Export control laws & regulations

In general, the export control regulations cover four main types of university activities:

  1. transfers of controlled information, including technical data, to persons and entities outside the United States;
  2. shipment of controlled physical items, such as scientific equipment, that require export licenses from the United States to a foreign country;
  3. verbal, written, electronic, or visual disclosures of controlled scientific and technical information related to export controlled items to foreign nationals (“deemed exports”), even when it occurs within the United States; and
  4. travel to certain sanctioned or embargoed countries for purposes of teaching or performing research.

These are requirements are not new. The United States has imposed restrictions on certain kinds of information and items are shipped out of the country since the 1940s.

These are the three relevant sets of legal requirements:

Commerce Department Bureau of Industry and Security - BIS

State Department Directorate of Defense Trade Controls - DDTC

Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control - OFAC

Export Administration Act Arms Export Control Act Trading with the Enemy Act, International Emergency Economic Powers Act, and others

EAR - Export Administration Regulations

15 CFR Parts 700-799

ITAR - International Traffic in Arms Regulations

22 CRF Parts 120-130

Country-specific sanctions and regulations
Commerce Control List U.S. Munitions List List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons

The Export Administration Regulations (EAR) are implemented by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) within the Department of Commerce. The EAR regulates the export of “dual use” goods and services (goods and services having both military and civilian uses) that are identified on the Commerce Control List (CCL). These are items that are not inherently military in nature; they are primarily commercial items with potential military uses.

The International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) are implemented by the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC). These regulations apply to articles, services, and related technical data that are inherently military in nature, as determined by the State Department. These “defense articles,” "defense services,” and related “technical data” are listed on the U.S. Munitions List (USML). Some articles and technologies that are not readily identifiable as inherently military in nature—for example, research satellites or small, research submersibles—are included on the USML.

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) implements the economic and trade sanctions and, based on U.S. foreign policy and national security goals, targets foreign countries, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, and those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The university typically encounters issues arising under the OFAC regulations when researchers engage in collaborations with foreign nationals overseas or seek to teach classes or perform research in foreign countries.


Comments on regulations