International Travel

When traveling abroad there are three basic questions to consider when determining if export controls apply:

Where are you going?

In general, travel to most countries is not a problem. Tighter export controls are in effect for countries that are sanctioned or have restrictions on trade enforced by the U.S. government. The following, sanctioned countries will require advance planning and coordination with the Export Controls office: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, and Venezuela.  Contact us as soon as you anticipate travel to one of these countries.  Additional information is available related to travel to Cuba through the U.S. Department of State.

If you are traveling with items to one of the “comprehensively sanctioned” countries of Cuba, Iran, Syria, Sudan and North Korea, or providing access to your items to a citizen of one of those countries, an export license will most likely be required. Contact us for help in determining your export license requirements.

It is highly recommended that you register any items/equipment that you will be taking with you with U.S. Customs and Protection (CBP). Registration allows you to prove that you had the items before you left the U.S. and all CBP registered items will be allowed to return to the U.S. duty-free. The export control administrator can help you complete the Department of Homeland Security Certificate of Registration – form 4455.

For some international destinations you may be able to obtain an ATA Carnet to facilitate the temporary import of items. Currently there are 70 countries participating in the ATA Carnet program. Using an ATA Carnet eliminates having to pay value-added taxes (VAT), duties, and/or the need to post import security bonds. For additional information, see Obtaining A Carnet.

When traveling abroad, it is always a good idea to contact the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate before you depart. To register your travel plans with an embassy and receive helpful safety and emergency information related to your destination, visit the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. For more information about U.S. Embassies and Consular Offices visit

What are you taking with you?

Items & Equipment

When taking items abroad (including scientific equipment, laptops, encryption software, cell phones, tablets, flash drives, cameras, and GPS units), you need to verify that the items are not export restricted based on your travel destination(s). When transiting between countries you may be asked to provide an Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) for each item you take.

Please refer to the chart below for the ECCNs for equipment most commonly taken abroad. If you are planning to take equipment that is not listed in the chart below, please contact us to obtain the ECCNs for your specific item(s).

Most commercially available basic software (such as Microsoft Office) is EAR99 and can be exported either individually or on your device without a license.   However, proprietary software, software that includes encryption, and/or other complex software may require an export license and should be reviewed by the Export Controls Office.  Please contact us if your device includes any of the above software.

NOTE: While the export of items, technology, commercial software, and encryption code (this includes laptops, PDAs and digital storage devices) is subject to export control regulations, the Department of Commerce’s Export Administration Regulations (EAR) makes an exception to licensing requirements for temporary export or re-export of certain items, technology, or software for professional use as long as the criteria to which you are certifying below are met.

For more information download the Temporary Imports, Exports, and Reexports (TMP) Certification form, complete the information, and send it to the NDSU Export Controls Office,, prior to travelling.

ECCNs for Common Travel Items*

*Do NOT use this chart for travel to Cuba, Iran, Sudan, Syria or North Korea


Dell Laptop (no encryption)5A992cNo Licensed Required (NLR)
Mac Laptop5A992No Licensed Required (NLR)
IPhones & IPads5A992No Licensed Required (NLR)
Jump/Flash Drive (most)3A991No Licensed Required (NLR)
Android Cell Phone/Tablet5A992No Licensed Required (NLR)
Garmin GPS7A994No Licensed Required (NLR)
Bitlocker Encryption5D992No Licensed Required (NLR)
GoPro CameraEAR99No Licensed Required (NLR)


International Travel with Encrypted Mobile Devices- Import/Export Restrictions

I am traveling out of the country and would like to know if there are any import encryption restrictions for laptops, mobile phones, external drives, and other electronic media

Please contact the export control administrator before travelling with any electronic device as restrictions change frequently.

What will you be doing and who will you be interacting with?

It is important to ensure that you do not accidentally export restricted information or provide any type of assistance or benefit to a sanctioned or blocked entity. The following are a few things to keep in mind as you plan your travel activities:

Research Data & Information
You are free to take and openly discuss any data or information that is published, in the public domain, is normally taught as part of a catalog course at NDSU, or that resulted from Fundamental Research. However, you cannot take or share data or information that is in any way export-restricted, such as information about export-controlled technologies, proprietary information, unpublished or the results of a project not protected under the Fundamental Research Exclusion. Sharing these types of information may constitute an unauthorized export. All controlled or restricted data and information should be completely removed from laptops, phones, PDAs, or other portable storage devices (e.g., flash drives) before you leave the U.S.

When presenting data/information in an international setting (including in the U.S. where the audience may include foreign nationals), limit your presentation to only information or data that is published, or is publicly available, or that qualifies as Fundamental Research. Be careful not to include or discuss any proprietary, unpublished, or export-restricted data or information as that may constitute an unauthorized export.

Interactions with Foreign Colleagues
As noted above, 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.

Field Work
Any university research activity done outside the U.S. may not qualify for the Fundamental Research Exclusion. Before disclosing or sharing information or data resulting from international field work it is important to ensure that the information is not export restricted.

In addition, please contact us as soon as possible if any of the following factors are involved with your research:

  • Taking equipment other than items listed in the ECCN chart above;
  • Providing payments of any kind to a foreign person, university or organization;
  • Purchasing or obtaining items or materials from international sources;
  • Planning to bring back samples;
  • Sending equipment, materials, or information from the U.S. to a foreign destination; or
  • Potential or existing non-disclosure agreements or restrictions on the publication of research results.

Provision of Financial Assistance
To ensure compliance with OFAC regulations prohibiting 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. Contact us to help with screening payees and verifying any international financial transaction(s).


Compliance with export control regulations is an individual responsibility. To help ensure smooth international travel and compliance, contact the NDSU’s Export Controls office at or (701) 231-6455 as soon as possible if you have questions or concerns about export controls as they may apply to your travel plans.

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