Skip to main content

Export Controls


Export controls primarily refers to the federal International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). The ITAR govern the export of “defense articles” and “defense services”. The term “export” means the transfer of items, information or services overseas, or their provision to a foreign person inside the U.S. (including, for example, a student in a classroom or a colleague in a research lab). The EAR govern the export of “dual-use” technologies—items that are used, or have the potential to be used, for military and non-military purposes if such export could adversely affect the national interests of the U.S. The definition of “export” under the EAR is very similar to the definition under the ITAR. Both sets of regulations apply only to items and information that are not publicly available; therefore, the results of academic research are generally exempt from both the ITAR and the EAR provided that the results have been published (ITAR) or are intended for publication (EAR). Export controls are most likely to apply in a university setting if:

  1. Research results cannot be published until approved by the sponsor, or
  2. Items or information have been received from an outside source under a confidentiality agreement.

In such circumstances, if the information is export-controlled it cannot be shared with certain “foreign persons” (i.e., a person who is not a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident) unless a license is first obtained from the U.S. government.

When are Export Controls Implicated?

In the course of research, professional development or other activities, University employees may have engagement with foreign businesses; collaboration with colleagues from other countries; or, engage in research involving foreign governments. As a result, employees need to be aware that these activities may have potential export control implications.

It is important to understand the restrictions that may exist when working with foreign entities. If you are doing any of the following activities, you should review the UW-Green Bay Export Control Policy:

  • Traveling abroad
  • Shipping items abroad
  • Working with foreign collaborators, whether in the United States or overseas.
  • Working with controlled items (examples include lasers, thermal imaging cameras, select agents, space qualified equipment and encryption. The list is long, please contact the Export Control Office for advice on specific items.)
  • Working with a grant or other contract that has an export control clause, publication restriction or personnel restriction
  • Doing any work with a person, business or organization that is a citizen of or headquartered in Iran, Syria, Sudan, North Korea, Cuba or the Crimea.

What are “Exports”?

Exports can include a wide variety of things, data, and technology, including, but not limited to, any of the following:

  • Shipping an item overseas
  • Sending an e-mail to a foreign person
  • Making a phone call or sending a fax to a foreign person
  • Any electronic transfer of information abroad
  • Or actions which are “deemed exports”:
  • Deemed exports occur any time a foreign person[1] gains access to information, data or technology in the United States. At that point, the information, data or technology is deemed to have been exported to their country of citizenship.Examples of deemed exports can include:
    1. Foreign persons working in a lab
    2. Sharing information with a foreign person in the United States regarding a project
    3. Taking foreign persons on a tour of a lab with controlled equipment
    4. Speaking with foreign collaborators at conferences being held in the United States

What do I need to do?

Any time an activity falls within export control, or if you have doubts about whether an activity falls within export control, please the Office of Grants and Research and they will be happy to discuss your situation with you.

Review Procedure

In any instances where Export Controls may be implicated, University employees must follow UW-Green Bay’s Institutional Review Procedure and Assessment.

Applicable Regulations

International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) – The ITAR are overseen by the Department of State. They regulate military items and information. Items regulated under the ITAR can be found in the U.S. Munitions List (22 CFR 121) and include naval vessels, ordnances, military jets, tanks, their software, components and accessories.

Export Administration Regulations (EAR) – The EAR are overseen by the Department of Commerce. They regulate dual use items and information. Dual use items are commercial items that could be used for military, terrorism, nuclear proliferation or similar purposes. The items regulated under the EAR can be found in the Commerce Control List (15 CFR 774 – Supplement No. 1), and include items such as lasers, telecom equipment, IR sensors, computers, electronic test equipment, encryption, their software, components and accessories.

Foreign Asset Control Regulations (FACR) – The FACR are overseen by the Office of Foreign Asset Controls (OFAC) in the Department of Treasury. They regulate assets, persons and organizations. These regulations are not concerned so much with what is being shipped, but rather where and to whom it is being shipped. In other words, export control implications will arise in every case with regard to certain countries or individuals.

Restricted Countries or Embargoed Countries

The U.S. government has placed embargoes or restrictions on activities with persons or organizations in certain countries. These activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Travel / Speaking at or attending conferences
  • Shipping / Receiving items
  • Financial transactions

Because OFAC regularly updates and/or modifies various sanction and embargo programs, it no longer maintains a “Country List.” Therefore, it is crucial to regularly consult OFAC’s website to ensure you have complete information. As of July 2023, the embargoed/restricted countries include:

  • E:1/E:2 Countries: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria
  • OFAC & US Embargo List: Balkans (western), Belarus, Burundi, Central African Republic, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nicaragua, N. Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Darfur, Syria, Ukraine, Russia, Venezuela, Yemen, Zimbabwe
  • ITAR Prohibited Countries (22 CFR 126.1): Afghanistan, Belarus, Burma, Central African Republic, China, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, N. Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, Zimbabwe

Please contact the Office of Grants and Research if you are planning activities with someone in the above noted countries.

[1] A foreign person is anyone who is NOT: A U.S. citizen; A permanent resident/green card holder; Someone granted asylum, refugee status or amnesty by the government; or, A US company, university, organization or government division. Please remember, green card holders are U.S. persons, whereas persons here on work or student visas are Foreign Persons. Additionally, foreign students of any level are counted as foreign persons for export control purposes.