Export Controls

What Are Export Controls?

Export Controls are federal laws that regulate how technology is exchanged from the U.S. to foreign countries, persons, or entities. Export controls can affect international shipping or travel, Information technology (IT), laptops & software, personnel working on your projects, and more. Exports refer to both the physical transfer of a commodity out of the country as well as the transfer, release or disclosure to foreign persons in the United States of "technical data" or "technology" about controlled commodities.

Your research may be subject to export controls if:

  • The topic of the research, or physical items, technology, or data used in the research are identified on U.S. export control lists (ITAR, EAR, or OFAC)
  • The work involves foreign nationals from countries that are sanctioned by the U.S.
  • A research agreement limits publication of results or participation in the design, conduct, or reporting of the research based on citizenship. 

Categories of Regulations

Depending on the commodity being shared, there are three main regulatory bodies:

  • The International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) oversees military/defense articles, services, and related technical data.
  • Export Administration Regulations (EAR and EAR99). Items that fall into specific categories or product groups on the Commerce Control List (CCL) require export licenses. If an item is not specified on the CCL and is used in a research that is NOT considered fundamental research, then it falls under a broad category termed "EAR99" which covers basic technological items or information that are not specifically controlled for export (that is, there is no license required for export) but are still subject to export administration regulations and therefore must be reviewed for authorization before sharing with an embargoed or sanctioned country or its foreign nationals. EAR applies to commodities, software, or technology that are of U.S. origin; OR are made with U.S. materials, technology, or know-how; OR are located in the U.S. and are NOT exempt from export controls under the Fundamental Research exclusion.
  • The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) covers restrictions due to foreign trade embargoes and economic sanctions on specific countries or specific targets (e.g., terrorism or narcotics)Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs).
  • Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs). The Fundamental Research Exclusion (FRE) applies only to technology or software that arises during or results from fundamental research and that is intended to be published. Therefore, information received under a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) is subject to export control regulations.

What if Export Controls apply to my project?

The U-M Export Control office provides oversight and guidance to manage export control situations by assisting with developing a Technology Control Plan, obtaining an Export License, or both. Investigators will also be required to complete Export Control Training.

Office of Research

1060 - Administration Building
4901 Evergreen Road
Dearborn, MI 48128
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Phone: 313-593-5468
Fax: 313-593-6790