What are Export Control Laws?

U.S. laws that regulate the distribution to foreign nationals and foreign countries of strategically important technology, services and information for reasons of foreign policy and national security. Export control laws apply to all activities – not just sponsored research projects. To learn more, visit the Laws and Governing Agencies page.

How can Export Controls affect my research?

There are several scenarios that may require an export license including, but limited to:

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. To learn more, visit the Licenses and Exclusions page.

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. To learn more, visit the Penalties page.

What kinds of projects raise Export Control concerns?

Any research activity may be subject to export controls if it involves the actual export or “deemed” export of any goods, technology, or related technical data that is either:

“Dual use” (commercial in nature with possible military application); or Inherently military in nature

Research in the following areas can frequently require export control:

In addition, any of the following will raise export control questions for your project:

Helpful Questions to Consider:

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

The PI has the best understanding of the research and should know whether particular technology, data, or information involved is subject to export control regulations. The PI is responsible for:

Where can I get help?

Any time you have a question about the application of export controls to any stage of a specific research project, contact the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at orsp@utm.edu or 881-7105.