Do I Need A License?

Note: This material is adapted from the basic design and content of Stanford University’s and NCSU’s Export Control Decision Trees. We acknowledge and appreciate their permission to use their content.

United States export controls exist to protect the national security and foreign policy interests of this country. Export controls govern the shipment, transmission, or transfer of certain sensitive items, information or software to foreign persons or entities. Where applicable, they may require authorization from the US Government in the form of an export license. Most of the items, information or software that UNCG ships or shares with its colleagues and research partners is not of a nature that would be restricted for these purposes, nor are they destined for countries or individuals subject to US embargoes or sanctions. UNCG however is required to exercise due diligence, and this Decision Tree has been crafted for the purpose of complying with US trade law while preserving UNC System policies.

These pages will walk you through a series of “Yes” or “No” questions, leading to a determination of whether or not an export control license is applicable to any particular situation. Remember that export controls may apply when an item, information or software is being sent outside US borders, OR when it is being shared with “foreign persons or entities” in the US.

A “foreign person” is anyone who is not a “US person.” A US person is a citizen of the United States, a lawful permanent resident alien of the US (a “green card holder”), a refugee, protected political asylee or someone granted temporary residency under amnesty or Special Agricultural Worker provisions. The word “person” includes organizations and entities, such as universities. The general rule is that only US persons are eligible to receive controlled items, information or software without first obtaining an export license from the appropriate agency.

You may find it useful to note that export controls are frequently, but not exclusively, associated with items, information or software within the following general areas:

  • Nuclear Technology
  • Sensors and Sensor Technology
  • Advanced Computer/Microelectronic Technology
  • Information Security/Encryption
  • Laser and Directed Energy Systems
  • Rocket Systems
  • Marine Technology
  • Chemical, Biotechnology and Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Technology
  • Remote Sensing, Imaging and Reconnaissance
  • Navigation, Avionics and Flight Control
  • Robotics
  • Propulsion System and Unmanned Air Vehicle Subsystems
  • Telecommunications/Networking

Our Decision Tree will walk you through a series of steps to help determine if export control regulations are applicable to your activity. These series of steps will walk you through “Yes” or “No” questions that ask about sharing, shipping, transmitting or transferring items, information, or software.  Your replies will help determine if an export control license may be required for your situation, and will provide guidance on next steps.

Click Here to Access Export Control Decision Tree

The Decision Tree content uses terminology derived from US Department of State, Commerce, and Treasury export regulations.  Many of these terms are found in the “Definitions” section of this website.

This material is adapted from the basic design and content of Stanford University’s Decision Tree.  We appreciate Stanford in granting us to permission to adapt its content for The University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s benefit.