United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Jun 05, 2023
Export licensing procedures
Executive branch judgment on export applications; criteria governing United States nuclear exports
No license may be issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (the “Commission”) for the export of any production or utilization facility, or any source material or special nuclear material, including distributions of any material by the Department of Energy under section 2074, 2094, or 2112 of this title, for which a license is required or requested, and no exemption from any requirement for such an export license may be granted by the Commission, as the case may be, until—
the Commission has been notified by the Secretary of State that it is the judgment of the executive branch that the proposed export or exemption will not be inimical to the common defense and security, or that any export in the category to which the proposed export belongs would not be inimical to the common defense and security because it lacks significance for nuclear explosive purposes. The Secretary of State shall, within ninety days after
March 10, 1978, establish orderly and expeditious procedures, including provision for necessary administrative actions and inter-agency memoranda of understanding, which are mutually agreeable to the Secretaries of Energy, Defense, and Commerce, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, for the preparation of the executive branch judgment on export applications under this section. Such procedures shall include, at a minimum, explicit direction on the handling of such applications, express deadlines for the solicitation and collection of the views of the consulted agencies (with identified officials responsible for meeting such deadlines), an inter-agency coordinating authority to monitor the processing of such applications, predetermined procedures for the expeditious handling of intra-agency and inter-agency disagreements and appeals to higher authorities, frequent meetings of inter-agency administrative coordinators to review the status of all pending applications, and similar administrative mechanisms. To the extent practicable, an applicant should be advised of all the information required of the applicant for the entire process for every agency’s needs at the beginning of the process. Potentially controversial applications should be identified as quickly as possible so that any required policy decisions or diplomatic consultations con 1 March 10, 1978, shall not be delayed pending the development and establishment of procedures to implement the requirements of this section. The executive branch judgment shall be completed in not more than sixty days from receipt of the application or request, unless the Secretary of State in his discretion specifically authorizes additional time for consideration of the application or request because it is in the national interest to allow such additional time. The Secretary shall notify the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives of any such authorization. In submitting any such judgment, the Secretary of State shall specifically address the extent to which the export criteria then in effect are met and the extent to which the cooperating party has adhered to the provisions of the applicable agreement for cooperation. In the event he considers it warranted, the Secretary may also address the following additional factors, among others:
be initiated in a timely manner. An immediate effort should be undertaken to establish quickly any necessary standards and criteria, including the nature of any required assurances or evidentiary showings, for the decisions required under this section. The processing of any export application proposed and filed as of
1So in original. Probably should be “can”.
whether issuing the license or granting the exemption will materially advance the non-proliferation policy of the United States by encouraging the recipient nation to adhere to the Treaty, or to participate in the undertakings contemplated by section 2153b or 2153c(a) of this title;
whether failure to issue the license or grant the exemption would otherwise be seriously prejudicial to the non-proliferation objectives of the United States; and
whether the recipient nation or group of nations has agreed that conditions substantially identical to the export criteria set forth in section 2156 of this title will be applied by another nuclear supplier nation or group of nations to the proposed United States export, and whether in the Secretary’s judgment those conditions will be implemented in a manner acceptable to the United States.
The Secretary of State shall provide appropriate data and recommendations, subject to requests for additional data and recommendations, as required by the Commission or the Secretary of Energy, as the case may be; and
the Commission finds, based on a reasonable judgment of the assurances provided and other information available to the Federal Government, including the Commission, that the criteria in section 2156 of this title or their equivalent, and any other applicable statutory requirements, are met: Provided, That continued cooperation under an agreement for cooperation as authorized in accordance with section 2154 of this title shall not be prevented by failure to meet the provisions of paragraph (4) or (5) of section 2156 of this title for a period of thirty days after
March 10, 1978, and for a period of twenty-three months thereafter if the Secretary of State notifies the Commission that the nation or group of nations bound by the relevant agreement has agreed to negotiations as called for in section 2153c(a) of this title; however, nothing in this subsection shall be deemed to relinquish any rights which the United States may have under agreements for cooperation in force on March 10, 1978: Provided further, That if, upon the expiration of such twenty-four month period, the President determines that failure to continue cooperation with any group of nations which has been exempted pursuant to the above proviso from the provisions of paragraph (4) or (5) of section 2156 of this title, but which has not yet agreed to comply with those provisions would be seriously prejudicial to the achievement of United States non-proliferation objectives or otherwise jeopardize the common defense and security, he may, after notifying the Congress of his determination, extend by Executive order the duration of the above proviso for a period of twelve months, and may further extend the duration of such proviso by one year increments annually thereafter if he again makes such determination and so notifies the Congress. In the event that the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives or the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate reports a joint resolution to take any action with respect to any such extension, such joint resolution will be considered in the House or Senate, as the case may be, under procedures identical to those provided for the consideration of resolutions pursuant to section 2159 of this title: And additionally provided, That the Commission is authorized to (A) make a single finding under this subsection for more than a single application or request, where the applications or requests involve exports to the same country, in the same general time frame, of similar significance for nuclear explosive purposes and under reasonably similar circumstances and (B) make a finding under this subsection that there is no material changed circumstance associated with a new application or request from those existing at the time of the last application or request for an export to the same country, where the prior application or request was approved by the Commission using all applicable procedures of this section, and such finding of no material changed circumstance shall be deemed to satisfy the requirement of this paragraph for findings of the Commission. The decision not to make any such finding in lieu of the findings which would otherwise be required to be made under this paragraph shall not be subject to judicial review: And provided further, That nothing contained in this section is intended to require the Commission independently to conduct or prohibit the Commission from independently conducting country or site specific visitations in the Commission’s consideration of the application of IAEA safeguards.
