High-Tech Trade Rules

Special to the New York Times

Washington -- May 23, 1985 -- The Commerce Department today announced final regulations that will govern export licenses authorizing multiple shipments of computers or other strategic, high-technology goods to friendly countries. Officials said they believe the rules were less restrictive than an earlier version, and thus more acceptable to business.

The purpose of the rules, which go into effect July 23, is to guard against diversion of the products to the Soviet Union or other unfriendly countries. When the proposals were first made in January 1984, they touched off a controversy, because the Commerce Department said it would demand that foreign distributors provide it with a list of customers.

The department was reacting to pressure from the Pentagon, which had complained that export licensing procedures were lax, and contributed to diversion of sensitive products. But friendly foreign governments said the demand of customer lists amounted to an unjustified intrusion, and the Commerce Department retreated.

It has now set up a screening process, in which the foreign distributor who receives American goods is to bar those goods from customers who do not provide end-user information, or who otherwise fit into a ''high diversion risk profile.''

Copyright 1985 The New York Times Company