Commerce will supply export licenses via Net

The Bureau of Export Administration will soon let companies apply for export licenses
via the Internet.


“The Simplified Network Application Processing system uses strong encryption,
certification and authentication technologies, as well as provides recovery
capabilities,” said William Alan Reinsch, undersecretary for export administration at
the Commerce Department. “SNAP will reduce paperwork and improve accuracy in the
bureau.”


SNAP’s features include free service for users, encryption using recoverable keys,
the ability to store partially complete applications for later completion and online forms
that resemble their paper counterparts and forms of an existing electronic filing program,
Reinsch said. He spoke this month at Commerce’s Update ’98 Conference in
Washington. Commerce will test SNAP next month and plans to bring it online by
summer’s end, he said.


To access SNAP, users will need a personal identification number, which they can get by
writing the bureau, Commerce spokeswoman Susan Hofer said. After the bureau approves an
applicant, it will give the company a PIN over the telephone, she said.


Users will also need Internet service, a Web browser and security software. The bureau
provides the security software at no charge, Hofer said.


Companies now have an online option, the Export License Application and Information
Network. But it requires companies to submit export applications through bureau-approved
clearinghouses rather than exchange information directly with the bureau, Hofer said.


Using SNAP, companies will go to the Web site at http://www.bxa.doc.gov/,
click on the SNAP icon and enter a PIN to gain access to bureau forms, Hofer said. The
users will download the forms, complete them and post them to the site.


Users will have a choice of four forms: license applications, commodity classification
requests, re-export license applications and multipurpose forms, Hofer said.


The bureau refused to disclose technical details about the system, citing security
concerns because of the proprietary company information it will handle, Hofer said. The
bureau has chosen a vendor to supply encryption tools but has not yet disclosed its name,
she said. n

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