15 CFR 718.3 - Disclosure of confidential business information.
(a)General. Confidentiality of information will be maintained by BIS consistent with the non-disclosure provisions of the Act, the Export Administration Regulations ( 15 CFR parts 730 through 774), the International Traffic in Arms Regulations ( 22 CFR parts 120 through 130), and applicable exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act, as appropriate.
(b)Disclosure of confidential business information contained in advance notifications. Information contained in advance notifications of exports and imports of Schedule 1 chemicals is not subject to the confidential business information provisions of the Act. Disclosure of such information will be in accordance with the provisions of the relevant statutory and regulatory authorities as follows:
(1)Exports of Schedule 1 chemicals. Confidentiality of all information contained in these advance notifications will be maintained consistent with the non-disclosure provisions of the Export Administration Regulations ( 15 CFR parts 730 through 774), the International Traffic in Arms Regulations ( 22 CFR parts 120 through 130), and applicable exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act, as appropriate; and
(2)Imports of Schedule 1 chemicals. Confidentiality of information contained in these advance notifications will be maintained pursuant to applicable exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act.
(c)Disclosure of confidential business information pursuant to § 404(b) of the Act -
(1)Disclosure to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
(i) As provided by Section 404(b)(1) of the Act, the U.S. Government will disclose or otherwise provide confidential business information to the Technical Secretariat of the OPCW or to other States Parties to the Convention, in accordance with provisions of the Convention, particularly with the provisions of the Annex on the Protection of Confidential Information (Confidentiality Annex).
(A) The Convention provides that States Parties may designate information submitted to the Technical Secretariat as confidential, and requires the OPCW to limit access to, and prevent disclosure of, information so designated, except that the OPCW may disclose certain confidential information submitted in declarations to other States Parties if requested. The OPCW has developed a classification system whereby States Parties may designate the information they submit in their declarations as “restricted,” “protected,” or “highly protected,” depending on the sensitivity of the information. Other States Parties are obligated, under the Convention, to store and restrict access to information which they receive from the OPCW in accordance with the level of confidentiality established for that information.
(B) The OPCW Inspection Team members are prohibited, under the terms of their employment contracts and pursuant to the Confidentiality Annex of the Convention, from disclosing to any unauthorized persons, during their employment and for five years after termination of their employment, any confidential information coming to their knowledge or into their possession in the performance of their official duties.
(iii)U.S. Government designation of information to the Technical Secretariat. It is the policy of the U.S. Government to designate all facility information it provides to the Technical Secretariat in declarations, reports and Schedule 1 advance notifications as “protected.” It is the policy of the U.S. Government to designate confidential business information that it discloses to Inspection Teams during inspections as “protected” or “highly protected,” depending on the sensitivity of the information. The Technical Secretariat is responsible for storing and limiting access to any confidential business information contained in a document according to its established procedures.
(2)Disclosure to Congress. Section 404(b)(2) of the Act provides that the U.S. Government must disclose confidential business information to any committee or subcommittee of Congress with appropriate jurisdiction upon the written request of the chairman or ranking minority member of such committee or subcommittee. No such committee or subcommittee, and no member and no staff member of such committee or subcommittee, may disclose such information or material except as otherwise required or authorized by law.
(3)Disclosure to other Federal agencies for law enforcement actions and disclosure in enforcement proceedings under the Act. Section 404(b)(3) of the Act provides that the U.S. Government must disclose confidential business information to other Federal agencies for enforcement of the Act or any other law, and must disclose such information when relevant in any proceeding under the Act. Disclosure will be made in such manner as to preserve confidentiality to the extent practicable without impairing the proceeding. Section 719.14(b) of the CWCR provides that all hearings will be closed, unless the Administrative Law Judge for good cause shown determines otherwise. Section 719.20 of the CWCR provides that parties may request that the administrative law judge segregate and restrict access to confidential business information contained in material in the record of an enforcement proceeding.
(4)Disclosure to the public; national interest determination. Section 404(c) of the Act provides that confidential business information, as defined by the Act, that is in the possession of the U.S. Government, is exempt from public disclosure in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, except when such disclosure is determined to be in the national interest.
(i)National interest determination. The United States National Authority (USNA), in coordination with the CWC interagency group, shall determine on a case-by-case basis if disclosure of confidential business information in response to a Freedom of Information Act request is in the national interest.
(ii)Notification of intent to disclose pursuant to a national interest determination. The Act provides for notification to the affected person of intent to disclose confidential business information based on the national interest, unless such notification of intent to disclose is contrary to national security or law enforcement needs. If, after coordination with the agencies that constitute the CWC interagency group, the USNA does not determine that such notification of intent to disclose is contrary to national security or law enforcement needs, the USNA will notify the person that submitted the information and the person to whom the information pertains of the intent to disclose the information.