Export control regulations are federal laws that prohibit the unlicensed export of certain commodities or information for reasons of national security or protections of trade. Export controls usually arise for one or more of the following reasons:

  • The nature of the export has actual or potential military applications or economic protection issues.
  • Government concerns about the destination country, organization, or individual.
  • Government concerns about the declared or suspected end use or the end user of the export.

Why Should You Care?

Jail sentences have been mandated for faculty members who break compliance rules in spending grant dollars and who transgress export controls. For example, a jury convicted a Tennessee professor of illegally exporting information to foreign countries via his graduate students and his trip to a foreign country and sentenced him in July 2009 to four years in federal prison.

How Does PASSHE Comply?

In October 2012, the Chancellor signed formal Procedures/Standard 2012-14 and Supplemental Information. These documents provide background information about export control, define general requirements for travel and shipment, and outline individual and university responsibilities.

For additional information, view a PowerPoint presentation on the basics of Export Control, or view the PASSHE Embargo and Export Control Resources (Note: This content is part of PASSHE's secure intranet, so you will need your Employee Self-Service log-on to access it. Contact IT Support if you do not have your log-on information.) Or, contact one of the IUP designated university officials:

What Is an Export?

An export is any oral, written, electronic, or visual disclosure, shipment, transfer, or transmission of commodities, technology, information, technical data, assistance, or software codes to

  • Anyone outside the US, including a US citizen
  • A non-US individual wherever they are (deemed export)
  • A foreign embassy or affiliate

Methods of Disclosure Include

  • Fax
  • Telephone discussions
  • Email communications
  • Computer data disclosure
  • Face-to-face discussions
  • Training sessions
  • Tours that involve visual inspections

Who Is a Foreign National?

A "foreign national" is any person who is not a

  • US citizen or national
  • US lawful permanent resident
  • person granted asylum
  • person granted refugee status
  • temporary resident

"Foreign national" includes

  • People in the US in non-immigrant status (for example, H-1B, H-3, L-1, J-1, F-1 Practical Training, L-1)
  • People unlawfully in the US

Agencies with Oversight of Export Control Laws

Most exports do not require government licenses. However, licenses are required for exports that the US government considers "license controlled" under

  1. The Department of Commerce's Export Administration Regulations (EAR) which covers [15 CFR 730-774]:
    1. Dual-use items
    2. Items designed for commercial purpose, but which could have military applications (computers, civilian aircraft, pathogens)
    3. Both the goods and the technology
    4. Deemed exports
    5. The Commerce Control List (Short Version)
      1. Nuclear materials, facilities, and equipment (and miscellaneous items)
      2. Materials, chemicals, microorganisms, and toxins
      3. Materials processing
      4. Electronics design, development, and production
      5. Computers
      6. Telecommunications and information security
      7. Sensors and lasers
      8. Navigation and avionics
      9. Marine
      10. Propulsion systems, space vehicles, and related equipment
  2. The Department of State's International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR—also known as the US Munitions List) covers defense-related items and services [22 CFR 120-130]:
    1. Covers military items or defense articles
    2. Regulates goods and technology designed to kill or defend against death in a military setting
    3. Includes space-related technology because of application to missile technology
    4. Includes technical data related to defense articles and services
    5. The United States Munitions List (short version)
      1. Firearms, close assault weapons, and combat shotguns
      2. Guns and armament
      3. Ammunition/ordnance
      4. Launch vehicles, guided missiles, ballistic missiles, rockets, torpedoes, bombs, and mines
      5. Explosives and energetic materials, propellants, incendiary agents, and their constituents
      6. Vessels of war and special naval equipment
      7. Tanks and military vehicles
      8. Aircraft and associated equipment
      9. Military training equipment
      10. Protective personnel equipment
      11. Military electronics
      12. Fire control, range finder, optical and guidance, and control equipment
      13. Auxiliary military equipment
      14. Toxicological agents, including chemical agents, biological agents, and associated equipment
      15. Spacecraft systems and associated equipment
      16. Nuclear weapons, design, and testing related items
      17. Classified articles, technical data, and defense services not otherwise enumerated
      18. Directed energy weapons
      19. Reserved
      20. Submersible vessels, oceanographic and associated equipment
      21. Miscellaneous articles
  3. The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions that have been imposed against specific countries based on reasons of foreign policy, national security, or international agreements. Full descriptions of all countries currently subject to boycott programs are available here. OFAC covers [31 CFR 500-599]:
    1. Regulates the transfer of items/services of value to embargoed nations
    2. Imposes trade sanctions and trade and travel embargoes aimed at controlling terrorism, drug trafficking, and other illicit activities
    3. Prohibits payments/providing value to nationals of sanctioned countries and some specified entities/individuals
    4. May prohibit travel and other activities with embargoed countries and individuals even when exclusions to EAR/ITAR apply.
    5. OFAC Sanctions:
      1. Balkans
      2. Burma
      3. Cote d'Ivoire
      4. Cuba
      5. Iran
      6. Iraq
      7. Liberia
      8. Libya
      9. North Korea
      10. Sudan
      11. Syria
      12. Zimbabwe

Export Control License Requirements


  • An export license may be required before a controlled item or material may be exported
  • There is usually a lengthy processing time period (currently two to three or more months)
  • Denial possible
  • Approval may contain restrictive conditions
  • Researchers must curtail or modify activities pending license issuance

License Requirements (Dual Use/Commercial Technologies)

  • "Terrorist Supporting Countries" such as Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria
  • "Countries of Concern" such as the former Soviet Republics, China, and Vietnam
  • "Friendly Countries" such as all others (European countries, Central/South America, etc.)

Licensing Policy (Military/Space Technologies)

  • Policy of Denial: State sponsors of terrorism (Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria), arms embargo (Burma, PR China, Haiti, Liberia, Somalia, and Sudan), others (Belarus, Iraq, Vietnam)
  • Policy of Denial based on item/end-user: Afghanistan, Congo, Iraq, Rwanda

Note: This text has been copied from the University of Tennessee website.