Requests to be given timely consideration; Presidential review if Commission is unable to make required statutory determinations; Commission review
Timely consideration shall be given by the Commission to requests for export licenses and exemptions and such requests shall be granted upon a determination that all applicable statutory requirements have been met.
If, after receiving the executive branch judgment that the issuance of a proposed export license will not be inimical to the common defense and security, the Commission does not issue the proposed license on a timely basis because it is unable to make the statutory determinations required under this chapter, the Commission shall publicly issue its decision to that effect, and shall submit the license application to the President. The Commission’s decision shall include an explanation of the basis for the decision and any dissenting or separate views. If, after receiving the proposed license application and reviewing the Commission’s decision, the President determines that withholding the proposed export would be seriously prejudicial to the achievement of United States non-proliferation objectives, or would otherwise jeopardize the common defense and security, the proposed export may be authorized by Executive order: Provided, That prior to any such export, the President shall submit the Executive order, together with his explanation of why, in light of the Commission’s decision, the export should nonetheless be made, to the Congress for a period of sixty days of continuous session (as defined in section 2159(g) of this title) and shall be referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate, but any such proposed export shall not occur if during such sixty-day period the Congress adopts a concurrent resolution stating in substance that it does not favor the proposed export. Any such Executive order shall be considered pursuant to the procedures set forth in section 2159 of this title for the consideration of Presidential submissions: And provided further, That the procedures established pursuant to subsection (b) of section 2155a of this title shall provide that the Commission shall immediately initiate review of any application for a license under this section and to the maximum extent feasible shall expeditiously process the application concurrently with the executive branch review, while awaiting the final executive branch judgment. In initiating its review, the Commission may identify a set of concerns and requests for information associated with the projected issuance of such license and shall transmit such concerns and requests to the executive branch which shall address such concerns and requests in its written communications with the Commission. Such procedures shall also provide that if the Commission has not completed action on the application within sixty days after the receipt of an executive branch judgment that the proposed export or exemption is not inimical to the common defense and security or that any export in the category to which the proposed export belongs would not be inimical to the common defense and security because it lacks significance for nuclear explosive purposes, the Commission shall inform the applicant in writing of the reason for delay and provide follow-up reports as appropriate. If the Commission has not completed action by the end of an additional sixty days (a total of one hundred and twenty days from receipt of the executive branch judgment), the President may authorize the proposed export by Executive order, upon a finding that further delay would be excessive and upon making the findings required for such Presidential authorizations under this subsection, and subject to the Congressional review procedures set forth herein. However, if the Commission has commenced procedures for public participation regarding the proposed export under regulations promulgated pursuant to subsection (b) of section 2155a of this title, or—within sixty days after receipt of the executive branch judgment on the proposed export—the Commission has identified and transmitted to the executive branch a set of additional concerns or requests for information, the President may not authorize the proposed export until sixty days after public proceedings are completed or sixty days after a full executive branch response to the Commission’s additional concerns or requests has been made consistent with subsection (a)(1) of this section: Provided further, That nothing in this section shall affect the right of the Commission to obtain data and recommendations from the Secretary of State at any time as provided in subsection (a)(1) of this section.
Additional export criteria
In the event that the House of Representatives or the Senate passes a joint resolution which would adopt one or more additional export criteria, or would modify any existing export criteria under this chapter, any such joint resolution shall be referred in the other House to the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate or the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives, as the case may be, and shall be considered by the other House under applicable procedures provided for the consideration of resolutions pursuant to section 2159 of this title.
(Aug. 1, 1946, ch. 724, title I, § 126, as added Pub. L. 95–242, title III, § 304(a),
Mar. 10, 1978, 92 Stat. 131; renumbered title I, Pub. L. 102–486, title IX, § 902(a)(8), Oct. 24, 1992, 106 Stat. 2944; amended Pub. L. 103–437, § 15(f)(5), Nov. 2, 1994, 108 Stat. 4592; Pub. L. 105–277, div. G, title XII, § 1225(d)(5), Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681–774.)
cite as: 42 USC 2155