This post was also written by Chris Monahan.

The U.S. State Department spent a little ink in the Federal Register earlier this month in an attempt to get green in the 21st century. On August 4, 2010, the State Department, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, or DDTC, announced a final rule requiring the electronic submission of requests for Commodity Jurisdiction Determinations, or CJs.  Companies submit a CJ if they have doubts as to whether an article or service is covered by the U.S. Munitions List, or if they want to request consideration of a redesignation of an article or service currently covered by the U.S. Munitions List.

In a stunning departure for the federal government, the State Department developed and issued a new form for CJs.  All kidding aside, this new wrinkle in State Department bureaucracy should be a welcome change for most companies interacting with the agency for a few reasons.

The new CJ form is a more environmentally responsible alternative to the old method that required companies to submit seven collated sets of their request and the supporting documentation. In addition to removing the need for all those copies, the new CJ request form must be submitted electronically as of September 2, 2010.

Applicants will not be required to use the DTRADE system and will also not be required to register with DDTC, as some had feared prior to the new rule. Instead, DDTC has created what appears to be a simple and less-burdensome alternative to the old CJ process. Applicants now download the form, scan and attach necessary supporting documents, and submit everything using an open net, web-based application system.