Export Controls regulate the shipment or transfer of controlled items.

An export is the transfer of sensitive equipment, commodities, technology, information, technical data, software or services to:

  • Anyone outside the U.S. including a U.S. citizen
  • A “foreign national” whether in the U.S. or abroad
  • A foreign embassy or affiliate

A “Foreign National” is any person who is NOT a:

  • S. Citizen or National
  • S. Lawful Permanent Resident
  • Person Granted Asylum/Refugee Status

Temporary Resident “Foreign Nationals” include:

  • Persons in the U.S. in non-immigrant status (for example, H-1B, H-3, L-1, J-1, F-1 Practical Training, L-1)

Universities are diverse places that encourage collaborative environments which results in many avenues for exports. Export controls become a concern when researchers and staff work on projects that are considered controlled or have publication restrictions that include foreign persons or foreign collaborators. Researchers have the primary compliance responsibility regarding export control laws and regulations.

In order to prevent unauthorized exportation of controlled deemed to be sensitive to national security or economic interests, the followed may be required:

  1. Technology Control Plan
  2. Shipping License
  3. Export Control Evaluation for Foreign Nationals (visitors and non-immigrant employees)
  4. Export Control Training (via CITI)

Export control violations can result in penalties and fines which may apply to an individual, the institution or both.

There are several exclusions to Export Control Law, in particular:

  • Fundamental Research Exclusion – research that results in published and broadly shared information.
  • Employment Exclusion – no license is required to share covered technical data with a foreign national that is:
    • Not a national of certain countries (depending on the ECCN)
    • A full-time employee of USU
    • Has a permanent U.S. address while employed
    • Advised in writing not to share covered technical data with any foreign nationals
  • Educational Information Exclusion – common information concerning general scientific, mathematical, or engineering principles taught at universities or is in the public domain.
  • Publicly Available or Public Domain Information Exclusion – Information that is published and generally available to the public, as well as publicly available technology and software.

Travel to other sanctioned or embargoed destinations is subject to federal licensing and trade sanction regulations which heavily regulate and sometimes prohibit travel and other interactions with such countries, including research and seemingly innocuous activity such as teaching a course with publicly available information.

USU employees who travel internationally to teach or conduct research should be aware of the possibility of export license requirements for items, materials, or equipment that they carry with them. Hand-carrying items, materials, or equipment outside of the U.S. (even temporarily) is considered an export. All exports should be screened for export license requirements.

You should not take with you any of the following technology or data without first obtaining specific advice from the Office of Research Integrity and Compliance:

  • Proprietary data or information received under an obligation of confidentiality
  • Patentable information or any sensitive/personal
  • Data or analyses that result from a project for which there are contractual constraints on the dissemination of the research results
  • Computer software received with restrictions on export to or on access by foreign nationals
  • Devices or equipment received with restrictions on export to or on access by foreign nationals
  • Devices, systems or software that was specifically designed or modified for military or space applications
  • Classified information

International shipments of items, technology, biological and chemical materials, and software are subject to numerous export and import obligations. University personnel who engage in international shipping are responsible for ensuring compliance with U.S. export control laws and regulations.

Shipment of controlled items should be planned well in advance, as it may take several weeks to several months to obtain any necessary license.

Any individual intending to transmit export-controlled items, technical data or technology outside the U.S. must first contact the Export Control Officer, in the Office of Research Integrity & Compliance.

The Export Control Officer will assist with screening to ensure that the individuals and/or entities to which items are being shipped are eligible to receive those materials, i.e. that they do not appear on “specially designated national” or “banned parties” lists and are not in embargoed locations.

Items being shipped must be properly packaged. Shipment of items controlled under the EAR and ITAR should be clearly marked as controlled with the regulatory information cited.

When importing items into the U.S. it is necessary to work with the vendor and Purchasing Services in order to ensure that all shipping documents are filled out properly and to avoid any additional fees from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Temporary imports may be eligible for license exceptions and be duty free under the condition that proper forms are completed prior to shipping the items.

