International Collaborations

The NDSU Export Controls office protects NDSU’s open research policy and the free interchange of information among scholars while complying with U.S. export control laws.

Overview: In general, collaborations between university personnel and scholars at foreign institutions or organizations do not require export licenses unless they involve export controlled or restricted research or involve scholars in sanctioned countries. Before engaging in an international collaboration, Export Controls will determine if export licenses are required and to verify that the foreign individual and/or organization are not blocked or sanctioned entities.

  • Depending on the scope and sensitivity of the activity (curriculum vs. research) the FRE may or may not apply. 
  • Export controls driven from the U.S. campus (including a TCP) may require extension overseas, as certain foreign national access to technology and exposure to embargoed services/transactions becomes a more likely possibility.

Interactions with Foreign Colleagues

You are free to openly discuss any published or publicly available information or information generated as the result of Fundamental Research as long as the recipient is not a sanctioned or specially designated entity. It is important to remember that while the results/information resulting from Fundamental Research are not subject to export controls and can be shared without a license, any items, technology, or software generated under that Fundamental Research would be subject to export controls and may require an export license.

Gifts (Giving or Receiving Improper Payments of Another Gift)

The Foreign Corrupt practices Act (FCPA) prohibit NDSU employees or subcontractors from directly or indirectly giving or receiving improper payments or other benefits to a foreign official to gain a commercial or other advantage. Some examples include:

  • Any gift of cash or a cash substitute
  • Anything that is offered as a “quid pro quo” (a payment in exchange for favor or advantage)
  • Any gift or entertainment that is illegal under the foreign country’s laws, or known to be prohibited by the foreign official’s department, agency, or organization
  • Anything that may influence, or may be perceived as influencing, the decision of anyone considered to be a foreign official
  • Anything given to a foreign official associated with a tender or competitive bidding process where NDSU is involved
  • Any inappropriate entertainment (such as entertainment that is illegal under local law or U.S. law)
  • Any travel, entertainment, or gifts to a family member of, or person otherwise closely associated with, a foreign official

Exercise care and take all necessary precautions to ensure that you are conducting business with reputable and qualified business collaborators (e.g., partners, representatives, recruiters, distributors and any other representatives collaborating with or on behalf of NDSU)

To avoid making improper payments to foreign officials when conducting university business overseas, NDSU faculty, staff, and student employees are also expected to work with Export Controls to perform due diligence on overseas business partners and collaborators. “Red flags” to be aware of include:

  • Apparent lack of qualifications or resources on the part of a collaborator
  • Whether the collaborator has been recommended by an official of the government

Provision of Financial Assistance
OFAC regulations prohibit the University from providing material or financial assistance to any blocked or sanctioned individual or entity. Any university activity that involves payment to a non-U.S. person, business, or organization (e.g., international subcontracts, purchase of items from international vendors, or payments to research participants) must be verified against all appropriate sanctioned party and entity lists. The Export Controls Office can screen payees and assist to verify any international financial transaction(s).


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