Export Control FAQs

What are export controls?

Export controls are the United States laws and regulations that regulate and restrict the release of critical technologies, software, equipment, chemical, biological materials and other materials, and services to foreign nationals and foreign countries.  These regulations were created to advance foreign policy, protect national security, and prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

What is an export?

Includes any of the following:

  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 controlled technology, software or technical data to any foreign national;
  4. actual use or application of controlled technology on behalf of or for the benefit of any foreign entity or person anywhere.

How do I know if export controls apply to me?

If your research or other work at LSU involves any of the following, export control regulations may apply:

  1. Projects related to Military, Defense, or Space.
  2. Publication restrictions.  Is the sponsor requesting more than 60 days to review the results before publication?  Or requesting approval of the results before publication?
  3. Restrictions on who may participate in the project.  Are they requesting that only US Persons may participate?
  4. Shipping or hand carrying items to a foreign country.
  5. Research conducted in a foreign country.
  6. Funding provided by a foreign company.
  7. Travel to one of the sanctioned countries – Iran, Cuba, N. Korea, Sudan, Syrian – is generally not allowed.  There are exceptions that sometimes apply.  Note:  this list of countries is subject to change.

What do I do if I think that export controls apply to me?

  1. Become familiar with export controls in the area that applies to you.
    1. Make use of the materials available on LSU’s export control website.
    2. Review the Export Control Compliance Manual.
    3. Review the training materials
  2. Contact the Director of Research Compliance in the Office of Research and Economic Development at 578-8910 or debrak@lsu.edu.

What is a foreign national?

Under the EAR, a foreign national is any person who is not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. Under the EAR, the term applies to “persons lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States and does not apply to persons who are protected individuals (i.e. has been admitted as a refugee or granted asylum).”  The term also refers to foreign entities.

What is a deemed export?

When a foreign national on U.S. soil or abroad is exposed to or is able to access export-controlled technology, software, or technical data, this is “deemed” to be an export to the home country of the foreign entity or individual. Deemed exports may occur through such means as a demonstration, oral briefing, or a plant visit, as well as the electronic transmission of nonpublic information or software.

What is EAR?

Export Administration Regulations (EAR) were promulgated and implemented by the Department of Commerce (Bureau of Industry and Security) to regulate the export of “dual use” goods, software and related technology.  This includes items identified on the Commodity Control List (CCL), as well as restrictions on exports to specified persons, entities, countries, and end-users.

What is ITAR?

International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) are the regulations promulgated and implemented by the Department of State which regulate defense articles and defense services and related technical data listed on the U.S. Munitions Control List (USML).

What is OFAC?

The Office of Foreign Assets Control is an office under the U.S. Department of the Treasury. OFAC is responsible for enforcing the foreign policy of the U.S. government, including all trade sanctions, embargoes, and financial interactions with prohibited or blocked individuals or entities.

Do export control laws only apply to research projects?

No, export control laws apply to ALL activities, not just sponsored research projects. These laws apply to virtually all fields of science and engineering and restrict the shipment, transmission or transfer of certain commodities, software, technology and services from the U.S. to foreign countries.

What is the Fundamental Research Exclusion (FRE)?

University research normally will be considered as fundamental research unless the university or its researchers accept personnel access restrictions or restrictions on publication of scientific and technical information resulting from the project or activity. The EAR specifically permits limited prepublication reviews by research sponsors to prevent inadvertent divulging of proprietary information provided to the researcher by the sponsor or to insure that publication will not compromise any patent rights.

Note: the fundamental research exclusion does not apply to the physical export of goods.

Can I ship items developed as part of that research overseas?

Not automatically. While research results developed or generated under the Fundamental Research Exclusion are exempt from export controls and can be freely shared with foreign nationals both here and abroad, any materials, items, technology, or software generated as a result of the research ARE NOT exempt from export controls. Before shipping or taking any item abroad, an export control determination needs to be done to determine if an export license is required to take or transfer the item.

What is an Export License?

An Export License is a written authorization provided by the federal government granting permission for the release or transfer of export controlled information or item under a defined set of conditions. 

What kinds of activities can trigger the need for an export license?

The following are examples of the types of university activities that may trigger the need for an export license or deemed export license:

  • Research in controlled or restricted areas (e.g., defense items or services, missiles, nuclear technology, satellites, chemical/biological weapons, encryption)
  • Research involving the use of export restricted information obtained from external sources
  • Research involving collaborations with foreign nationals here at LSU or overseas
  • Research involving travel or field work done overseas
  • Research involving the transfer or shipment of tangible items or equipment overseas
  • Presentations at meetings or conferences of unpublished information not protected under the Fundamental Research or Educational Information exclusions
  • Research involving the provision of financial support or services outside the U.S.

What is a Technology Control Plan and when do I need one?

The purpose of a Technology Control Plan (TCP) is to outline security procedures for the protection of information and material identified or determined to be export controlled. Technology Control Plans must be developed and submitted for review and approval for any research that involves export controlled items, technology or data. The purpose is to identify authorized personnel and develop a physical and IT security plan to protect and control research information from access by unauthorized persons.

What if I don’t follow the regulations?

Severe penalties can result.  Universities and individuals can be subject to prison and fines up to $1 million.