References for § 120.41 Specially designed.

(a) Except for commodities or software described in paragraph (b) of this section, a commodity or software (see §120.45(f)) is specially designed if it:

(1) As a result of development, has properties peculiarly responsible for achieving or exceeding the controlled performance levels, characteristics, or functions described in the relevant U.S. Munitions List paragraph; or

(2) Is a part (see §120.45(d)), component (see §120.45(b)), accessory (see §120.45(c)), attachment (see §120.45(c)), or software for use in or with a defense article.


(b) A part, component, accessory, attachment, or software is not specially designed if it:

(1) Is subject to the EAR pursuant to a commodity jurisdiction determination;

(2) Is, regardless of form or fit, a fastener (e.g., screws, bolts, nuts, nut plates, studs, inserts, clips, rivets, pins), washer, spacer, insulator, grommet, bushing, spring, wire, or solder;

(3) Has the same function, performance capabilities, and the same or "equivalent" form and fit as a commodity or software used in or with a commodity that:

(i) Is or was in production (i.e., not in development); and

(ii) Is not enumerated on the U.S. Munitions List;

(4) Was or is being developed with knowledge that it is or would be for use in or with both defense articles enumerated on the U.S. Munitions List and also commodities not on the U.S. Munitions List; or

(5) Was or is being developed as a general purpose commodity or software, i.e., with no knowledge for use in or with a particular commodity (e.g., a F/A-18 or HMMWV) or type of commodity (e.g., an aircraft or machine tool).


Note to paragraphs (a) and (b): The term "commodity" refers to any article, material, or supply, except technology/technical data or software.

Note to paragraph (a)(1): An example of a commodity that as a result of development has properties peculiarly responsible for achieving or exceeding the controlled performance levels, functions, or characteristics in a U.S. Munitions List category would be a swimmer delivery vehicle specially designed to dock with a submarine to provide submerged transport for swimmers or divers from submarines.

Note to paragraph (b): The term "enumerated" refers to any article on the U.S. Munitions List or the Commerce Control List and not in a "catch-all" control. A "catch-all" control is one that does not refer to specific types of unspecified parts, components, accessories, or attachments, but rather controls parts, components, accessories, or attachments only if they were specially designed for an enumerated item.

Note 1 to paragraph (b)(3): For the purpose of this definition, "production" means all production stages, such as product engineering, manufacture, integration, assembly (mounting), inspection, testing, and quality assurance. This includes "serial production" where commodities have passed production readiness testing (i.e., an approved, standardized design ready for large scale production) and have been or are being produced on an assembly line for multiple commodities using the approved, standardized design.

Note 2 to paragraph (b)(3): For the purpose of this definition, "development" is related to all stages prior to serial production, such as: design, design research, design analyses, design concepts, assembly and testing of prototypes, pilot production schemes, design data, process of transforming design data into a product, configuration design, integration design, layouts.

Note 3 to paragraph (b)(3): Commodities in "production" that are subsequently subject to "development" activities, such as those that would result in enhancements or improvements only in the reliability or maintainability of the commodity (e.g., an increased mean time between failure (MTBF)), including those pertaining to quality improvements, cost reductions, or feature enhancements, remain in "production." However, any new models or versions of such commodities developed from such efforts that change the basic performance or capability of the commodity are in "development" until and unless they enter into "production."

Note 4 to paragraph (b)(3): The form of a commodity is defined by its configuration (including the geometrically measured configuration), material, and material properties that uniquely characterize it. The fit of a commodity is defined by its ability to physically interface or connect with or become an integral part of another commodity. The function of a commodity is the action or actions it is designed to perform. Performance capability is the measure of a commodityís effectiveness to perform a designated function in a given environment (e.g., measured in terms of speed, durability, reliability, pressure, accuracy, efficiency). For software, the form means the design, logic flow, and algorithms. The fit is defined by its ability to interface or connect with a defense article. The function means the action or actions the software performs directly related to a defense article or as a standalone application. Performance capability means the measure of the software's effectiveness to perform a designated function.

Note 5 to paragraph (b)(3): With respect to a commodity, "equivalent" means its form has been modified solely for fit purposes.

Note 1 to paragraphs (b)(4) and (5): For a defense article not to be specially designed on the basis of paragraph (b)(4) or (5), documents contemporaneous with its development, in their totality, must establish the elements of paragraph (b)(4) or (5). Such documents may include concept design information, marketing plans, declarations in patent applications, or contracts. Absent such documents, the commodity may not be excluded from being specially designed by either paragraph (b)(4) or (5).

Note 2 to paragraphs (b)(4) and (5): For the purpose of this definition, "knowledge" includes not only the positive knowledge a circumstance exists or is substantially certain to occur, but also an awareness of a high probability of its existence or future occurrence. Such awareness is inferred from evidence of the conscious disregard of facts known to a person and is also inferred from a personís willful avoidance of facts.

Last updated December 31st, 2014