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) administers a number of different sanction and embargo programs. The sanctions can be either comprehensive or selective, using the blocking of assets and trade restrictions to accomplish foreign policy and national security goals. Some export licenses may be issued to ship or transfer technology, data, or other items to sanctioned countries on a case-by-case basis.

Export Control 2

Generally, technologies that are subject to export controls have potential military applications. This includes technologies that are clearly military in nature as well as “dual use” technologies having both legitimate commercial purposes and potential military applications.

Technologies such as nuclear materials, propulsion systems, and biological/chemical toxins, to name a few, can be easily identified as fall into the regulatory scheme of export controls. However, some areas of technology that would not normally be considered as having military applications can be subject to export controls. For example, computer hardware that you can purchase from any major vendor could be subject to export controls.

Principal investigators need to be aware of the technologies covered by export control regulations during the preparation of research proposals. The following lists of technologies can serve as a guide. However, if you are unsure, please contact the Office of Research Integrity and Compliance for assistance.


When determining if you have an export control issue, consider these RED FLAGS.

Export Control 3

Export Control 4

The Empowered Official, as required by 22 C.F.R. 120.25, has the following authorities and responsibilities that may not be delegated:

  1. Signing applications for licenses and other requests for approval under the ITAR on behalf of the campus and campus personnel;
  2. Taking appropriate measures to enforce campus export compliance policies and procedures;
  3. Reporting suspected export control violations to the cognizant federal authorities; and
  4. Any other authorities and responsibilities enumerated at 22 C.F.R. 120.25.
The Export Compliance Officer is responsible for the ongoing development and maintenance of the campus’s export compliance policies and procedures.

Specifically, the Export Compliance Officer’s responsibilities include:

  1. Serving as the primary contact for the campus community regarding this policy and export controls generally;
  2. Determining the applicability of export controls to campus activities;
  3. Coordinating applications for export licenses and related authorizations on behalf of the campus, and applying for or assisting the Empowered Official for ITAR with applying for, such licenses and authorizations;
  4. Assisting campus personnel in developing procedures for securing and managing access to items and information subject to export controls, and approving such procedures;
  5. Conducting training and providing other educational resources regarding compliance with this policy and with federal export laws and regulations;
  6. Assisting academic and administrative units with developing procedures for complying with this policy and with federal export laws and regulations;
  7. Performing periodic assessments of efforts to comply with this policy and with federal export laws and regulations; and
  8. Investigating suspected export control violations, including violations of this policy.
Researchers (including tenure- and non-tenure-track faculty; lecturers, postdoctoral fellows, postdoctoral scholars, and other postdoctoral personnel; independent researchers, students engaged in research; and visiting scholars) bear the primary responsibility for ensuring compliance with export controls in the conduct of research and other activities in which they participate. Specifically, this includes:

  1. Disclosing to the Export Compliance Officer any activities or relationships that may require a Technology Control Plan or license, including without limitation:
    • Research where the sponsor restricts publication or participation by Foreign Persons;
    • Research intended to develop military, intelligence, or dual-use applications;
    • Research, including fundamental research, involving the use of controlled items or information;
    • Travel to embargoed countries for the purposes of conducting, presenting, or otherwise supporting research or establishing relationships on behalf of the university; and
    • Exports of controlled items, including travel with controlled information, materials, or equipment, and deemed exports.
  2. Disclosing to the Export Compliance Officer any suspected violations of this policy or of export controls;
  3. Working with the Export Compliance Officer to appropriately identify, correctly categorize, and adequately secure the controlled technologies they use and produce;
  4. Knowing and complying with the terms of funding awards and other agreements that impose export controls and limitations on publishing research data;
  5. If deemed necessary by the Export Compliance Officer, developing a Technology Control Plan to manage access to controlled items and information;
  6. Monitoring compliance with any applicable Technology Control Plan(s) for themselves and for any other faculty, staff, and students under their supervision; and
  7. Working with the Export Compliance Officer to provide appropriate training for other faculty, staff, and students under their supervision regarding conducting research and participating in controlled activities in compliance with their regulatory and contractual obligations.
  • Provide assistance to PIs in reviewing terms of sponsored program agreements, material transfer agreements and other non- monetary agreements to identify restrictions on publication and dissemination of research results. The will also flag such restrictions in agency requests for proposals
  • Provide assistance to PI in identifying international components of sponsored program agreements, identifying potential export control issues in the proposed international component
  • Communicate identified potential export control issues to the PI and the Export Control Officer
  • Coordinate any changes in awards that necessitate a re-review of the project for export controls

