What are Export Controls?

The federal government regulates the transfer of sensitive information, equipment, technology, and software that are considered to be in the interest of national security, the economy, or foreign policy. These regulations are collectively referred to as "export controls." These regulations also restrict the release of certain information to foreign nationals.

What is an Export?

An export can be a physical good or sensitive material. An item or material can be considered an export even if it never leaves the country. It is essential to minimize the potential for unauthorized exports by establishing best practices.

    Examples of exports include:
  • Traveling internationally with high tech equipment or confidential, unpublished, or proprietary information/data
  • Traveling with laptop computers, web-enabled cell phones and other personal equipment containing encrption hardware or software
  • Dislosure of any sensitive material, whether it is overhead in a discussion or accidentally looking at someone's computer screen

Export Control Violations

    Examples of export control violations include:
  • A foreign national is working in a lab and sees sensitive material on a computer screen.
  • An encrypted computer is taken overseas to a restricted country, such as China or Iran.
  • Sensitive data is stored incorrectly to the cloud.

Why should you care?

Non-compliance with export controls can result in severe monetary and criminal penalties against both the individual and the university and the loss of research contracts, government funding, and the ability to export items.

Governing Agencies

Department of Commerce

The Export Administration Regulations (EAR) enforces export regulations has a list of controlled items. These items are called “dual-use” because they can be used for both commercial and military use.

Department of State

The International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) enforces the international movement of arms and munitions that are categorized on the U.S. Munitions List for military purposes.

Department of Treasury

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) enforces economic and trade sanctions targeting foreign countries, regimes, terrorists, and those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Obtaining an Export Controlled License

Contact our office for assistance in obtaining an export control license or to answer questions about export controls.