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Export License Required for "Death Devices"

In a new rule effective July 15, 2010, the U.S. Department of Commerce has added "equipment designed for the execution of human beings" to the Commerce Control List (CCL). This means that any company seeking to export "electric chairs, lethal chemical injection tables or other execution equipment to any foreign country must first obtain a U.S. export license."

Previously, the CCL included implements of torture like thumbscrews, thumbcuffs, fingercuffs and spiked batons as being totally banned from export. Still permitted by the Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) because they apparently have crime control purposes are implements such as stun cuffs, shock sleeves, and shock belts. The BIS Mission is to "advance U.S. national security, foreign policy, and economic objectives by ensuring an effective export control and treaty compliance system and promoting continued U.S. strategic technology leadership."

It is important to understand that the BIS and the CCL are essential elements to our protecting critical technologies, especially those used in military applications from being exposed to or falling into the "wrong hands." It's a bit surprising that execution equipment was not already on the list.

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