US eases India export licence requirements

31 July 2018

The United States has eased licencing requirements for defence exports to India, allowing US companies to more easily sell advanced military systems to the country. India is already a major procurer of US platforms, including Boeing C-17 strategic transport aircraft. Source: Boeing

The United States government has said it will allow India to receive more US high technologies and military items without a requirement for individual export licences.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement on 30 July that the provision is in line with the United Statesʼ decision to designate India as a ‘major defence partner’.

The easing of US export rules will be facilitated by moving India into tier one of the Department of Commerce’s (DOC’s) Strategic Trade Authorization (STA) mechanism, which expands the scope of exports that can be made to India without individual licenses, subject to the Export Administration Regulations.

Ross added that the “STA Tier 1 treatment” provides India with the same level access to US military technologies as NATO allies.

“This reflects India’s membership in three of the four multilateral export control regimes, as well the development of its national export control system,” said Ross. “US companies will be able to more efficiently export a much wider range of products to Indian high technology and military customers. India’s new status will benefit US manufacturers while continuing to protect our national security.”

Ross added that the regulatory change will enhance the bilateral defence trade relationship between the United States and India, and result in a greater volume of US exports to India. He added that during the past seven years approximately USD9.7 billion worth of licensed exports to India may now be eligible for export under the new license exception.

The United States announced its decision to designate India as a major defence partner in December 2016. The decision, which was embedded in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, aimed at resolving issues related to bilateral defence trade, security co-operation, co-development, and co-production of military equipment.

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