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ATF to Treat Imports from Hong Kong the same as China

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Depending on who you ask, you will receive a different answer to the question: How many Countries are there currently in the World? Over the last 600 years, the concept of a country or state has also driven geopolitical events, as the milieu shifted from kingdoms to nations in the Western Hemisphere. In the 21st Century, the ramifications of the last decades of conflict have resulted in situations where some entities recognize a geographical region to be a country of itself, where others do not. Hong Kong has been one of these locations, where until recently the BATFE did not follow the same embargo on defense articles that it did with China.

As tensions rise between Taiwan and China, at the same time that Russia postures around Ukraine, so the BATFE has chosen to treat Hong Kong as if it were part of China in regards to the importation of defense articles, which could include components and optics. Although the BATFE is still waiting on guidance from the Department of State, they have chosen to delay requests from Hong Kong until clarification on the Arms Export Control Act has been made.

Both import and export laws apply to defense articles, which are defined as follows:

Defense Article means any item or technical data that is specifically designed, developed, configured, adapted, or modified for a military, missile, satellite, or other controlled use listed on the USML.  Defense articles also include things such as models, mock-ups, or other items, i.e. technical data related to items. Note that sometimes defense articles include items not listed on the USML.,technical%20data%20related%20to%20items. Accessed 1/25/22.

Many items fall under International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) related to firearms. While equipment such as night vision and suppressors are regulated, so can a trigger, upper receiver, or optic.

Companies or manufacturing that take place in Hong Kong face new challenges, now that the BATFE has chosen to bring up the concern over their import or export status.

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