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What is an ECCN?

ECCN is an acronym for ‘Export Control Classification Number’. This is a number generated by BIS with reference to the core data within the Wassenaar Arrangement control list. It is a 5 digit alpha numeric reference (possibly with further sub digits) that defines the category to which goods are assigned within the control list. The ECCN is a US system of classification. In the EU for example it is called a Control List Classification but essentially the same thing. There are 10 categories listed 0-9 which always remain according to the Wassenaar Arrangement core list but any signatory (state of export) to the agreement can alter this list beyond the first two digits to suite their own export regime. For example 5A992 is a US only classification and not used anywhere else. It is however a good source of reference to have this number but must never be relied on when exporting from another state.

ECCN/Control List Classification breakdown

First Digit – Primary Category

EU Dual-Use List Categories

Category 0 Nuclear materials, facilities and equipment
Category 1 Special materials and related equipment
Category 2 Materials processing
Category 3 Electronics
Category 4 Computers
Category 5 Telecommunications and “information security”
Category 6 Sensors and lasers
Category 7 Navigation and avionics
Category 8 Marine
Category 9 Aerospace and Propulsion

Second Digit – Sub Category

A Systems, Equipment and Components
B Test, Inspection, Production Equipment
C Materials
D Software
E Technology

Further Digits – Up to three

These represent the more detailed goods description and may be followed by further sub categories.