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Policy No: 2026
Responsible Office: Research Compliance and Assurance
Last Review Date: 09/29/2021
Next Required Review: 09/29/2026

Export Controls Compliance


1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to define export control and related terms, address compliance with federal US export control laws and regulations, and establish responsibility for export control compliance. In general, the export control regulations control:

  • The export from the United States to a foreign country of certain items, information, or software;
  • Verbal, written, electronic, or visual disclosures or transfer of scientific and technical information related to controlled items to foreign persons or entities inside or outside the United States;
  • Transactions with, or travel to, certain sanctioned or embargoed countries for the conduct of activities such as teaching or research, or attending conferences; and
  • Financial transactions, exports, re-exports, and deemed exports of items and information to Restricted Parties, End Users, or for Restricted End Uses.

2. Applicability

The University expects Academic Affairs, Research & Economic Development, Medical Affairs and USA Health employees to be familiar with U.S. export control laws, this policy, and relevant University procedures, in order to identify activities that may give rise to export control concerns.

3. Definitions

Controlled Item(s): Includes any information, technical data, oral/written disclosure, or visual inspection of items or descriptions contained within federal regulatory lists governing export controls. These lists are principally the Commerce Control List and United States Munitions List.

Deemed Export: Release of controlled technology to a foreign national in the United States is “deemed” to be an export as if it is released to the foreign national’s country of origin regardless of the physical location of the foreign national.

Employees: USA employees refers to faculty, staff, students, trainees, visiting scientists, and other persons retrained by or working at or for USA to conduct business.

Export: Defined very broadly to include an oral or written disclosure of information, visual inspection, or actual shipment outside the U.S. of technology, software/ source code or equipment to a foreign person or entity.

Export Administration Regulations (EAR): Regulates the export of certain goods, software and related technology. This includes items identified on the Commodity Control List (CCL), as well as restrictions on exports to specified persons, entities, countries, and end-uses. Regulations set forth in parts 730-774, inclusive, of Title 15 of the Code of Federal Regulations and implemented by the United States Department of Commerce.

Export Control Compliance Manual: Manual that outlines processes for members of the USA community to follow to ensure that the university complies with export control laws and trade sanctions.

Foreign National: Any person who is not a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident alien (green card holder), refugee, protected political asylee, or someone granted temporary residency under amnesty. This includes any foreign government, foreign corporation, or entity that is not incorporated or organized to do business in the U.S.

Fundamental Research: Basic or applied research in science and/or engineering performed or conducted at an accredited institution of higher learning in the U.S. where the resulting information is ordinarily published and shared broadly in the scientific community. University research will not be considered fundamental research if:

    • The University or its researchers accept other restrictions on the publication of scientific and technical information resulting from the project or activity, or;
    • The research is funded by the U.S. Government and specific access and dissemination controls protecting information resulting from the research are applicable and applied.

International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR): 22 CFR Sections 120-130, are the regulations promulgated and implemented by the Department of State which regulate defense articles and defense services and related technical data listed on the U.S. Munitions Control List (USML), 22 CFR § 121.

Office of Foreign Asset Controls (OFAC): Regulates administration and enforcement of economic trade sanctions against targeted foreign governments, individuals, entities and practices based on foreign policy and national security goals.

Restricted Party: An individual, organization or entity appearing on any one of the U.S. government restricted party lists (e.g., the Department of Treasury Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN) or the Department of Commerce Entity List) as a party prohibited from receiving U.S. exports or financial transactions and/or with whom U.S. persons are restricted from engaging in export or financial transactions.

4. Policy Guidelines

The University of South Alabama (USA) promotes an open research environment for conducting fundamental research. The University also recognizes that the U.S. government has endorsed export control laws, regulations, and other guidelines that restrict the transfer, transmission, or shipment of certain items, services, technology, and software to foreign countries, as well as the release of controlled technology and software to foreign persons within the U.S. Export control regulations exist for purposes of national security, foreign policy, competitive trade, and prevention of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

It is the responsibility of university faculty, staff, administrators and students to be familiar with this policy and aware of export control laws that might apply to their activities, and to comply with those laws and university policy and procedures. Export control laws are implicated when, among other circumstances, the university will partner with a foreign company, host foreign visiting scholars for the purpose of research involving export controlled technologies, use or implement technology that contains export-controlled components, or where a foreign person will be participating in the activity. In addition, export control laws apply where equipment or hazardous materials for research abroad will be exported, such as laptops and GPS equipment or devices with encrypted software.

4.1 General Provisions

4.1.1 All University students, faculty, visitors, employees, agents, and representatives shall comply at all times with applicable U.S. export control laws as well as the University’s policies and procedures, including the International Travel Policy.

4.1.2 All University faculty, staff, administrators, agents, and students shall remain aware of export control laws and University policies and procedures. Ignorance of applicable export control laws, policies, or procedures may be an insufficient defense to any subsequent administrative, disciplinary, civil, or criminal actions.

4.1.3 All University faculty, staff, administrators, agents, and students shall exercise reasonable judgment and prudence about any undertaking with potential export control implications. Such individuals shall consult with the Office of Research Compliance and Assurance if they have questions about whether an initiative has export control implications.

4.1.4 If a proposed initiative has export control implications, the responsible individual shall comply with the University’s export control procedures.

4.1.5 If a proposed initiative involves completing a visa application for a non-immigrant employee, USA is required to complete a “deemed export attestation.”

4.1.6 All University students, faculty, visitors, employees, agents, and representatives have a duty of cooperation and honesty. This means such individuals shall be responsible for updating and/or correcting information provided in relation to any export control matter.

4.1.7 Traveling or doing research internationally? If you are taking a laptop, tablet, or other electronic mobile device, you are taking a controlled device with you. There may be limitations for taking these into certain countries. You are advised to review restrictions each time you travel. Do not ship or otherwise take these devices with you to the following locations without first consulting Office of Research Compliance and Assurance.

4.1.8 Each set of U.S. export control regulations (e.g., EAR, OFAC, ITAR, DOE, FTR, and NRC) contains specific record-keeping requirements that must be satisfied. Copies of all export documentation as required by the controlling regulations must be retained and archive export reviews, applications, licenses and other related records, such as shipping paperwork, and technology control plans.

5. Procedures

Principal investigators and others responsible for export control compliance are encouraged to contact the Office of Research Compliance and Assurance as soon as they are aware of any export control requirements applying to their proposal/project or University activity. Compliance is a shared responsibility of many administrative offices and persons across the University system.

The USA Export Control Compliance Manual outlines key issues associated with university activities and processes for USA employees to follow to ensure that USA complies with export control laws.

6. Enforcement

Failure to comply with U.S. export control regulations subjects the university and individual employees to civil, criminal, and administrative penalties. Violations also can result in the loss of export privileges for USA or for individuals involved in the violation.

The University has the authority to suspend or terminate a research, teaching, testing, or other export activity if it is determined that the activity is not in compliance or will lead to noncompliance with existing export or sanction laws or policy. USA reserves the right to voluntarily contact authorities in the event of misconduct.

If it is determined that an individual violated export control laws and/or institutional policy, the individual may be subject to disciplinary action by the University, depending on:

  • Whether the individual knowingly violated export controls;
  • Whether the individual repeatedly violated export controls;
  • The severity of the violation;
  • Whether the individual cooperated during the investigation and complies with corrective actions.

7. Related Documents

Regulations:

Export Control Regulations (EAR)

International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)

Office of Foreign Asset Controls (OFAC)

Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR)

Department of Energy (DOE)

Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)

USA Documents:

USA Export Controls website

USA Export Control Management Policy

Export Control Training Modules