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.
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).
For more information or questions, please contact URCO at email@example.com or 785-532-3224.