UC's Export Compliance Plan

The University of California’s strategy for compliance with the federal export controls is based upon maintaining an open, fundamental research environment, such that scientific data and results qualify as being in the “public domain” under ITAR and are not subject to the EAR under the provisions related to:

  • publicly available technology
  • published information and software
  • information resulting from fundamental research, and 
  • educational information

For more information on maintaining a fundamental research environment, see these FAQ’s.

By qualifying under these sections of EAR and ITAR, the university can avoid the problems associated with “deemed exports” of technical data, and then secure any required export licenses as needed. In this manner, UC can maintain its open research and education environment while also complying with the export regulations.

In response to efforts to insert contract language controlling publication and participation of foreign nationals in university research, the university confirmed its policy on maintaining an open research and education environment.  In September 2002, the Vice Chancellors for Research from the (then) nine UC campuses unanimously agreed that the University would not make exceptions to the publication policy or accept restrictions on the open dissemination of research results.  

Steps for researchers to follow to adhere to UC’s Export Compliance Plan

UC faculty and staff must take the following steps to assure that they do not violate the export regulations and become personally liable for substantial civil and criminal penalties.


  1. Prior to shipment or hand-carry of any items out of the U.S., determine if the commodity requires an export license and assist in securing such license, when required. See International Shipping for more information.
  2. Work with your location Export Control Officer to secure license approval or verify license exception prior to shipment for all controlled items.

Publications and personnel restrictions:

  1. Do publish research results in a timely manner (e.g., early and often) through one of the means that qualifies as "publicly available" or "in the public domain." Publicly available technology and software is that which is:
    • Already published or will be published in journals, books, open websites, or other media available to a community of persons interested in the subject
    • Published through release at open conferences and meetings
    • Arises during or results from fundamental research where the resulting information is ordinarily published and shared broadly within the scientific community and where no contractual controls have been accepted
    • Educational information released by instruction in catalog courses and associated teaching laboratories of the university
    • Included in certain patent applications
  2. Do not accept publication controls or access/dissemination restrictions, enter into ‘secrecy agreements’, or otherwise agree to withhold results in research projects conducted at the University or that involve University facilities, students, or staff.
  3. Do not provide citizenship, nationality, or visa status information to project sponsors or other third parties, or agree to background checks for project participants.
  4. Do not accept proprietary information from another that is marked “Export Controlled.” Return to the manufacturer any materials they provide to you about export-controlled equipment that is marked “Confidential”.  Review any Confidentiality/Non-Disclosure Agreements to insure that UC and you are not assuming the burden of restricting dissemination based on citizenship status or securing licenses.
  5. Direct any questions regarding Department of Defense form DD2345 (entitled, "Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement") to your location Export Control Officer.
  6. Do not travel to conduct research or educational activities with the embargoed countries without first checking with your location Export Control Officer to ascertain whether a license from the Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control, is required.
  7. Contact your location Export Control Officer you encounter problems in any of the above areas for assistance in resolving the matter so that the research may proceed in a manner that avoids violation of the export regulations. 

It is important to take these steps to preserve the “publicly available” and “public domain” exemptions provided by the government, including that afforded to fundamental research.  Without exemptions, the EAR or ITAR licensing requirements may apply to information (technology or technical data) concerning controlled commodities or items. 

Unless a license exemption applies, a “deemed export” license would then be required before information is conveyed (even visually thorough observation) to foreign students, researchers, staff, or visitors on campus, and an actual export license would be required before information is conveyed abroad to anyone. 

The university’s mission of education and research and the international nature of science and academic discourse require that we maintain an open academic environment without regard to citizenship or visa status. The export regulations provide appropriate “safe harbors” for fundamental research to protect the university.