To be exportable under OFAC General License D, software, hardware, and services must bear a specific categorization based upon the type of device, technology, and purpose. Specifically, the designation must be either: (1) EAR99 pursuant to Export Administration Regulation or export control classification number (“ECCN”) 5D992.c by the U.S. Department of Commerce pursuant to its Commerce Control List detailed on supplement No. 1. Additionally, the Annex to General License D details EAR and ECCN designations by eleven categories.
For the uninitiated, EAR and ECCN nomenclature may be quite perplexing, but they are simply ways to categorize exportable items according to degree of risk. For example, items related to ballistics would be high-risk, so must be exported with great care to ensure the items do not fall into the hands of the wrong parties. Alternately, items may be so ubiquitous and “mass market” that it makes little sense to regulate their export since they are found all over the world readily. EAR99, for example, indicates that the items are “NLR” – or no license required. But be forewarned: this doesn’t mean the exporter needs no license! It simply means there is one final check required. This last remaining check is to verify the receiving country is not on the “bad boy” list of countries that give rise to an export or other license requirement.
Iran previously was on this “bad boy” list. But recently, effective with General License D, exports to Iran of software, hardware, and services related to “personal communications” for personal use is NLR — so long as each item is designated EAR99 or ECCN 5D922.c or as designated on the Annex to the General License D. To illustrate, information on Apple’s public website provides ECCNs for its iPhone 5 as 5A992.c. Since Mobile Phones are authorized for export on the Annex to General License D and specifically those categorized as 5A992.c, then an iPhone 5 may be exported to Iran for persona use under General License D.