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Bureau of Industry & Security

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | Thursday, March 14, 2024 | Media Contact: [email protected]

Commerce Updates Rules To Further Restrict Exports To Nigaragua Due To Foreign Policy Concerns


WASHINGTON, D.C -- Today, the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published revisions to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to apply more restrictive treatment to exports and reexports to Nicaragua of items subject to the EAR.  This action is consistent with the State Department’s recent addition of Nicaragua to the list of proscribed countries under Section 126.1 of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations. 

BIS’s amendments also address concerns regarding the Nicaraguan Government’s human rights abuses against citizens and civil society groups, as well as the government’s continuing military and security cooperation with Russia. Specifically, BIS is moving Nicaragua from Country Group B to Country Group D:5, a more restrictive country grouping, applying a stricter licensing policy for items controlled for national security reasons, and making the country subject to ‘military end use’ and ‘military end user’ restrictions.

“The foundation of U.S. national security and foreign policy is our values. When we act to protect and advance human rights, we are putting those values into action and enhancing our shared security in the process,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security Alan Estevez. “We will continue to send the world a simple message—the United States will not allow peaceful trade to be diverted in ways that undermine our values and weaken our security.”

“Export controls can be a powerful tool to ensure U.S. technology is not misused to support human rights abuses,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration Thea D. Rozman Kendler. “Responding to the Ortega government’s campaign of repression and blatant human rights abuses by cutting them off from U.S. items will help to deny him the tools to continue to inflict harm on the Nicaraguan people.”

This rule builds on BIS’s prior actions, such as the addition of the Nicaraguan National Police to the Entity List on March 28, 2023, and advances the U.S. Government’s efforts to restrict the availability of items subject to the EAR to Nicaragua’s military and security services.

Additionally, consistent with BIS’s authorities under the Export Control Reform Act of 2018, this rule demonstrates a commitment to using export controls to promote democracy and protect human rights. Learn more about BIS’s actions to promote human rights and democracy online at: https://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/policy-guidance/promoting-human-rights-and-democracy.

For more information please visit: https://bis.doc.gov

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