Frequently Asked Questions

Export Regulations

What are the Export Controls?

The "Export Controls" are a set of U.S. laws and regulations that govern the transfer of controlled items or information to foreign countries or to foreign nationals or entities within the United States. U.S. Export Controls exist to protect the national security, the economic and foreign policy interests of the United States of America.

What is the definition of export?

See Export Definitions section.

What is the definition of U.S. Person and Foreign Person?

See Export Definitions section.

What is an export license?

An export license is a U.S. Government authorization granting permission to transfer, disclose, or ship export-controlled items to foreign individuals/entities or to foreign countries.

Why should I be concerned about Export Controls?

Consequences for violating Export Controls laws and regulations are severe. It is a liability not only for the University, but also for its faculty and staff to assess the risk and to apply for the appropriate export authorizations.
See Export Violations section.


What does the term "item" include?

The term "Item" includes:

  • Hardware
  • Technical data
Specific information necessary for the "development", "production", or "use" of a product. It may take the form of blueprints, plans, diagrams, models, formulae, tables, engineering designs and specifications, manuals and instructions written or recorded on other media or devices such as disk, tape, and read - only memories.
  • Software


What are the Export Administration Regulations (EAR)?

The Export Administration Regulations or EAR (15 CFR § 730-774) are administered by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) under the U.S. Department of Commerce. They regulate the export and reexport of commercial and dual-use items.

What is a dual-use item?

A dual-use item is an item having both commercial and military applications.
E.g.: GPS.
What is an Export Controls Classification Number (ECCN)?

The Export Control Classification Number or ECCN is a 5 character alphanumeric code that describes the item and indicates licensing requirements. The first character is a number that describes the category of the item. The second character is a letter which indicates the sub-category. The last 3 numerical digits are used for numerical ordering of the item. E.g.: 3A001. All ECCNs are listed in the Commerce Control List (CCL) (15 CFR Part 774).

What is EAR99?

EAR99 is basket entry for items falling under the U.S. Department of Commerce jurisdiction but not listed in the Commerce Controls List. Those items generally consist of low-technology consumer goods. They can be exported to most countries without a U.S. government authorization, except to embargoed countries (Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria) or to a person or entity listed on a Restricted Parties List.

For more information about the EAR, please consult the Export Controls basics webpage of the BIS.


What are the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)?

The International Traffic in Arms Regulations or ITAR (22 CFR § § 120-130) are administered by the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls under the U.S. Department of State. They regulate the export, reexport, and import of defense-related articles and services.

What is a defense article?

Defense Article (22 C.F.R. § 120.6.) means any hardware, technical data or software that is specifically designed, developed, configured, adapted, or modified for military or intelligent applications. Note that sometimes defense articles include items not listed in the U.S. Munitions List (USML).

What is a defense service?

Defense Service (22 C.F.R. § 120.9.) means providing assistance, including training, to a foreign person, whether in the United States or abroad in the design, manufacture, installation, repair, or operation of a defense article, as well as providing technical data. Defense services also include informal collaboration, conversations, or interchanges concerning technical data.

If you have determined that your item is export-controlled under the ITAR, please contact the Office of Trade Compliance.
For more information about the ITAR, please visit the DDTC website.


What are the Office of Foreign Assets Controls regulations (OFAC)?

The Office of Foreign Assets Controls regulations or OFAC regulations are administered under the Department of Treasury. They prohibit trade, financial transaction and other dealings with certain countries, individuals and entities.

"Publicly available" and "Public domain" Exclusion

What is the "Educational Information" Exclusion?

Educational information is defined as information released through catalog classes or labs at institutions of higher learning. Educational Information is not subject to the U.S. Export Regulations.

What is the "Fundamental Research" Exclusion?

Fundamental Research is defined as "basic and applied research in science and engineering [at accredited institutions of higher learning in the U.S.] where the resulting information is ordinarily published and shared broadly within the scientific community. Information resulting from Fundamental Research is not subject to the U.S. Export Regulations.

Controlled "Use" Technology

What is the definition of "use" technology?

The EAR defines "use" technology (15 C.F.R. Part 772) as specific information necessary for the "operation, installation (including on-site installation), maintenance (checking), repair, overhaul and refurbishing" of a product. If the technology available to a Foreign National meets all of these attributes, then it constitutes "use" technology and a deemed-export license may be required.

Export Controls Procedures

What is a Technology Control Plan (TCP)?

A Technology Control Plan (TCP) is a document prepared by the Principal Investigator in collaboration with the Export Controls team providing procedures that will be implemented in order to safeguard and control access to information or items that are export restricted. Generally it describes the export controls item/activity, lists the person having access to it, locates where it will be store, explains how it will be monitored and controlled etc. The P.I is in charge to ensure compliance with the TCP. The P.I. must contact the Export Controls team every time the TCP needs to be amended (for any changes in the scope of work, location of the items, list of employees/students etc.).