7 Things About ECCN Number Every Exporter Must Know

eccn number

The ECCN is a number associated with the Commerce Control List (CCL). In simple words, it stands for Export Control Classification Number. ECCN is used to identify or locate exported items that are commercial or specific military items that may have terrorist or military applications. 

You’ve understood the basic definition but wait, what is ECCN in the real world? It is a five-character key comprising the alphabet, and numeric characters, which form a meaningful code that helps to identify exported goods.

All characters present in ECCN numbers have a certain significance. They make it easier to locate, identify, and classify goods shipped to the US and determine whether an authorized license is required from export authorities. 

An ECCN number ensures your shipment is compliant with the rules and regulations of borders your products leave and enter. With getting ECCN classified, your goods can even fail to acquire an appropriate license leading to the cancellation of your export, thus affecting your business negatively.

This article sheds light on the top 7 things about ECCN numbers that all exporters must be aware of to ensure correct and convenient trade.

  1. What Is ECCN Number In Practice?

The first thing to be clear on is the ECCN meaning, including its purpose and its structure. The ECCN is a code that’s unique and acts as an identification number. It is used primarily for commercial or military goods. 

The number is alphanumeric, formed with a combination of five numbers and letters to beget a meaningful code that can be used to identify and track goods (primarily military).

  1. What Items Require An ECCN Number To Export?

As mentioned earlier, items that are intended for military purposes, or are sensitive in nature and a few commercial goods are given a special license to export. However, most commercial items have the Export Control Classification Number as EAR99, which means that the object requires no special permit to ship and can be moved and exported freely.

  1. How Is ECCN Determined?

Guides to the ECCN and determining whether certain goods require a license to export can be found in the Commerce Control List (CCL). But to give a general idea, ECCN numbers are first categorized into ten different heads like electronics, computers, sensors, etc. 

Furthermore, each category has five product groups. When you look at the ECCN number’s structure, you’ll realize that the first character belongs to either of the ten categories. In contrast, the second character reflects the product group of that particular item.

  1. How Do I Find My ECCN Number?

The ECCN Number is provided and controlled by the CCL or the Commerce Control List. The number as well as knowledge as to whether goods to be exported require a license or not can be found by resources online. 

The CCL also has a directory which makes it simpler to find the number. However, a more straightforward method that exporters can use is to contact the manufacturer of the goods directly as they are sure to have all information related to the shipments.

  1. Who Issues The ECCN?

The ECCN is attached to any exported product of any nature. The Bureau of Industry and Security or BIS should be approached if the goods are deemed sensitive and require a license to export. The BIS comes under the Commerce Department, and they issue licenses directly to the exporters.

  1. What Items Have ECCN Attached?

Not all products are listed in the Commerce Control List (CCL) and thus do not have an ECCN Number associated with them. These are the products that are classified as EAR99, usually which are commercial in nature. 

Products classified as such do not require any special permits or licenses from the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) to export. In general, all low-level consumer goods, including tech items like phones, laptops, and such, do not require an export license at all. 

Thus, unless the destination has specific rules that may object to certain consumer goods, an exporter does not need to obtain an export license to conduct operations.

  1. Is The ECCN Permanent?

The Commerce Control List (CCL) changes their catalogue of products and goods from time to time. This impacts the ECCN and the number can change based on the catalogue update. This is because the CCL keeps adding more products as well. 

As an exporter, you must keep updated with the constant changes made to the CCl catalogue. For example, some products may have technical specifications altered, which would change the ECCN code. 

An easy way to stay updated is to sign up on EAR’s website to receive notification by email directly from the EAR or Export Administration Regulation. 

How Difficult Is It To Understand ECCN?

In closing, we have explored most of the queries that exporters have when faced with ECCN meaning and the various details that an exporter must keep in mind while going about operations. 

The concept of ECCN for a new exporter may be daunting and confusing. However, it is not at all hard to understand. On the contrary, it becomes simple and easy to navigate once you are familiar with all the essential knowledge associated with ECCN.

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