What is an export?

An export is an actual shipment or transmission of items, services, or technical data subject to either the EAR or the ITAR out of the United States, or the release of technology, software, or technical data subject to either EAR or ITAR to a foreign national in the United States ("deemed export").

Why should I be concerned about export controls in conducting research?

The university campus is open to faculty, staff and students from many different countries. Access to restricted or export controlled technology, commodities, defense articles and defense services by an unauthorized Foreign Person could result in severe criminal or civil penalties for the university and the university employee making the export. Prosecution of an export violation may result in fines of up to $1M and/or a prison sentence of up to 20 years.

When do export controls apply? 

Export controls may apply to a variety of research activities.  Absent these exemptions, work that involves Controlled Technology is subject to export controls regulations.

What is controlled technology?

Controlled Technology is “Technology,” “Technical Data,” or “Technical Assistance” (see definitions) which is controlled for release or export to the country or nationality in question.  In terms of the ITAR, Controlled Technology generally relates to items that appear on the USML.  Under the EAR, the analysis involves a review of the CCL and a subsequent determination as to whether the technology is controlled for the country/nationality in question.

Are there any exceptions?

Yes, there are several exemptions from export control restrictions.  Information that is educational – that is, information concerning general scientific, mathematical or engineering principles taught in catalog course classes – and information that is already published or will be published are both excluded from export controls restrictions.  Additionally, research in science, engineering, or mathematics, the results of which ordinarily are published and shared broadly within the research community, and for which the researchers have not accepted restrictions for proprietary or national security reasons (fundamental research) is also generally exempt from export control restrictions. 

Note, however, that limitations on the disclosure of information provided by the sponsor (e.g., background or clarifying information provided even prior to beginning the research activity) may negate the exemption.  

See Exemptions to Export Controls for more information about these exemptions and related limitations

Since my research is “fundamental research,” does that mean that I do not need to worry about export controls?

No, the fundamental research exemption has certain limitations.  For instance, exemption does not cover the physical export or shipment of controlled technology abroad, including the export of controlled technical data on a laptop.  Additionally, export licenses may be required in the conduct of fundamental research if controlled technology or technical data – such as a sponsor’s proprietary information -- is needed to generate fundamental research results.

What happens if my research is controlled for export under these regulations?

You should work with OSP and the Office of General Counsel to understand the extent of the limitations and related requirements.  It may also be necessary to develop a Technology Control Plan to ensure ongoing compliance with export control requirements.  A TCP establishes physical and electronic access and dissemination controls for Controlled Technology and ensures that any person working with such technology is aware of the related export control requirements.

Do export controls only apply to sponsored research?

No. Export controls are U.S. laws that apply to all research and activities conducted at Bucknell, whether funded or not.  Export controls may cross all academic fields.

What are my responsibilities with regard to export controls compliance?

If you are a PI, you must conduct a review of the research project and contract provisions to determine whether and, if so how, a particular research project may be impacted by export control regulations.  The University will assist you in doing so, but primary compliance responsibility necessarily rests with the PI.  You’ll need to update your evaluation when modifying the scope of or personnel involved with a project.

What must be done to ship or hand carry an item out of the United States?

An export license to ship an item outside the U.S. could be required even when the item is used in or results from fundamental research.  If a commodity is controlled under ITAR, then a license is generally required before it can be shipped outside the U.S. or temporarily imported to the U.S..  In most cases, Bucknell is not fabricating or shipping ITAR controlled items, since these are generally items specifically designed for military purposes.  For items controlled under EAR, whether a license is required depends on the country to which the item is being shipped.  Even when a license is not required, there are administrative requirements that must be followed and records that must be maintained.

Additional Resources

View the Bureau of Industry and Security's FAQs on the revised definitions in the Export Administration Regulations.