Commerce Proposes Streamlined Licensing Rules for Private Remote Sensing Satellites

Scissors cutting red tapeToday the Department of Commerce published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on Licensing of Private Remote Sensing Space Systems.

Commerce is proposing a complete rewrite of its current regulations, last updated in 2006, to achieve the policy goals articulated in Space Policy Directive-2 and to respond to significant developments in the remote sensing space industry.

The NPRM incorporates the public input Commerce received in response to the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) published in 2018 and the results of several months’ worth of interagency discussions.

The most fundamental changes Commerce proposes are to:

  1. Create a two-category framework, where the license terms are commensurate with the risk posed by the remote sensing space system to the national security and international obligations of the United States;
  2. Conduct a full interagency review and consider custom license conditions only when a proposed system is novel and is in the higher risk category.

Commerce encourages all those interested in the NPRM to comment by July 15, 2019.

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Commerce thanks all those who participated in the ANPRM public comment period. Commerce also thanks the Office of Management and Budget, the Department of Defense, the Department of State, and the other interagency partners for their inputs during the drafting process.

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Posted in Commercial Remote Sensing, Regulatory Reform