» Export Controls

Chapman University maintains an open academic environment in support of its educational and research missions. At the same time, export control laws and regulations control the conditions under which certain information, technologies, and commodities can be exported overseas to anyone, including United States citizens, or to a foreign national within the United States. The University is committed to complying with all U.S. export controls in both research and non-research activities.

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What are Export Controls?

In the interest of national security, economic and/or foreign policy concerns, the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) govern the shipment or transfer of export-controlled technical data, information, materials, and equipment to destinations outside the United States, and also the access to certain export-controlled technical data, information, materials, or equipment to Foreign Nationals within the United States. In addition, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) regulations impose sanctions and embargoes on transactions or exchanges with designated or sanctioned countries, entities and individuals.

What is considered an Export Control issue?

Questions may arise around export controls, particularly with industry-sponsored projects, collaborations involving a foreign university or corporation, or projects involving foreign national students of the University. The Office of Research can help you identify cases in which your projects would be exempt or potentially subject to U.S. export controls or other restrictions.

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.

Fundamental Research Exclusion (FRE)

Export controls are complex and can be difficult to navigate. Fortunately, the “fundamental research exclusion” applies to most research activity at Chapman.

As defined by the export control regulations, Fundamental research includes basic or applied research in science and/or engineering at an accredited institution of higher learning in the United States, where the resulting information is ordinarily published and shared broadly in the scientific community. Fundamental research is distinguished from other types of research that results in information that is restricted from publication/dissemination for proprietary reasons or restricted pursuant to specific U.S. government access and dissemination controls. If the research falls under the Fundamental Research Exclusion, no further concern about the need for an export license would arise.

The fundamental research exclusion applies to technical data only:

  • When conducting fundamental research,
  • With the intent to publish the results, AND
  • There are no publication/dissemination or access restrictions (i.e. the project is not subject to publication approval by sponsors or the government, nor does the project include citizenship-based restrictions on who may be included on the research team).

The following do not qualify for the Fundamental Research Exclusion:

  • Physical goods
  • Software
  • Encryption
  • Research when there is no intention to publish the results
  • Research conducted outside the United States

Export Control-Related Definitions

Commerce Control List (CCL): A list of items under the export control jurisdiction of the Bureau of Industry and Security, U.S. Department of Commerce. The CCL is found in Supplement 1 to part 774 of the EAR.

Commerce Control List (CCL) Category: The CCL is divided into ten categories: (0) Nuclear Materials, Facilities and Equipment, and Miscellaneous; (1) Materials, Chemicals, "Microorganisms," and Toxins; (2) Materials Processing; (3) Electronics Design, Development and Production; (4) Computers; (5) Telecommunications; (6) Sensors; (7) Navigation and Avionics; (8) Marine; (9) Propulsion Systems, Space Vehicles, and Related Equipment.

Commerce Control List (CCL) Group: The CCL is divided into 10 categories. Each category is subdivided into five groups, designated by the letters A through E: (A) Equipment, assemblies, and components; (B) Test, inspection and production equipment; (C) Materials; (D) Software; and (E) Technology.

Controlled country: A list of countries designated controlled for national security purposes found in Country Group D:1, including: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Cambodia, the People's Republic of China, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Mongolia, Romania, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam. Cuba and North Korea are controlled countries, but they are listed in Country Group E:2 (unilateral embargoes) rather than Country Group D:1.

Deemed Export:  Release or transmission of information or technology subject to export control to any foreign national in the U.S., including graduate students and training fellows. Such a release of information is considered an export to the foreign national’s home country.

Defense Article:  Any item or technical data designated in the ITAR's United States Munitions List (USML), including any technical data recorded or stored in any physical form, models, mock-ups, or other items that reveal technical data directly relating to a “defense article” listed in the USML.

Defense Services:  Furnishing assistance (including training) anywhere (inside the United States or abroad) to foreign nationals in connection with the design, development, engineering, manufacture, production, assembly, testing, repair, maintenance, modification, operation, demilitarization, destruction, processing, or use of defense articles; or furnishing ITAR-controlled “technical data” to non-US persons anywhere, requires authorization from the State Department. 

Dual-use:  Items that have both commercial and defense application. Items subject to the EAR are often referred to as "dual-use.”

