Export Controls

It is important for SCSU and its researchers to be familiar and comply with the export control laws and regulations which govern research funding. The U.S. Government’s export controls are designed to protect national security and promote the foreign policy objectives of the U.S. and its allies. Identifying sponsored projects and externally funded proposals subject to export controls early in the process aids in efficient and effective negotiations. Use the Export Controls Checklist to determine if compliance with export control regulations apply to your proposal.

Export Controls Training

The university offers training related to export controls through the CITI Program at https://www.citiprogram.org/. Login or create a new user account. Click on "Add a Course or Update Learner Groups." Choose "Export Controls." Complete the "CITI Export Controls Course."

What Are Export Controls?

Export Controls are federal statutes and regulations which govern certain transactions having international components, such as:

  • Transfers of commodities, software, and technologies of “dual-use” (commercial or military) subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to non-U.S. persons and destinations,
  • Transfers of hardware, software, technical data, and services of inherently military use subject to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to non-U.S. persons and destinations,
  • Transactions involving countries and entities subject to U.S. Government economic sanctions implemented by the Foreign Assets Control Regulations.
  • Activities that involve an unauthorized boycott as defined by the Anti-Boycott Regulations.

Export Controls generally apply when transactions involve:

  • Encryption software,
  • Items, articles, software or technology listed on the EAR/Commerce Control List,
  • Items, articles, software or technology listed on the ITAR/U.S. Munitions List,
  • Work with any sanctioned countries,
  • Items to restricted parties on the Entity and Denied Persons Lists.

Export Controls apply to both Exports and Deemed Exports:

  • Export includes transfers to non-U.S. persons involving an actual, territorial export,
  • Deemed export is a transfer to non-U.S. persons that takes place entirely within the United States. Accordingly, a student, researcher, or faculty member who is visiting the university from another country while on a visa is a non-U.S. person.

Fundamental Research Exclusion

As a practical matter, most research at the University is excluded from the scope of EAR and ITAR regulations due to the “fundamental research” exclusion. Fundamental research is defined as

basic and applied research in science and engineering where the resulting information is ordinarily published and shared broadly within the scientific community, as distinguished from research, the results of which are restricted for proprietary reasons or specific U.S. Government access and dissemination controls.

The results of fundamental research are not subject to the EAR or the ITAR, and may be disclosed to non-U.S. persons in the U.S. or abroad without specific authorization. The fundamental research exclusion applies only to the dissemination of research data and information, not to the transmission of material goods. The fundamental research exclusion is not applicable if a project sponsor imposes certain publication, access, proprietary, or confidentiality restrictions which limit the dissemination of the results to the scientific community.

Similarly, federal export control regulations do not apply when dealing with instruction in general science, math, and engineering principles commonly taught at schools, colleges and universities, and conveying information through courses listed in course catalogues and in associated teaching laboratories of academic institutions.

Commerce Control List

The Department of Commerce enforces the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) which regulate the transfer and export of “dual-use” (commercial or military) equipment, materials and technologies. EAR covers dual-use items relating to civilian applications listed on the Commerce Control List (CCL).  Items on the CCL include certain material processing equipment, high-end computers, encryption technology, composite materials, lasers, navigation equipment, and a variety of other items.

To determine whether an export license is needed from the Department of Commerce you must determine whether the item you intend to export has a specific Export Control Classification Number (ECCN). The ECCN is an alpha-numeric code that describes the item and indicates licensing requirements. All ECCNs are listed in the Commerce Control List (CCL). The CCL is divided into ten broad categories, and each category is further subdivided into five product groups.

Commerce Control List Categories


Nuclear & Miscellaneous


Materials, Chemicals, Microorganisms and Toxins


Materials Processing





5 Part 1


5 Part 2

Information Security


Sensors and Lasers


Navigation and Avionics




Aerospace and Propulsion

Five Product Groups


Systems, Equipment and Components


Test, Inspection and Production Equipment







If the item falls under U.S. Department of Commerce jurisdiction and is not listed on the CCL, it is designated as EAR99. EAR99 items generally consist of low-technology consumer goods and do not require a license in many situations. However, if you plan to export an EAR99 item to an embargoed country, to an end-user of concern, or in support of a prohibited end-use, you may be required to obtain a license.

The current list of embargoed countries includes: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan (North), and Syria. While it is unlawful to engage in unauthorized trade, it is legal to host individuals with student or work visas from these countries.

U.S. Munitions List

The Department of State enforces the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) which regulates the transfer and export of inherently military technologies. ITAR covers items listed on the U.S. Munitions List including electronic equipment, systems, or software designed for military, security, and intelligence applications. Examples from the U.S. Munitions lists include: firearms, explosives, military equipment, toxicological agents, radiological equipment, and spacecraft systems.

Red Flags in which Export Controls May Apply

Some items that raise red flags in which export controls may apply include:

  • Restrictions on publications in contracts
  • “Side deals” between PI’s and sponsors
  • Foreign nationals in the U.S.
  • Collaborating with foreign colleagues in foreign countries
  • Accepting export controlled information
  • Shipping equipment/samples overseas
  • Travel outside the U.S.
  • Carrying equipment/samples outside the U.S., including laptops, cell phones and global positioning systems
  • Payments to certain countries
  • Providing services, information or materials to/from a boycotted country

Contact Information

For more information about Export Controls, please contact:
Associate Provost for Research
Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
St. Cloud State University
ResearchNow@stcloudstate.edu or 320-308-4932