The school and department business administrators assist in ensuring compliance with export control regulations by identifying potential export issues in unit activities. Such issues may include:

  • Reviewing invoices for statements that items may not be exported
  • Ensuring international shipping is compliant with export control laws
  • Ensuring that payments do not go to, or contracts are not entered into, anyone on the then-current Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list
  • Ensuring that international travel is compliant with applicable export control regulations
  • Ensuring that visa export certification information has been completed

Establishing a Technology Control Plan (TCP) is a multi-step process:

  1. The Principal Investigator (PI) completes Export Control Training via CITI.
  2. The PI completes “Technology Control Plan Form” in ServiceNow.
    1. The Export Control Officer (ECO) sends the TCP to university personnel as needed.
    2. The ECO briefs all project personnel on the plan and obtains signatures.
  3. The ECO request any license(s), if applicable from Department of State/Department of Commerce.
  4. The ECO reviews and approves the TCP after receipt of license(s), if applicable.
  5. The ECO gives final approval to the PI.
  6. The PI then implements the TCP.
  7. The PI notifies the ECO of any updates to the TCP as they occur (personnel, scope of work, safeguards, etc).
Review the following flow chart to determine if you need an export control license.

Export Control 7

To determine whether export control restrictions apply to a proposed visitor or prospective employee, ask the hiring/hosting department and host/supervisor the following questions:

  1. Does the research project contain any technology and/or technical data that will be released to the visiting scholar or prospective employee that is controlled under EAR and/or ITAR?
  2. Does the sponsored research have contracts or agreements for export control concerns, such as restrictions on participation of foreign nationals in research, or restrictions on publication of research results?
  3. Is the visitor or prospective employee a national of an embargoed country?
  4. Does the research project have a Technology Control Plan?

LINK & INSTRUCTIONS COMING SOON – for questions or more information, email compliance@usu.edu

If project/activity has the potential to involve the receipt and/or use of Export-Controlled Items or Information (ECII), please complete the“Technology Control Plan Request” form via ServiceNow for review by Utah State University’s Export Control Officer (ECO), Jodi Roberts, to see if a “Technology Control Plan” is required.  For questions and/or assistance, contact the Office of Research Integrity and Compliance at 435-797-4208 or compliance@usu.edu.

Once you have completed the “Technology Control Plan Request” form via ServiceNow, the Export Control Officer will determine if a “Technology Control Plan Form” is required.  If it is required, the Export Control Officer will contact you with the “Technology Control Plan Form”.

Establishing a Technology Control Plan is a multi-step process. The following flow-chart illustrates the various responsibilities and steps in that process.

Export control training is required for anyone identified in a Technology Control Plan.

How to Take the Export Control Course:

  • Go to the CITI website.
  • Log in.
  • Under “My Learner Tools for Utah State University”, click “Add a Course”.
  • Select “Export Compliance (EC) Course”  and go to the next page.
  • In the table, under “Course”, you can click on “Export Compliance”.
  • Under “Required Modules”, you can click “Introduction to Export Compliance”. Read through the material and complete the quiz at the end.
  • You may be required to take an “Optional Module”.