PPE export restrictions — Multiple exceptions announced

April 15, 2020

Export Controls Law Alert

Author(s): John Sandweg, Rachel S. Winkler

A recently released U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) memo provides additional insight into the restrictions being placed on the export of personal protective equipment (PPE) by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and CBP pursuant to the president’s Memorandum on Allocating Certain Scarce or Threatened Health and Medical Resources to Domestic Use.

Pursuant to the declaration, restrictions will be effective for four months and currently apply to five categories of PPE, including N95 respirators, other filtering or air-purifying respirators, surgical masks, and surgical and exam gloves—additional materials may be added based on domestic scarcity.

Based on the internal CBP memorandum, the prohibition on PPE exports will only apply to “Commercial Quantities” of PPE, defined as shipments valued at or above $2,500 and containing more than 10,000 units of covered PPE.

Exports of commercial quantities of PPE that fall under the following exceptions will also not be detained or delayed:

  • Exports to Canada or Mexico
  • Exports to U.S. government entities such as U.S. military installations overseas
  • Exports by U.S. government agencies
  • Exports by U.S. charities
  • Exports by critical infrastructure industries for the protection of their workers
  • Exports by the 3M Company
  • Express or mail parcels that do not meet the commercial quantity definition
  • In-transit shipments
  • Exports made by or on behalf of U.S. manufacturers that have had continuous export agreements with customers in other countries since at least January 1, 2020, as long as at least 80% of the U.S. manufacturer's domestic production of covered materials, on a per-item basis, was distributed in the United States in the preceding 12 months.

The foregoing has been prepared for the general information of clients and friends of the firm. It is not meant to provide legal advice with respect to any specific matter and should not be acted upon without professional counsel. If you have any questions or require any further information regarding these or other related matters, please contact your regular Nixon Peabody LLP representative. This material may be considered advertising under certain rules of professional conduct.

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