Export ControlExport Control Regulations restrict the export of certain controlled technologies in order to restrict access to goods and technology that could give a military advantage to our enemies, prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, biological, chemical), advance foreign policy goals, prevent terrorism, protect the economy, and promote trade goals.
Export Control Regulations involve multiple departments of the Federal Government. The three major sets of Regulations include:
- the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), administered by the Department of Commerce, which regulate the export of dual-use technologies listed on the Commerce Control List;
- the International Traffic in Arms Regulations or ITAR, administered by the Department of State, which regulate the export of military technologies listed on the United States Munitions List (USML); and
- the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC), administered by the Department of Treasury, which includes trade sanctions and embargoes.
University research has traditionally not been subject to scrutiny by the Federal Government because of the Fundamental Research Exclusion. Fundamental research, as defined in the Export Control Regulations, includes basic or applied research in science and/or engineering at an accredited institution of higher learning in the U.S. where the resulting information either is ordinarily published and shared broadly in the scientific community or where the resulting information has been or is about to be published. Fundamental research is distinguished from research that results in information that is restricted for proprietary reasons or pursuant to specific U.S. government access and dissemination controls. University research will not qualify as fundamental research if (1) the institution accepts any restrictions on the publication of the information resulting from the research, other than limited prepublication reviews by research sponsors to prevent inadvertent divulging of proprietary information or to insure that publication will not compromise patent rights of the sponsor; or (2) the research is federally funded and specific access or dissemination controls regarding the resulting information have been accepted by the university or the researcher.
The term export when used in the context of ECLs is much broader then the standard notion of a tangible item being shipped out of the United States. Under ECLs, the term export includes any: (1) actual shipment of any covered goods or items; (2) the electronic or digital transmission of any covered goods, items or related goods or items; (3) any release or disclosure, including verbal disclosures or visual inspections, of any technology, software or technical data to any non-US person; or (4) actual use or application of covered technology on behalf of or for the benefit of a foreign entity or person anywhere. In order to export a controlled technology, a license must be obtained from the Federal Government, unless a license exception is available.
The term "export" can mean not only technology leaving the shores of the United States (including transfer to a U.S. citizen abroad whether or not it is pursuant to a research agreement with the U.S. government), but also transmitting the technology to an individual other than a U.S. citizen or permanent resident within the United States (a "deemed export"). Even a discussion with a foreign researcher or student in a campus laboratory could be considered a "deemed export." Export control regulations could prevent the participation of non-US persons in research that does not qualify as fundamental research and involves export-controlled technology without first obtaining a license from the appropriate government agency.
Consequences for violations of Export Control Regulations are severe and can result in civil and criminal charges against the individual researcher and the University.
the ORI office at:
(210) 458-4531 or Michelle.Stevenson@utsa.edu