U.S. Export Regulatory Obligations for Gravimeters


This page is a general information page for understanding the export regulations for the FG5 absolute gravimeter and those with accuracy better than 10 µGal. It has been written by Micro-g LaCoste as a general information page but we cannot be responsible for its accuracy. It is the responsibility of any owner of a gravimeter to check the USA export rules themselves and also to check the export regulations of thier country.

Export Control Basics

     Gravimeters are controlled by US export regulations. The export regulation depends upon the accuracy of the gravimeter, whether it is mobile or not, and even how it is manufactured. In particular, End-users who want to purchase an FG5 must have an export license in any country where they are controlled. An export license is not required in every country, but it is important to determine if a license is necessary before purchasing a gravimeter. Micro-g will apply for any licenses that are required, however this requires specific END-USER information and will require cooperation from the purchaser.

     The End-User must accept the responsibility to follow US re-export regulations as well as any export regulations of their country when re-exporting these gravimeters to another country. This is true for temporary exportation for experimental or survey purposes, even if the equipment remains in the possession of the original End-user. In some cases, the re-exportation regulations are less restrictive than for an export license. Below we describe the process for determining whether or not an export license is required for purchase of a gravimeter and also for determining whether a re-export license is needed in cases where the End-User wants to take their gravimeter to another country. Micro-g is quite happy to apply for any re-export licenses on the behalf of End-Users.

Export Classification 6A007

     The most restrictive class of gravimeters and gradiometers is given the control number 6A007a. Generally these gravimeters have an accuracy of better than 10 mGal. A complete description of this regulation is given below. The full regulation can be found at http://www.access.gpo.gov/bis/ear/txt/ccl6.txt

6A007 Gravity meters (gravimeters) and gravity gradiometers, as follows (see List of Items Controlled).

License Requirements

Reason for Control: NS, MT, AT
Control(s)Country Chart
NS applies to entire entryNS Column 2
MT applies to 6A007.b and .c
when the accuracies in
6A007.b.1 and b.2 are met
or exceeded
MT Column 1
AT applies to entire entryAT Column 1

  • License Exceptions
    • LVS: $3000; N/A for MT
    • GBS: N/A
    • CIV: N/A
  • List of Items Controlled
    • Unit: $ value
    • Related Controls: See also 6A107 and 6A997
    • Related Definitions: N/A
  1. Gravity meters designed or modified for ground use having a static accuracy of less (better) than 10 mGal;
    Note: 6A007.a does not control ground gravity meters of the quartz element (Worden) type.
  2. Gravity meters designed for mobile platforms for ground, marine, submersible, space or airborne use, having all of the following:
    1. A static accuracy of less (better) than 0.7 mgal; and
    2. An in-service (operational) accuracy of less (better) than 0.7 mgal having a time-to-steady-state registration of less than 2 minutes under any combination of attendant corrective compensations and motional influences;
  3. Gravity gradiometers.

How To Determine Which Countries Need Export Licenses

     The countries that require an export permit can be determined by reviewing the U.S. Export Regulatory Commerce Country Chart found at http://www.access.gpo.gov/bis/ear/pdf/738spir.pdf.
This list changes with time so please download the latest country schedule.
Countries with an X in NS Column 2 or AT Column 1 require an export license for gravimeters that fall under 6A007a.

Re-Export License Exceptions

     Micro-g LaCoste customers (end-users) who own a gravimeter, which is controlled under Export Commerce Control Number 6A007, are subject to the same export license requirements when shipping or exporting their gravimeter to certain countries. This includes temporary shipments for survey purposes. The re-exportation regulations are a bit less restrictive than the regulations for the original export license but these rules must be followed when re-exporting controlled equipment. In general, a re-exportation license is required for any country which would need an export license as described above. However, there are some license exceptions that are described in Export Administration Regulation 740.16 (3) (ii) This regulation can be found at: http://www.access.gpo.gov/bis/ear/pdf/740.pdf.
The country groups referred to in this regulation (Country Group A:1 to D:1) can be found here .

Applying For An Export License

     MicrogLaCoste will apply for export licenses but the following information is needed from the End-User.

  1. A signed and stamped END-USER statement specifying:
    1. Institute or Company name
    2. Contact name
    3. Address
    4. Phone
    5. Fax
  2. Description of where the instrument will be stored and where will it be used.
    1. A map of the sites that you want to take the instrument (sometimes this is the map of the entire country with some key stations).
    2. A list of countries where the gravimeter will be taken.
    3. A storage plan that describes where the gravimeter will be stored and how its whereabouts will be maintained and verified.
  3. Description of the data that will be taken and how it will be analyzed.
  4. What scientific programs will be supported.
  5. List of publications that describe the program, institute, and/or group that will be using the FG5. This can help verify that the endusers are scientists.
  6. A signed and stamped Form BXA711. This form can be downloaded from: http://www.bis.doc.gov/licensing/BIS711.pdf