Export Control Compliance

Export Control Compliance

What is Export Control?

Export control laws are federal regulations that govern how certain information, technologies and commodities can be transmitted overseas or to a foreign national on U.S. soil. The scope of the regulations is broad: they can cover exports in virtually all fields of science, engineering and technology and apply to research activities regardless of the source of funding. Failure to comply with these laws can have serious consequences, both for the institution and for the individual researcher. Potential penalties include fines and possible imprisonment. 

 

Export control laws and the agencies that are responsible for them are as follows:

EAR: Export Administration Regulations; US Department of Commerce – Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)

ITAR: International Traffic in Arms Regulations; US Department  of State – Office of Defense Trade Controls

OFAC: -Office of Foreign Assets Control; US Department of Treasury

What University research activities may trigger export controls?

Research in export restricted science and engineering areas – examples include:

  • Military or Defense Articles and Services
  • High Performance Computing
  • Dual Use Technologies (technologies with both a military and commercial application)
  • Encryption Technology
  • Missiles & Missile Technology
  • Chemical/Biological weapons
  • Nuclear Technology
  • Select Agents & Toxins (see Select Agent/Toxin list)
  • Space Technology & Satellites
  • Medical Lasers

Traveling overseas with high tech equipment, confidential, unpublished or proprietary information or data – Traveling with certain types of high tech equipment including but not limited to advanced GPS units, scientific equipment, or with controlled, proprietary or unpublished data in any format may require an export license depending on your travel destination.

Traveling with laptop computers, web-enabled cell phones and other personal equipment – Laptop computers, web-enabled cell phones and other electronics containing encryption hardware or software and/or proprietary software may require an export license when traveling to certain destinations. In general, an export license will be required to take any items to or through any U.S. sanctioned country (e.g., Iran, Syria, Cuba, Sudan and North Korea).

Sponsored research containing contractual restrictions on publication or dissemination – The vast majority of research done at the university is shielded from export controls under the Fundemental Research Exclusion. However, this protection is lost whenever the university or the researcher agrees to allow any restrictions on the publication, dissemination or access to the research by foreign nationals.

Use of 3rd Party Export Controlled Technology or Information - University activities involving the use of export controlled information, items, or technology received from outside the university are not protected under the Fundemental Research Exclusion and all research involving the use of export restricted technology is subject to all export controls.

Shipping or Taking Items Overseas – University activities that involve the transfer of project information, equipment, materials, or technology out of the U.S. by any means will be subject to export controls and may require export license(s) depending on the item, destination, recipient and end-use.

Providing Financial Support/International Financial Transactions – University activities that involve the international payment of funds to non-U.S. persons abroad need to be verified to ensure that the university is not inadvertently providing financial assistance to a blocked or sanctioned entity. Examples include providing support via a subcontract to a non-U.S. university or providing payments to research subjects in other countries.

International Collaborations & Presentations – University activities that involve foreign national faculty, students, staff, visiting foreign scientists or collaborator(s), or other foreign entities (e.g., non-U.S. company, university or other organization) or research that will include travel to international conferences to present unpublished results may be subject to export controls especially if any of the foreign nationals are from embargoed or sanctioned countries.

International Field Work - Research projects where any part of the research will take place outside the U.S. (e.g., field work outside the U.S.) may not qualify under the Fundamental Research Exclusion and may be subject to export controls.

International Consulting - Providing professional consulting services overseas, especially to embargoed or sanctioned countries (e.g., Iran, Syria, Cuba, Sudan and North Korea) is in most cases strictly prohibited.

How can Export Controls affect my research?

There are several scenarios that may require an export license including, but not limited to:

  • A physical transfer/disclosure of an item outside the U.S.
  • Any transfer/disclosure of a controlled item or information within the U.S. to a foreign national
  • Participation of foreign national faculty, staff, or students in affected research
  • Presentation/discussion of previously unpublished research at conferences or meetings where foreign national scholars may be in attendance
  • Research collaborations with foreign nationals and technical exchange programs
  • Transfers of research equipment abroad
  • Visits to your lab by foreign national scholars
  • Sponsor restrictions on the participation of foreign nationals in the research
  • Sponsor restrictions on the publication or disclosure of the research results
  • Indications from the sponsor or others that export-controlled information or technology will be furnished for use in the research
  • The physical export of controlled goods or technology

Are there exclusions from Export Control laws?

Yes, there are several exclusions, and two that are particularly relevant to academic research: the fundamental research exclusion and the public domain exclusion. These exclusions can be lost, however, if researchers sign side agreements (including material transfer and non-disclosure agreements) that contain publication restrictions or restrictions on who can participate in the research. It is crucial that you not sign any such agreements--or any agreements that mention export controls--on your own.

What happens if Export Control laws are violated?

