1. K-State home
  2. »Research Compliance
  3. »Export Controls Compliance Program
  4. »International Travel

Export Controls Compliance Program

International Travel

Individuals traveling internationally on university business or with university property are responsible for complying with export control laws and regulations. Export control regulations may restrict or prohibit some travel related activities or destinations, and/or may require licenses for others. The University Research Compliance Office (URCO) can help travelers in assessing what export control requirements apply to ensure institutional and individual compliance. 

Resource Guide for International Travel on University Business (PDF)


Most travel for conferences will fall under exclusions to the export control regulations such as the Publicly Available and Public Domain exclusions (see 22 C.F.R. 120.11 and 15 C.F.R. 734.3). In general, information that is published and is generally accessible to the public through publication in books or periodicals available in a public library or in bookstores or information that is presented at a conference, meeting, seminar, trade show, or other open gathering, is usually considered to be in the public domain. To reduce the risk of potential export control violations, travelers should limit the information and technology they share to information that is published, and/or publicly available. Travelers should not share or take information, software, or technology that is proprietary, or designated for military, space, encryption software, or nuclear related applications; or may have been received under a nondisclosure agreement, or otherwise subject to contractual restraints. URCO should also be contacted prior to travel to a sanctioned country such as Iran, Cuba, Syria, Sudan, North Korea, and Crimea to conduct any university-related business or activity.

Research, Fieldwork, Course Instruction, or Related Activities

Activities such as engaging in research, field work or course instruction abroad may be restricted based on content and export control restrictions applicable to the country of destination. Public domain carve-out is available for research as long as it meets certain criteria. Generally speaking, research activities meeting the definition of fundamental research and resulting information is not subject to export controls. Activities that do not meet the criteria for fundamental research may or may not be subject to export controls and an export control review is necessary. In addition, research activity in embargoed or sanctioned countries is severely limited. URCO should be contacted prior to travel to a sanctioned country such as Iran, Cuba, Syria, Sudan, North Korea, and Crimea to conduct any university-related business or activity.

Travel with Laptops, PDAs, Cellphones, and Other Data Storage Devices

University employees and students traveling with laptops, PDAs, cellphones, or other data storage devices and encrypted software must ensure that there is no export controlled information on such devices unless there is a specific license or other authorization in place for the information for that destination. Anyone intending to travel with or transmit export controlled information outside the U.S. should first consult with URCO. A number of exceptions and exclusions may apply, depending upon the facts and circumstances of each case. As a best practice, a traveler should travel with a ‘sanitized’ laptop to reduce risk of unauthorized access to information. Contact your IT unit or URCO for guidance if you have questions. 

Travel with Equipment

Many items, including laptops, tablets, cellphones, and commercial software, may be taken out of the country temporarily under a license exception, “Temporary Imports, Exports, Reexports, and Transfers (In-Country) (“TMP”). TMP license exception allows the traveler to take university property out of the U.S. provided the item is kept under the traveler’s effective control and brought back to the U.S. within a year of the departure date. Travelers should complete a TMP Certification (.DOC) to document application of the TMP license exception. It is important for travelers to keep in mind that the TMP license exception may not apply in all cases. Some equipment (e.g., global positioning systems [GPS], thermal imaging cameras, inertial measurement units, and specialty software) is highly restricted and may require an export license, even if it is hand carried. TMP does not apply to items or technical data controlled under International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). Individuals intending to take university equipment other than a laptop computer, PDA, cell phone, or data storage devices, abroad should contact URCO to determine if an export license or other government approval is required prior to taking the equipment out of the country.

For personal laptops, tablets, cell phones and commercial software, the Baggage (“BAG”) license exception may apply. Like the TMP license exception, the BAG license exception allows travelers to take certain personal items out of the U.S. provided the item is kept under the traveler’s control and brought back to the U.S. within a year of the departure date. Travelers should document application of the BAG exception (.DOC).

ITS Loaner Laptop Program

Traveling with a loaner laptop reduces the risk of data and identity theft. Starting December 1, 2019, K-State Information Technology Services will have 10 laptops available to be checked out by faculty or staff who travel to high risk countries.

To reserve a loaner laptop:

  • Request a loaner laptop at least one week prior to travel by calling 785-532-4918.
  • Pick up the loaner laptop from ITS equipment checkout, currently located behind the Cat's Pause Lounge in the K-State Student Union.
  • Upon your return, move any data stored on the laptop during travel to a flash drive or external hard drive.*
  • The laptop will be erased/re-imaged upon return by ITS staff.

Included with the laptop will be a case, charger, and international power adapter.

For security reasons, travel laptops have limited software and functionality. The laptop applications and software will include a browser, the Microsoft Office suite, antivirus software, Zoom and access to the VPN.

The loaner laptop program is free to faculty and staff, however, the individual borrowing the laptop will be responsible for replacement costs due to damage, loss, or theft.

*ITS is not responsible for any lost data.

For more information or questions, please contact URCO at comply@k-state.edu or 785-532-3224. 


Recent Changes to U.S. Cuba Policy and Travel to Cuba

U.S. sanctions against Cuba fall under two separate but related regulations. The Cuban Assets Controls Regulations (CACR)31 CFR 515, administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Controls (OFAC), Department of Treasury, and section 746.2 of Export Administration Regulations, administered by the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS).

The regulations prohibit persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction from engaging in travel, imports, exports, and financial transactions involving Cuba except as authorized by the relevant U.S. government agency.

A number of general licenses authorizing transactions are relevant to the academic community; for example, transactions related to 12 categories of educational activities are authorized (see 515.565 (a)), as are transactions related to professional research and professional meetings (see 5.15.554).

On June 16, 2017, President Trump issued a memorandum on the administration’s policy on Cuba. There will be new restrictions on certain financial transactions and travel. Read the full text of the memorandum. OFAC has issued FAQs related to the announcement (PDF). Per the FAQs, the announced changes will not take effect until new regulations are issued. URCO will provide updates as information becomes available.

In the meantime, university employees intending to travel to Cuba or to conduct other business in Cuba or with Cubans are asked to contact the University Research Compliance Office at 785-532-3224 or comply@k-state.edu for guidance.