U.S. Export Controls

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On Tuesday July 1, 2014, the Department of State published a final rule enumerating Printed Circuit Boards in Category XI of the U.S. Munitions List (USML).  The revisions to the USML, which follow three years of IPC advocacy, states that PCBs “specially designed” for defense-related purposes will be controlled under USML Category XI. Additionally, any designs or digital data related to “specially designed” PCBs will be controlled as technical data.

In their IPC advocacy program has emphasized that PCB designs should remain under the jurisdiction of ITAR when the end item for which the board is designed is a USML item. PCBs and their designs hold valuable and specific information about the workings of the underlying defense articles themselves. In the wrong hands, these PCBs and their designs can be exploited to replicate or sabotage mission-critical defense systems.


U.S. export controls include the laws and regulations managing the sale or transfer of sensitive goods and technology, services, and expertise to non-U.S. citizens. First implemented 60 years ago, U.S. export controls were intended to restrict the ability of foreign nations to access to sensitive technologies and commodities. Since its inception, the export controls system has been modified to address technological advancements and emerging national security concerns. These modifications, however, have resulted in an overly broad and complex set of regulations that neither adequately protect national security, nor facilitate export opportunities.

Learn more about U.S. Export Controls and IPC’s advocacy:

Additional information

To share your thoughts on proposed changes to U.S. export control reform or to obtain more information about IPC’s policy goals, please contact Fern Abrams, IPC director of government relations and environmental policy, at FernAbrams@ipc.org or +1 847-597-2952.