Research Export Controls

The following is an explanation of what Export Controls are and why they are important to keep track of for our institution.

What are Export Controls?

All transfer of information, commodities, technology and software is regulated by the U.S. government. These items are important in the interest of national security, economic and foreign policy concerns. There are several federal agencies and regulations that govern exports. These regulations are known as "Export Controls".

What is a “Deemed Export”?

The release of certain technology or information to foreign persons in the U.S.

How do Export Controls affect the university?

Export Controls can severely limit the research opportunities of university faculty and their students and staff. Export controls can also prevent international collaboration in research. Failure to comply with export controls can result in criminal penalties against both an individual as well as the university. This can, in turn, result in the loss of research contracts, governmental funding, and the ability to export items.

What should TTUHSC El Paso personnel do in order to comply with Export Controls?

It is important for all university personnel to report activities that might trigger export controls. In order to comply with export controls, individuals may need to obtain required governmental licenses, and monitor and control access to restricted information and materials.

Which activities might trigger Export Controls?

  • Dual-use technologies (technologies with military and commercial applications)
  • Biological or chemical weapons and technology
  • Select agents and toxins
  • Nuclear technology
  • Items developed for military application or services
  • Encrypted technology
  • High-performance computing technology
  • Space technology
  • Medical technology

When traveling overseas with equipment, information, and data

When traveling, you need to make sure the items you are taking are not on the restricted export list based on your destination. During your travel, you may be asked to provide the Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) for each item you take. Most commercially available basic software is going to be classified as ECCN EAR99 and can be exported with you.

In order to obtain the ECCN for the items you are taking, you can contact the manufacturer and ask to speak with someone knowledgeable about export controls. Be sure to determine whether or not a license will be needed to export the items you are taking and whether or not an item is restricted.

When traveling with laptops, web-enabled cell phones and personal equipment

Certain software and equipment can require an export license when traveling to specific destinations. A license will typically be required when taking items to or through a U.S. sanctioned country. Our institution also has restrictions and requirements that need to be met prior to traveling to a foreign country with your laptop or cell phone. Contact the Department of Information Technology for clarification of restrictions and for encryption prior to travel.

According to HSCEP OP 79.04, any travel to a foreign country requires written approval from the President’s Office. Be sure to reach out to the President’s Office well in advance of the travel to ensure that the proper permissions are obtained.

When providing financial support/international financial transactions

All international payments for university-related activities need to be verified to ensure that the university is not dealing with a blocked or sanctioned entity.

When dealing with international collaborations and presentations

Activities involving foreign national faculty, staff, students and collaborators or foreign entities may be subject to export controls. This includes research that will include travel to international conferences. Providing consulting services to embargoed or sanctioned countries is strictly prohibited.

What is the “Fundamental Research Exclusion”?

Fundamental Research is defined by the National Security Decision Directive 189 (NSDD189) as “any basic or applied research in science and engineering, the results of which are ordinarily published and shared broadly within the scientific community…” To qualify, the research must be conducted free of any publication restrictions and without any access or dissemination restrictions. Qualifying research is not subject to export controls. The Fundamental Research Exclusion is lost if the researcher agrees to “side deals” with sponsors. Side deals allow sponsors to review and approve publications and to control access to the project results.