Research may be subject to export controls if you:
need to ship items internationally.
will be traveling outside of the United States.
plan to have foreign national(s) participate in the research.
want to collaborate with a researcher or institution from outside the United States.
are working on a project that has contractual restrictions on publishing, proprietary information, or foreign national participation or that specifically includes export control rules as a condition of the award.
will be receiving military or space related information, technical data, equipment or software.
will be researching subjects related to nuclear, chemical, biological, weaponry, missiles, unmanned vehicles, or encryption technologies.
International ShippingShipping tangible items outside of the United States usually requires an export license determination to correctly complete the shipping documentation. Sometimes the university must obtain an export license from the Commerce Department or State Department for the shipment. Failure to obtain the appropriate license or other government approval, or failure to file correct export documentation or shipping documents can result in severe fines and other penalties. The Office of Research Responsibility can help you be certain your export is in compliance with export and sanction laws, and has correctly filed export and shipping documentation.
International TravelTo ensure you do not run the risk of exporting sensitive information or technology when traveling abroad, or dealing with sanctioned countries, entities or individuals, keep in mind that presentations and discussions must be limited to topics that are not related to controlled items or technologies, unless that information is already published or otherwise in the public domain.
Verify that your technology or information falls into one or more of the following categories prior to traveling:
- Research that qualifies for the fundamental research exclusion
- Published information
- Publicly available software
- Educational information
- Patent applicationsM
Depending on your international destination(s), an export license or other government approval may be required for your laptop computer, software or other equipment. There are exceptions for "tools of trade," but these exceptions depend on the equipment and the country of your destination. Encryption software in particular is subject to special regulations and more stringent license requirements.
Prepare your laptop before leaving the U.S. Remove anything that constitutes a trade secret, proprietary information, export-controlled information or technical data. Keep in mind that you will need to do more than just delete files to ensure that they cannot be easily recreated. Use a "shredder" program to erase the information you do not want to share so it cannot be recovered.
Encrypt and then e-mail to yourself any information you may need while overseas. Do not retrieve the e-mail until you have reached your destination, and remember to remove it completely before returning to the U.S. or before crossing any international border.
Never let an electronic device out of your sight, and always be aware of your surroundings.
Remember: If you don't need it - don't take it with you!!
The following documents provide further information regarding these regulations and help you identify export control concerns related to international travel.
International Travel Checklist
Traveling with Laptop Computers & Electronic Devices
Guidance on Travel to Cuba
Participation in Research by Foreign Nationals
Foreign nationals are persons who are not U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (those who have “green cards”). A foreign national also means any foreign corporation, business association, partnership or any other entity or group that is not incorporated to do business in the U.S.
The university campus is open to students and faculty from many different countries. Access to restricted or export-controlled technology, commodities, defense articles and defense services by an unauthorized foreign person could result in severe criminal or civil penalties for the university and the university employee making the export. Prosecution of an export violation may result in fines of up to $1 million and/or a prison sentence of up to 20 years.
In planning research involving foreign countries or foreign nationals (including graduate research assistants), the principal investigator (PI) should understand that, depending upon the nature of the research and the status of the foreign country, obtaining export licenses can take several months. Therefore, the PI must determine early in the process any potential requirement(s) for export-control authorization and, if necessary, contact the Office of Research Responsibility for assistance in complying with applicable laws.
Restrictions on PublicationCertain contract terms might prevent a project from qualifying for the fundamental research exclusion. These include terms that:
- grant the sponsor pre-approval rights over publication of research results or
- allow the sponsor to claim resulting research information as proprietary or trade secret or
- otherwise restrict the publication or other dissemination of research results from a given project.
International Traffic in Arms RegulationsInternational Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) are administered by the U.S. Department of State. ITAR places strict controls on the export of "defense articles" and "defense services." Defense articles include any item, software or technical data on the United States Munitions List (USML). Defense services include assistance (including training) or any technical data associated with a defense article furnished to foreign persons, whether or not in the United States. Any defense article, service or related technical data found to be on the USML requires an export license to be exported – that is, given to a foreign person, whether or not in the United States. Some license exemptions are available under specific circumstances, but in general you should expect to obtain an export license.
ITAR controls exports that are:
- Predominantly items of military nature
- Modified or specifically designed for military use
- "Space" related items and technology
- Controlled for national security reasons
Research related to nuclear, chemical, biological weaponry; missiles; unmanned vehicles; or encryption technologies
The Department of Commerce regulates and restricts the transfer and export of so-called "dual use" technologies relating to civilian applications listed on the Commerce Control List (CCL). These include:
- Nuclear technologies associated with production and use of nuclear material for both peaceful and military applications, including certain associated technologies related to nuclear physics and/or nuclear engineering.
- Rocket system technologies that contribute to ballistic missile systems, space launch vehicles and sounding rockets and unmanned air vehicles (UAV). They also include navigation, avionics and flight control useable in rocket systems and unmanned air vehicles.
- Chemical, biotechnology and biomedical engineering technologies that could be applied to develop and produce chemical and biological weapons.
- Remote sensing, imaging and reconnaissance technologies related to satellite and aircraft remote sensing that can be used for civilian imagery projects or for military and intelligence reconnaissance activities.
- Advanced computer/microelectronic technology that can play a useful (but not necessarily critical) role in the development and deployment of missiles and missile systems and in the development and production of nuclear weapons.
- Certain materials technologies related to structural functions in aircraft, spacecraft, missiles, undersea vehicles and propulsion devices.
- Information security technologies associated with cryptography and cryptographic systems that help ensure secrecy for communications, video, data and related software.
- Laser and directed energy systems technologies that have critical military applications, including incorporation in guided ordinance such as laser guided bombs and ranging devices.
- Sensors and sensor technologies that provide real-time information and data and could provide a significant military advantage in a conflict.
- Marine technologies used in propulsion systems designed for undersea use and navigation and quieting systems associated with reducing detectability and enhancing operations survivability.
In addition, U.S. persons are prohibited, without prior authorization, from providing technical assistance (instruction, skills training, working knowledge and consulting services) to a foreign national with the intent to help in the overseas development or manufacture of encryption software subject to U.S. Government notification or authorization. This prohibition does NOT limit university personnel from teaching or discussing general information about cryptography or developing or sharing encryption code within the United States that arises during, or results from, fundamental research.