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Export Control

Export control regulations are federal laws regulating the export, transfer, or transmission of certain commodities, software, technology, and technical information from the United States to a foreign destination or to foreign nationals on U.S. soil. Export control laws may arise for one or more of the following reasons:

  • The nature of the export has a military application or economic protection issue
  • There are U.S. government concerns about the country, organization, or individual receiving the technology or information, and
  • The end use, or the end user, of the export is of concern.

If the research falls into a category enacting export control laws the researcher may apply for an export license.  There are three federal regulations governing university sponsored research:

  • The Export Administration Regulations (EAR)
  • The International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)
  • The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

The OFAC covers sanctioned countries.

Fundamental Research Exclusion

Fundamental research is basic or applied research in science and/or engineering when the resulting information is expected to become part of the public domain. This means there are no restrictions on publication beyond those intended to protect pre-existing proprietary information or intellectual property rights.

If the research in question is fundamental research export control regulations do not apply.

NIU Research and Export Control

It is a smart practice to check with the Office of Research Compliance and Integrity if a researcher is:

  • sending research elements overseas,
  • discussing research with persons outside of the U.S.,
  • discussing research with a foreign national inside the U.S., or
  • allowing visual inspections of any technology, software or technical data to any non-U.S. citizen whether in the U.S. of abroad.

Researchers should be aware that criminal penalties exist for individuals who unlawfully export or disclose export-controlled information. 

Please check this website for future updates. The ORCI is currently developing checklists to better guide Researchers in determining their export control requirements.