U.S. export controls on “brain-computer interface” emerging technology

Request for public comments regarding imposition of export controls

“Brain-computer interface” emerging technology

The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the U.S. Department of Commerce today released for publication in the Federal Register an advance notice of proposed rulemaking that requests comments concerning the imposition of export controls on certain “brain-computer interface” (BCI) emerging technology.

Today’s advance notice of proposed rulemaking [PDF 326 KB] explains that BIS maintains controls with regard to the export, reexport and transfer (in-country) of dual-use items and less sensitive military items pursuant to the Export Administration Regulations, including the Commerce Control List (CCL). Certain items that could be of potential concern for export control purposes are not yet listed on the CCL or are not yet controlled multilaterally because they are emerging technologies. Among these items is BCI technology—including neural-controlled interfaces, mind-machine interfaces, direct neural interfaces, and brain-machine interfaces.

Today’s BIS release includes a request for public comments regarding:

  • The potential uses of BCI technology, particularly with respect to its effect on U.S. national security (e.g., whether such technology could provide the United States, or any of its adversaries, with a qualitative military or intelligence advantage).
  • How to guarantee that the scope of any controls that may be imposed on BCI technology would be effective (in terms of protecting U.S. national security interests) and appropriate (with respect to minimizing their potential impact on legitimate commercial or scientific applications)

Comments are due by a date that is 45 days after publication in the Federal Register (scheduled to be October 26, 2021).


For more information on this topic or to learn more about KPMG’s Trade & Customs Services, contact:

Doug Zuvich
Partner and Global Practice Leader
T: 312-665-1022
E: dzuvich@kpmg.com

John L. McLoughlin
Principal and East Coast Leader
T: 267-256-2614
E: jlmcloughlin@kpmg.com

Andy Siciliano
Partner and National Practice Leader
T: 631-425-6057
E: asiciliano@kpmg.com

Steve Brotherton
Principal and Global Export and Sanctions Leader
T: 415-963-7861
E: sbrotherton@kpmg.com

Luis (Lou) Abad
Principal, Washington National Tax
T: 212-954-3094
E: labad@kpmg.com

Irina Vaysfeld
Principal
T: 212-872-2973
E: ivaysfeld@kpmg.com

Amie Ahanchian
Principal
T: 202-533-3247
E: aahanchian@kpmg.com

Christopher Young
Principal
T: 312-665-3229
E: christopheryoung@kpmg.com

Gisele Belotto
Principal
T: 305-913-2779
E: gbelotto@kpmg.com

George Zaharatos
Principal
T: 404-222-3292
E: gzaharatos@kpmg.com

Andy Doornaert
Managing Director
T: 313-230-3080
E: adoornaert@kpmg.com

Jessica Libby
Principal
T: 612-305-5533
E: jlibby@kpmg.com