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Export Control Classification Number

Jun 28, 2022Introduction to Trade

What are Export Control Classification Numbers?

An Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) is an alpha-numeric code that identifies items for export control purposes. The ECCN is used to determine whether an export license is required from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). It aids in classifying products based on the goods’ nature, type, technical parameters, and the software/technology used.

The ECCN is a different beast from the HS (Harmonized System) code. It’s an alphanumeric code governed by the Department of Commerce, which is part of the Export Administration Regulations.

Purpose of ECCN

The ECCN is used by the US Department of Commerce to determine if a license is required for the export of goods. The ECCN number is used to classify products based on their nature, type, technical parameters and software/technology used. This allows the government to know what level of control is needed for a particular product during the export process. Exporters may need a license for their products if they are being exported to a country with different export regulations. The ECCN number lets the government know if a product needs special control before it is exported. businesses use the ECCN number for the dual-export system to determine if they need a license to re-export goods outside the US.

When is ECCN needed?

ECCN numbers are used for identifying reasons why licenses may be required when exporting goods. They can also help with acquire information about shipment issues and transaction details, which is useful knowledge in any business deal.

The ECCN Codes

What is a Commerce Control List?

The Commerce Control List (CCL) is a list of all items that are subject to the export control regulations of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). The CCL is divided into ten sections, each identified by an alphabetical letter. Each section contains dozens of product categories, each with its own five-digit Export Control Classification Number (ECCN).

ECCN Code Format

The classification and listing of export controls is handled by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry & Security (BIS). The ECCN comes from a ten-character code that assigns each commodity to one of 10 broad categories, with the second character identifying the product group.

  • Category Group: This group comprises different industries ranging from 0 to 9.
  • Product Group: The group reduces the number to five distinct product features.

How to find ECCN number?

  1. Find out what the ECCN code for your product is by communicating with your manufacturer, producer, and developer. The ECCN code may change on a regular basis, so we must be aware of this information. Cross-checking is required.
  2. Self Classify (Part 738): Because this procedure necessitates technical knowledge of the product, it is time-consuming. As previously stated, we should be able to identify product group and commerce control list categories here.
  3. Request for a SNAP-R: If we do not have technical expertise, it is usually better to visit a specialist and learn the details.

you can also find the ECCN code for your product by

  • Checking the product’s title with BIS and then determining the ECCN number
  • Consult an export counselor if you have any questions.

What if your Product is not Listed in CCL?

If the product is not listed in CCL, it is classified as “EAR99”. Most of the products are classified as EAR99.

The idea of EAR99 is that a product is subject to export administration control yet isn’t covered by the CCL. The majority of EAR99 items are manufactured using low-level technologies and don’t need an export license unless the receiving country is a sanctioned state. You should be aware of another term related to EAR99, which is known as NLR authorization. The acronym “NLR” stands for “No License Required” Certificate. It can be used for both EAR99 and CCL things 90 percent of the time. It may also be utilized for CCL things 90 percent of the time.

Schedule B and ECCN

Schedule B and ECCN are both governed by the Department of Commerce. The main difference between the two is that Schedule B is managed by the Census Bureau, while ECCN is managed by the Bureau of Industry and Security.

ECCN is a five-character number with alphanumeric designations used under the CCL, while schedule B is a 10 digit code under the HTS. An ECCN code aids in the export of technology and software products. Schedule B code aids in exporting physical goods (in general). There is no mandatory rule to submit the ECCN code to AES(Automated Export System). But schedule B codes are a part of the Electronic Export Information (EEI), which the exporters have to submit directly to AES.

An ECCN code is used while re-exporting products and helps issue a license to the exporter for doing the same. Schedule B is a sub-part of the HTS code and is used by the US to export goods. The ECCN has no connection with the HTS code or HSN code while exporting, but schedule B does.


The trade between two nations is a time-consuming procedure that requires every exporter and importer to be familiar with terms and all the documentation needed for the transaction. The ECCN is used mostly by the United States, although there is a worldwide lack of understanding regarding how to export or re-export items and the codes connected with them. When new exporters use the ECCN, they may require expert assistance since even the slightest mistakes might result in millions of dollars in losses.


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