(U.S.) The U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security (formerly the Bureau of Export Administration) conducts reviews to determine the foreign availability of selected commodities or technology subject to U.S. export control. The reviews use four criteria to determine foreign availability: comparable quality, availability-in-fact, foreign source, and adequacy of available quantities that would render continuation of the U.S. control ineffective in meeting its intended purpose. A positive determination of foreign availability means that a non-U.S. origin item of comparable quality may be obtained by one or more proscribed countries in quantities sufficient to satisfy their needs so that U.S. exports of such item would not make a significant contribution to the military potential of such countries. A positive determination may result in the decontrol of a U.S. product that has been under export control, or the approval of an export license. However, the control may be maintained if the president invokes the national security override provision.
Beginning with the 1977 amendments to the Export Administration Act, the Congress directed that products with foreign availability be identified and decontrolled unless essential to national security. In January 1983, a program to assess the foreign availability of specific products was established within the Bureau of Export Administration, now the Bureau of Industry and Security. Further, 1985 amendments to the Act directed that an Office of Foreign Availability be created. See Bureau of Industry and Security.