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Export Controls

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Export controls are U.S. laws and regulations that regulate and restrict the release of critical technologies, information and services to foreign nationals both within and outside of the United States and foreign countries for reasons of foreign policy and national security.

For the purposes of these laws, the term ‘export’ covers a broad range of activities that include the export of products, services and information. An export occurs when there is a transfer to any non-U.S. person either within or outside of the U.S., controlled commodities technology or software, by physical, electronic, oral or visual means with the knowledge or intent that the items will be shipped, transferred or transmitted outside of the U.S. under export laws.

For national security and foreign policy reasons, the U.S. maintains comprehensive controls and sanctions on the export and re-export of U.S.-origin goods and technology to all destinations around the world. There are several government agencies that regulate export control, depending on the nature of the goods to be exported or the country of final destination. Each of these agencies have their own set of rules and regulations as described below.

The ways in which Upstate may find itself involved in export:

  • Collaborating with foreign colleagues, including foreign students participating in research involving export-controlled technology
  • Presenting controlled information at a conference
  • Traveling with a laptop overseas
  • Providing controlled technology in proposals or other correspondence
  • Shipping equipment or material to a foreign country
  • Providing foreign nationals access to controlled information, including training on export-controlled equipment
  • Working with a foreign country/foreign national subject to U.S. embargo
  • Hiring a foreign national on an H1B visa

 The following are examples of export:

  • To send a part through U.S. mail or freight carrier or carry an item in carry-on luggage
  • Disclose controlled technology to a non-U.S. person within the U.S. or abroad (including emails, telephone conversation, technical proposals, sharing of computer database, training session)
  • Re-export items/information whereby an item or information is transferred to a foreign person who ‘re-exports’ the item/information to another country (U.S. regulations follow the exported item/information wherever it goes)
  • Provide a Defense Service. ITAR defines this as providing assistance (including training) to a foreign person in the U.S. or abroad in the design, manufacture, repair, or operation of a defense article, as well as providing technical data to foreign persons. Defense services also include informal collaboration, conversations, or interchanges concerning technical data.*

For the purpose of universities and institutions of higher education, most funding to support military and defense sensitive materials comes from procurement contracts from either a corporate entity or a federal military sponsor via a procurement contract. Therefore, the same rules apply as if Upstate was a company for the purpose of these regulations. If no exclusions apply, any item on the regulations from EAR and/or ITAR requires a license to export.


Do I need an Export Control License?

Contact for more information.





* Technical Data means any information for the design, development, assembly, production, operation, repair, testing, maintenance, or modification of a defense article. Technical Data may include drawings or assembly instructions, operations and maintenance manuals, and email or telephone exchanges where such information is discussed.  Sometimes it is easier to define Technical Data by what it is not: Technical Data does not include general scientific, mathematical, or engineering principles commonly taught in schools, information present in the public domain, general system descriptions or basic marketing information on function or purpose.

** A non-resident alien is someone who is defined as not being a U.S. citizen but possesses a green card for permanent residence in the United States. For the purpose of export control regulations, such an individual is a “U.S. person” and can be allowed access to export-controlled information without an export license. If the export-controlled information is classified, the regulations for release of classified information still apply.


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