Empowered Official: a U.S. person who:

  1. is directly employed by the applicant or a subsidiary in a position having authority for policy or management within the applicant organization; and
  2. Is legally empowered in writing by the applicant to sign license applications or other requests for approval on behalf of the applicant; and
  3. Understands the provisions and requirements of the various export control statutes and regulations, and the criminal liability, civil liability and administrative penalties for violating the Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations; and 
  1. Has the independent authority to:
    1. Enquire into any aspect of a proposed export or temporary import by the applicant, and
    2. Verify the legality of the transaction and the accuracy of the information to be submitted; and
    3. Refuse to sign any license application or other request for approval without prejudice or other adverse recourse. (22 C.F.R.§ 120.25)

Export:  An actual shipment or transmission of items, services, or technical data subject to either the EAR or the ITAR out of the United States, or the release of technology or software source code (EAR), or technical data (ITAR), to a non-U.S. person in the United States. Technology, software, or technical data is “released” for export through:

  • Visual inspection of equipment and facilities by a foreign national of U.S. origin
  • Oral exchanges of information in the United States or abroad
  • Transfer or shipment via any means (physical or electronic) to a foreign entity
  • Provision of a service, or the application to situations abroad of personal knowledge or technical experience acquired in the United States

Export control: The set of laws, policies, and regulations that govern the export of sensitive items for a country or company.

Export Control Classification Number (ECCN): Identifies items on the Commerce Control List that are subject to the export licensing authority of the Bureau of Industry and Security.

Exporter: The person who has authority of a principal party in interest to determine and control the sending of items out of the country.

Export license:  A written authorization provided by the appropriate governing regulatory authority detailing the specific terms and conditions under which export or re-export of export controlled items is allowed. Export licenses can take up to a year to receive.

Foreign National: Under the EAR, any person who is not a citizen or Permanent Resident Alien of the U.S. is a Foreign National.  "Foreign national" is not an ITAR term per se, but the ITAR does define the term "foreign person" as any natural person who is not a lawful permanent resident or who is not a “protected individual”, and may also include any corporation, business association, partnership society, trust or any other entity, organization or group that is incorporated to do business in the United States. This also includes any governmental entity.

Fundamental Research:  Basic or applied research in science and engineering where the resulting information is ordinarily published and shared broadly in the scientific community, is excluded from export controls.

  • Under the EAR (15 CFR §734.8), university research normally will be considered as fundamental research unless the university or its researchers accept sponsor restrictions on the publication of scientific and technical information resulting from the project or activity. The EAR specifically permits limited prepublication reviews by research sponsors to prevent the inadvertent divulging of proprietary information provided to the researcher by the sponsor or to ensure that publication will not compromise the patent rights of the sponsor.
  • Under the ITAR (22 CFR §120.11(8)), only research at accredited institutions of higher learning in the U.S. can qualify as fundamental. University research will not qualify as fundamental research if: (1) the university or its researchers accept any restrictions on the publication of scientific and technical information resulting from the project or activity; or (2) the research is federally funded and specific access and dissemination controls protecting information resulting from the research have been accepted by the university or the researcher.

Munitions List: Articles, services and related technical data designated as defense articles and defense services pursuant to the Arms Export Control Act.

Public Domain: (ITAR; 22 CFR § 120.11) Information that is published and that is generally accessible or available to the public: (1) through sales at newsstands and bookstores; (2) through subscriptions which are available without restriction to any individual who desires to obtain or purchase the published information; (3) through second class mailing privileges granted by the U.S. government; (4) at libraries open to the public or from which the public can obtain documents; (5) through patents available at any patent office; (6) through unlimited distribution at a conference, meeting, seminar, trade show, or exhibition, generally accessible to the public, in the United States; (7) through public release (i.e., unlimited distribution) in any form (e.g., not necessarily in published form) after approval by the cognizant U.S. government department or agency; and (8) through fundamental research in science and engineering at accredited institutions of higher learning in the U.S. where the resulting information is ordinarily published and shared broadly in the scientific community.

Reexport: Reexport of items subject to export regulations from one foreign country to another foreign country. For the purposes of the U.S. EAR, the export or reexport of items subject to the EAR that will transit through a country or countries to a new country, or are intended for reexport to the new country, are deemed to be exports to the new country.

Technical data: Information required for the design, development, production, manufacture, assembly, operation, repair, testing, maintenance, or modification of controlled articles. This includes information in the form of blueprints, drawings, plans, instructions, diagrams, photographs, etc. May take forms such as blueprints, plans, diagrams, models, formulae, tables, engineering designs and specifications, manuals and instructions written or recorded on other media or devices such as disk, tape, or read-only memories. The ITAR definition does not include information concerning general scientific, mathematical, or engineering principles commonly taught in schools, colleges, and universities, or information in the public domain (ITAR 120.10(5)).

