COVID-19 and Export Controls
The George Washington University’s Office of Research Integrity is monitoring COVID-19's effects on export controls and will update this webpage as further guidance becomes available.
SARS-CoV-2 Export Classification
The U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has classified the virus that causes COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 and its specific genetic elements, as EAR99. An export license is generally not required for the export of this virus or its genetic elements to most destinations. However, certain end-users, end-uses, and destination countries may require an export license for the export of EAR99 items (read the BIS notice for more details (PDF) ).
Temporary FEMA Export Restrictions on Certain PPE Products
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has issued temporary export restrictions on certain personal protective equipment (covered material; e.g., gowns, certain masks, and gloves). All shipments of covered materials shall be allocated for domestic use, and may not be exported from the U.S. without explicit approval from FEMA. This temporary rule is in effect to promote the national defense with respect to the covered materials because the need for these covered materials currently exceeds the supply. Read the temporary rule restricting the export of certain PPE products;
Covered Materials* (44 CFR § 328.103):
- N95 Filtering Facepiece
- Other Filtering Facepiece Respirators (e.g., those designated as N99, N100, R95, R99, R100, or P95, P99, P100)
- Elastomeric, air-purifying respirators and appropriate particulate filters/cartridges
- PPE surgical masks, including masks that cover the user’s nose and mouth and provide a physical barrier to fluids and particulate materials; and
- PPE gloves or surgical gloves.
The FEMA temporary rule (44 CFR §328.102(b)) also mandates that Customs and Border Protection temporarily detain exports of certain PPE products, for a determination by FEMA whether to:
- return the shipment for domestic use (i.e., prohibit the export);
- issue a Defense Production Act-rated order for part or all of the shipment (i.e., consign to FEMA pending further distribution or agency direction); or
- allow the export of part or all of the shipment.
Please contact ORI for more information regarding this temporary rule.
*The federal government may designate additional materials as “covered materials” in the list provided.