Export Control

The Export Compliance Office provides oversight, assistance, and training in complying with Federal export control regulations regarding access by foreign nationals to or the transfer abroad of scientific instruments, technologies, software and materials.

Export controls are the U.S. laws and regulations that govern the transfer of controlled items or information to foreign nationals, countries, and entities for reasons of national security and foreign policy. The export control regulatory scheme is most often implicated when:

  • The export has actual or potential military application or is restricted by economic sanctions
  • The government is concerned about the export’s destination country, organization, or individual
  • The government is concerned about the end use or end user of the export

An export occurs when any item (commodity, software, technology, technical data, or equipment) or information is sent from the U.S. to a foreign destination or provided to a foreign national here or abroad. The manner in which the transfer or release of the item or information occurs is irrelevant.

Examples of export activities include: the shipment of items, written or oral communications, hand-carrying items when travelling, providing access to or visual inspection of equipment or facilities, and the provision of services outside of the U.S. or to entities outside of the U.S.

A deemed export is the release or disclosure of information or technology to any foreign person within the United States. Deemed exports are treated as an export to that foreign person’s home country. Deemed exports, are a primary area of export control concern in the university setting.  Note that persons with permanent resident status or U.S. citizenship, and persons granted status as a “protected individual” are exempt from the deemed export rule.

A foreign national is any person who is NOT a:

  • U.S. citizen or national
  • U.S. lawful permanent resident
  • Person granted asylum
  • Person granted refugee status
  • Temporary resident

Foreign nationals include:

  • Persons in the U.S. in non-immigrant status (for example, H-1B, H-3, L-1, J-1, F-1 Practical Training)
  • Persons unlawfully in the U.S.

Export controls are necessary to protect the foreign policy and national security goals of the United States. Export controls:

  • Restrict exports of goods and technology that could contribute to the military potential of adversaries
  • Prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, biological, chemical)
  • Prevent terrorism
  • Assure compliance with U.S. trade agreements and trade and economic sanctions against other nations
  • Growing foreign national involvement in science and technology related research
  • Potential growth of defense-related research both with government and industry sponsors
  • Increasing presence of contractual restrictions in agreements, i.e. publication and citizenship restrictions
  • Growing portfolio of international collaborations
  • Failure to comply with U.S. export regulations and economic sanctions can result in severe penalties

May restrict ability to:

  • Ship/take/transfer items out of the U.S.
  • Travel internationally with equipment/laptops
  • Collaborate with foreign colleagues/institutions
  • Allow the participation of foreign students or foreign researchers in research activities
  • Provide services (including training) to foreign persons, both here and abroad
  • Conduct research freely without having to apply for an export license and/or implement security access controls

    May restrict ability to:

    • Ship/take/transfer items out of the U.S.
    • Travel internationally with equipment/laptops
    • Collaborate with foreign colleagues/institutions
    • Allow the participation of foreign students or foreign researchers in research activities
    • Provide services (including training) to foreign persons, both here and abroad
    • Conduct research freely without having to apply for an export license and/or implement security access controls

The following U.S. governmental agencies administer the primary export control regulations: