BIS Seeks Feedback from Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Semiconductor Supply Chains on Supply Chain Vulnerabilities – International Law


United States: BIS seeks feedback from information and communications technology (ICT) and semiconductor supply chains on supply chain vulnerabilities

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The Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) of the Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) recently issued requests for comment on risks to information and communications technology supply chains ( “TIC”) and semiconductors. These comments are requested as part of the broader US government’s review of supply chain vulnerabilities (see here, here, and here).

Request for feedback on the ICT supply chain:

Executive Order 14017 (“EO 14017”), which we have already discussed, requires Commerce and the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) to publish a report on supply chains for critical sectors and sub-sectors of the ICT industrial base. The recent Federal Register The notice, published on September 20, 2021, describes the ICT industry base as: (a) hardware that enables terrestrial distribution, wireless broadcast / transport, satellite support, data storage to include data center and cloud technologies, and end user devices, including home devices such as routers, antennas, receivers and mobile devices; (b) critical software; and (c) services which have direct dependencies on one or more of the activation hardware. BIS is seeking comments on eleven (11) topics, which are further described in the notice and which we summarize below:

  • “Critical Goods and Materials” as defined in EO 14017, section 6 (b);
  • “Other essential goods and materials”, as defined in EO 14017, section 6 (d);
  • Manufacturing or other capabilities necessary to produce or supply “critical goods and materials” and “other essential goods and materials”;
  • Supply chain disruption and threats of trade-offs such as cyber, health, climate, environmental, geopolitical, forced labor and other risks;
  • Resilience and capacity of national ICT supply chains to meet national requirements as described in OE 14017, such as national, economic and information security;
  • Actions of allies and partners on ICT supply chains;
  • Main causes of risks for all vulnerable aspects of the ICT supply chain;
  • Prioritization of “critical goods and materials” and “other essential goods and materials” to identify policy options and recommendations;
  • Specific policy recommendations to ensure a resilient ICT supply chain;
  • Executive, legislative, regulatory and policy changes needed to strengthen domestic manufacturing of the ICT supply chain and prevent supply chain disruptions and compromises; and
  • Suggested improvements to government-wide efforts to strengthen supply chains.

Feedback on the ICT supply chain is due by November 4, 2021.

Semiconductor Supply Chain Feedback Request:

On September 24, 2021, the BIS published a Federal Registernotice that solicits comments from interested parties, especially domestic and foreign semiconductor designers, manufacturers, material / equipment suppliers, as well as intermediate and end users. Any interested party may, however, submit comments. The BIS Notice includes a questionnaire intended for designers, manufacturers and microelectronic assemblers of semiconductors, as well as their suppliers and distributors, as well as a questionnaire intended for intermediate and end users of semiconductor products or integrated circuits. The questions mainly cover the production process and focus on disruptions in semi-conductor and integrated circuit inventory of intermediate and end users. Interested parties should note before submitting comments to that the BIS require reviewers to complete an Excel spreadsheet form posted on the BIS website to be completed and filed with the comments. Semiconductor supply chain feedback (including a completed form) is due by
November 8, 2021.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

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