What are export controls?
In the interest of national security, economic and/or foreign policy concerns, the U.S. government regulates the transfer of certain information, commodities, technology and software deemed to be strategically important to the U.S. collectively. These regulations are referred to as Export Controls. The primary set of export control regulations that may impact university research are the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), which regulate exports and licensing of Dual-Use commodities (both commercial and military application(s)) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), which regulates exports and licensing Single-use Defense articles (military and space application(s)). The University may also be subject to the U.S. government's sanctions and embargoes against certain countries, companies or individuals.
What is considered an Export Control issue?
The EAR and ITAR each provide lists that identify specific items that are subject to export control restrictions.
The EAR Commerce Control List (CCL) is divided into 10 categories, including, but not limited to Nuclear materials, chemicals, microorganisms and toxins, electronics, computers, sensors and lasers, propulsion systems, and more. The full CCL categories list and item index can be found at the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security website.
The ITAR U.S. Munitions List includes the items and services that have been identified by the U.S. government as being inherently or predominantly suited for military applications and subject to export control regulations. The full list is found in Title 22, Chapter I, Subchapter M, Part 121 of the Code of Federal Regulations. ITAR also includes a list of "proscribed countries" that are subject to U.S. arms embargoes, which is available on the U.S. Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls website.
Some examples of when export control issues may arise are:
- Traveling overseas with high tech equipment, encryption software, confidential, unpublished, or proprietary information or data;
- Traveling with laptop computers, web-enabled cell phones and other personal equipment;
- Use of 3rd party export controlled technology or information;
- Sponsored research containing contractual restrictions on publication or dissemination;
- Shipping or taking items overseas;
- Providing financial support/international financial transactions;
- International collaborations and/or presentations;
- International field work, or;
- International consulting
The U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security maintains a list of countries for which export controls currently exist.
Why do Export Controls matter?
Export Controls have the potential to significantly limit research opportunities available to investigators (faculty, staff, and/or students) and can even prevent international collaboration in certain areas of research. Furthermore, non-compliance with export controls may result in severe monetary and possibly criminal penalties against both the individual researcher and the university.
As an institution of higher education, Chapman is committed to the principle of freedom of access by all interested parties to the underlying data, to the processes and to the final results of research. In keeping with this commitment, Chapman will not accept research agreements that significantly limit the publication of results or that limit the participation of researchers in the intellectually significant portions of a project on the basis of citizenship.
During the course of open research, Chapman faculty, staff and students may intersect with federal regulations that impose access, dissemination, or participation restrictions on the transfer of items and information regulated for reasons of national security, trade sanctions policy, anti-terrorism, or non-proliferation. Chapman is fully committed to complying with all laws and regulations that pertain to the conduct and dissemination of our research, including export control regulations.
What should you do?
All investigators should be familiar with export controls regulations and should be able to identify when their activities may trigger export controls. When necessary, investigators must address the potential export controls, monitor, control access to and safeguard all controlled materials, and, if necessary, obtain any required governmental approval in the form of an export license.
If investigators have any questions about export controls or have any doubts or are unsure if their activities are subject to export controls, they should contact The Office of Research for guidance.