S. government. If one or more of these applies to your transaction, you will need to submit an application for a license. These prohibitions include “end-user” and “end-use” prohibitions.

If no prohibition applies to your export activity, continue to the next step. If your item is classified as EAR99 and no prohibition applies, No License is Required (NLR)


4. Check the destination country for specific export controls

The Commerce Country Chart (EAR - Supplement Number 1 to Part § 738) serves as a reference tool to determine the specific licensing requirements for exporting items to different countries. When exporting, you use the chart to identify the destination country and then cross-reference it with the Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) of your item.

If there is an “X” in the box, that item going to that country has license requirements.

View the Interactive Country Commerce Chart


5. Verify your end-user

Various requirements of the EAR are dependent upon a person's knowledge of the end-use, end-user, ultimate destination, or other facts relating to a transaction or activity. These provisions include the nonproliferation-related “catch-all” sections and the prohibition against proceeding with a transaction with knowledge that a violation of the EAR has occurred or is about to occur.

Know Your Customer guidance

View the Consolidated Screening List

View the Entity List

View the Denied Persons List


6. Optional - Check if a License Exception is available.

License Exceptions (EAR - Part § 740) are special rules that allow certain exports to skip the requirement of obtaining an export license. They can be used when your export meets the specific conditions for a particular exception in the EAR. However, if your export doesn't meet the criteria, you'll need to get an export license. It's important to review the conditions of each exception carefully to see if your export qualifies.


7. Apply for a License

If you completed all of the steps, a general prohibition applies, there are specific export controls for the item/destination, or there was not a license exception available, you need to apply for a license

Apply for a license (SNAP-R)