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.

Read the Chapman University Export Control Policy. 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.

International Travel

Checklist for Export Control Issues related to Laptops and Other Digital Storage Devices

International travel by University employees or students may be subject to export control regulations depending on the travel destination and the hardware, software, and/or technical data that is taken.

Chapman employees must complete the Laptop/Digital Storage Device Checklist each time they plan to travel abroad with an University issued laptop, mobile device, drive, or other digital storage device, or performing work related activity on personal devices.

These items often come with pre-loaded encryption software, which is subject to the Department of Commerce, Export Control Regulations (EAR). 

Chapman employees effectively export their laptops or other digital storage devices when they:

  • Take equipment abroad to aid them with their work or research;
  • Allow a person in a foreign country to use their laptops or digital storage device; or
  • Allow a foreign national access to their laptops or digital storage in the United States (considered a deemed export).

Each of these activities qualify as exports under U.S. export control regulations and may trigger licensing requirements under U.S. export control laws. However, many of these items can be temporarily exported for travel under the EAR license exception “Temporary Exports-Tools of the Trade” (TMP) or Baggage (BAG).

The TMP License Exception provides that when laptops, mobile devices and other digital storage devices (and related technology and software) are being used for professional purposes, returned within 12 months, kept under effective control of the exporter while abroad (i.e., kept in a hotel safe or other secured space or facility) and other security precautions are taken against unauthorized release of technology (i.e., use of secure connections, password systems, and personal firewalls), then the TMP License Exception might apply.   

The Baggage (BAG) License exception covers personal items that are owned by the employee and intended only for their personal use.  

Export regulations vary based on which country you are traveling to and for what purpose you intend to use the equipment. These License Exceptions do not apply to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, or Syria.

The checklist will be used to determine if a licensing exception may apply to the export of the laptop or digital storage device in question.

If you find that you do not qualify for a License Exception, feel unsure if you are able to meet its terms, or believe it is not applicable to you, please consult with the Office of Research to determine whether an export license is required. This analysis must occur before the laptop or digital storage device is exported.

Technology Control Plans (TCP)

Some projects may require a TCP to safeguard ITAR, EAR, and other restricted material. The TCP establishes a security plan and identifies responsible parties.  The TCP must be approved by Vice President for Research before restricted technology can be brought onto campus.

The TCP can be used to set forth the procedures necessary to protect certain export-controlled materials and technology/technical data from inadvertent transfer and access (oral, visual, electronic, physical, etc.) by unauthorized personnel, including Foreign Nationals. These procedures include physical and information security, procurement, shipping/transporting, personnel screening, training and awareness, and compliance assessment. The TCP can also be used to control the disposition of research materials and technical data when the project is terminated.

Security measures typically outlined in a TCP are:
  • Purpose of controls
  • Physical Security Provisions
  • Computer Security Provisions
  • Potential License Requirements
  • TCP Audit/Monitoring
  • Closeout and Disposition

Online Export Compliance Training (CITI Program)

The University has adopted the CITI online educational tool with specialized Export Control training modules. Effective June 1, 2019, all project personnel who are included as signatories on a Technology Control Plan (TCP) shall be required to complete the relevant modules of the TCP Required Training for Export Control. Online Export Compliance Training must be completed prior to the full execution of the TCP, and is valid for a three (3) year period. Access the online CITI Program.

Failure to successfully complete the initial training as well as the continuing education requirements will result in your removal from the project until the training has been completed. Principal Investigators conducting research secured with a TCP are responsible for ensuring that all project personnel complete the required export control training.

If the University Office of Research determines that a project is export controlled and requires a TCP, the Sponsored Projects Services office will not process the pertinent sponsored research agreement, contract, or non-disclosure/proprietary information agreement until receiving confirmation from the Office of Research that all project personnel have successfully completed the export control training requirements and a TCP has been implemented. In addition, no work on the project can begin until all project personnel have successfully completed the export control training and the TCP has been signed.

The University Office of Research is responsible for export control training content and for maintaining training records. Please contact the University Office of Research for additional information or questions regarding export control training requirements.

Contact Us:

Office of Research
Ph: (714) 628-2805
Fax: (714) 628-7374