The consequences for noncompliance are very serious for both the university and the researcher. There can be monetary fines as well as prison sentences for certain offenses.

Helpful Questions to Consider:

  • What is the nationality of researchers INCLUDING professors and research assistants (grad students/post-docs)?
  • Will the results be publicly available?
  • Will there be restrictions on publications, access, dissemination or proprietary information?
  • Will I be receiving any restricted information?
  • Is the research going overseas to a foreign company, government or individual?
  • What do the end-users intend to do with the research results?

What is the role of the Research and Sponsored Programs (RSP) office?

The responsibilities of the Research and Sponsored Programs (RSP) office include:

  • Review of all sponsored research grants and contracts to ensure University compliance with federal Export Control laws.
  • Assist the Principal Investigator in the development of the Technology Control Plan.
  • Assist the PI in resolving Export Control issues, whether it be the procurement of a license allowing foreign nationals access or the negotiation of contract language to allow for open access to the project.
  • Maintain a centralized database of all documentation relating to a Export Controlled-research project. Records must be maintained in electronic or paper format for 5 years after a project has been concluded.

As a principal investigator (PI), what do I need to do?

The PI has the best understanding of the research and should know whether specific technology, data, or information involved is subject to export control regulations. The University Export Control officer Kandace Williams (Kandace.Williams@utoledo.edu) and the Export Control committee will assist the P.I. in the management of Export Control concerns. Such management may require obtaining an Export License and/or the development of a Technology Control Plan.  

The PI is responsible for:

  • Carefully reviewing the information on export controls provided on this web site. Additional training on export controls is provided by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and is available to PIs, their departments, and their departmental administrators.
  • Indicating on the Proposal Submission Form that the proposed work may be regulated by Export Control laws.

  • Contacting Kandace Williams at (419) 530-2416 or Kandace.Williams@utoledo.edu for help with determining whether any export control restrictions may apply to the research.
  • Notifying the Export Control Officer prior to implementing any changes that may give rise to the application of export controls, such as a change in the scope of work or the addition of new staff to the project after work on the project has begun.
  • Cooperating fully with the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs personnel to determine the application of export control regulations to the research if any export control issues are identified at the contract or grant proposal stage.
  • Adhering strictly to any applicable restrictions and cooperating fully with the university’s efforts to monitor compliance if it is determined that export controls apply to the project.
  •  Formulation of a Technology Control Plan for management of controlled data, information, technology, equipment, etc.

  • Ensuring that all personnel exposed to Export Controlled projects complete the Acknowledgement of Briefing form.

What procedures do I follow when transferring (shipping) an item outside of the U.S.?

University activities involving

  1. shipping equipment or any other item abroad
  2. teaching or training foreign colleagues abroad how to use equipment

may need an export license. Each University researcher is responsible for his/her own individual compliance.

The Safety and Health department will help exporters safely and legally transport research materials to international destinations. Safety and Health will make sure the international shipments meet all requirements for proper classification, labeling, packaging and documentation. The RSP office will assist you in determining if an export license is required as well as in obtaining the license. For international shipping questions and needs, please contact the Safety and Health department (http://www.utoledo.edu/depts/safety/index.html). The vast majority of international shipments from the University will only require appropriate packaging and labeling, rather than a license. It is important, however, to contact the RSP office well in advance of travel or shipment because export controlled materials may require a license, which involves a government approval process that takes many weeks.

Please visit the following Safety and Health webpage to view the policy on packaging and shipping hazardous materials: http://www.utoledo.edu/depts/safety/docs/HM-08-031.pdf

Are there restrictions on foreign travel?

Do not travel to conduct research or educational activities to embargoed countries without first checking with the RSP office to secure a license from the Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control. A request to travel in embargoed countries is sometimes granted for educational purposes. The current list of embargoed countries includes the following:

  • Balkans
  • Cuba
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Libya
  • North Korea
  • Burma
  • Liberia
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Zimbabwe

This list is subject to updates. Please reference OFAC Sanctions Programs for the most current list.
NOTE: A general license for Cuba may cover you; all other countries require a specific license.

What can you take with you overseas?

Under the license exception for temporary export (TMP) you can take usual and reasonable kinds and quantities of tools of trade (commodities and software) for use by you or your employees in a lawful enterprise. The tools of trade must remain under your effective control or your employee's (you or your employee must retain physical possession of the item, lock it in a hotel safe, or have it guarded). Encryption commodities and software may be pre-loaded on a laptop, handheld device or other computer or equipment.

All tools of trade may accompany you departing from the U.S. or may be shipped unaccompanied within one month before your departure from the U.S., or at any time after departure. All commodities and software must, if not consumed or destroyed in the normal course of authorized temporary use abroad, be returned as soon as practicable, but no later than one year after the date of export. No tools of trade may be taken to embargoed countries.

 
Last Updated: 3/23/15