Export Controls

What are Export Controls?

Export Controls are federal laws and regulations that govern the transfer of goods, technologies, related technical data, and some services and money. They are intended to protect national security, economic interests and foreign policy of the United States. While these laws are not new, they have received more attention post 9/11. Today, as global threats increase, there are heightened concerns about national security and stricter interpretation and enforcement of export control laws by the federal government. 

Export Control Regulations:

  • Export Administration Regulations (EAR) - Implemented by the Department of Commerce for items that have both a commercial and potential military use
  • International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) - Implemented by the Department of State for military items and defense services
  • Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions 

Is anything excluded from export control laws?

  • Educational information normally taught at a university
  • Public information such as patents, websites, books, papers, publicly available software
  • Fundamental research- basic or applied research normally published and broadly shared 

More information about these and other exclusions can be found on the Export Control FAQ's page.

How can export controls affect my research?

Export control laws define "export' as not only the physical transfer or disclosure of an item outside the US, but also as the transfer/disclosure of a controlled item or information (technology) within the US to anyone who is a foreign national (not a US Citizen or permanent resident).  This is known as the deemed export rule.  In some cases, the University may be required to obtain prior approval from the government (known as an export license) before allowing the participation of foreign national faculty, staff, or students to be involved in affected research.  In some cases, a license may not be available at all based on the country involved.

Licenses may also be required for:

  • Presentation/discussion of previously unpublished research at conferences and meetings where foreign national scholars may be in attendance
  • Research collaborations with foreign nationals and technical exchange programs
  • Transfers of research equipment abroad
  • Visits to your lab by foreign scholars
What do NDSU personnel need to do?

In order to ensure compliance with export controls, it is important for university personnel to identify when their activities may trigger export controls.

Research that may Trigger Export Controls:

  • Military or defense articles
  • Dual use technologies (technologies that have both military and commercial application)
  • Encryption technology
  • Chemical and biological weapons
  • Select bio-agents, pathogens, viruses, and toxins
  • Space technology, unmanned aerial vehicles, and satellites
  • Sensors
  • Coatings
  • Medical lasers

Activities that may trigger Export Controls:

  • Travelling out of the U.S. with high tech equipment, confidential, unpublished or proprietary information
  • Traveling with laptop computers, web-enabled cell phones and other personal equipment
  • Use of 3rd party export controlled technology or equipment
  • Sponsored research containing contractual restrictions on publication or dissemination
  • Providing financial support/international financial transactions 
  • International collaborations and presentations
  • International field work
  • Foreign (non-U.S.) visitors
  • Shipping into or out of the U.S.

Countries that may trigger Export Controls: 

BangladeshCrimean region of Ukraine
LebanonNorth Korea
Saudi ArabiaSyria
United Arab EmiratesVenezuela


If you think any of these apply, Contact the Export Controls office 

1-6455 or ndsu.exportcontrols@ndsu.edu



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