What is Export Control

US export controls exist to protect the national security and foreign policy interests of this country. Export controls govern the shipment, transmission, or transfer of controlled items, software, technology, or services out of U.S. (termed an “Export”). Perhaps of even more consequence to the university, is that the government also restricts the release of certain information to foreign nationals here in the U.S. (referred to as a “Deemed Export”). Export Controls have the potential to severely limit the research opportunities of university faculty and their students and staff, as well as to prevent international collaboration in certain research areas. Non-compliance with export controls can result in severe monetary and criminal penalties against both an individual as well as the university, and can result in the loss of research contracts, governmental funding, and the ability to export items.

What kinds of activities might trigger export control issues?

In general, the shipment or transmission of items subject to the export control laws out of the United States or the release of information, technology, or software (including source code) to a foreign national, whether in or outside the United States, is considered to be an export, a “deemed” export if inside the US.

Activities that might trigger licensing requirements:

  • International research collaborations;
  • Use of foreign national students in research projects;
  • International shipments of certain viruses, equipment, software, or technology;
  • Overseas travel, including conferences;
  • Traveling with certain types of high tech equipment including but not limited to advanced GPS units, scientific equipment, or with controlled, proprietary or unpublished data in any format;
  • Sponsored research containing contractual restrictions on publication or dissemination;
  • The provision of financial assistance to an embargoed country or person or entity that is considered a blocked or sanctioned party
  • The provision of professional services to a person or entity that is a blocked or sanctioned party or individual from an embargoed country.

Research Activities

Some research projects, especially those sponsored by private industry or government defense agencies, may involve the exchange of export controlled data or the use of export controlled equipment. If participating in an export controlled project, certain processes and considerations must be taken into account to remain compliant with U.S. Export Regulations and UNCG procedures:

  • TCP (Technology Control Plan) –The purpose of the TCP is to protect export controlled equipment, software, materials, and technology / technical data from access by unauthorized personnel, which may include non-U.S. persons (an export license/exemption may be needed). TCPs must be in place before the research project can begin. All project personnel are required to take on-line export control training and receive a TCP briefing by the Export Control Officer (ECO) prior to start of project.
  • Collaboration with scientists outside the U.S. – Some research projects may involve collaboration with scientists who reside outside the U.S. and are citizens of other countries. The information to be shared must be evaluated for possible export control issues prior to the exchange of information, data, technology, software, or equipment. Prior licensing approval may be required.
  • Collaboration on-campus with non-U.S. citizen visitors/scientists – Before a foreign visitor or visiting scientist is allowed access to a lab or research project, an export control evaluation must be conducted to make sure the foreign visitor does not have access to export controlled materials, equipment, software, or technology that would require prior licensing approval.
  • Shipments of items outside the U.S. – If shipping export controlled items outside the U.S. is applicable to the project, shipping must be coordinated with the ECO. ITAR controlled items will require prior licensing approval from the Department of State and cannot be shipped until license is received. The ECO will apply for all export licenses.

Note: All sponsors, project personnel, foreign collaborators and foreign visitors are screened using Visual Compliance (a web-based screening tool) to make sure the individuals/companies are not on a denied party/entity list.