Export Controls Policies and Guidelines

Appalachian has published Policy #217 to address Export Controls Compliance.

The links below are Appalachian resources to assist with international travel information, guidelines, and requirements:

Other guidelines on international travel, Cuba travel restrictions, and general information can be found at the Office of International Education and Development (OIED).

Export Controls Basics

What is an Export?

An export is a transfer of items, software or technology to a foreign person, foreign entity or foreign destination.

  • The definition of technology includes information that can be used or adopted for the development, production or use of a good.
  • Information can take the form of technical data or technical assistance. Examples include but are not limited to: blue prints, sketches, models, drawings, software, manuals, training and technical services.

An export of technology or source code to a foreign person that occurs within the United States is called a "deemed export".

  • Examples of a deemed export of technology or source code include: visual inspection of a controlled technology, an oral exchange of technical information and training on the practice or application of a technology.

Export controls also prohibit exports of any type to certain countries and persons/entities.

Penalties for export control violations are severe and may be assigned both to the person violating the regulations as well as Appalachian. Civil penalties include $250,000 per transaction and up to 10 years in prison. The University is required to keep records of compliance with export control regulations for 5 years.

Who Monitors Export Controls?

Export control regulations regulate both exports and deemed exports and are promulgated by several federal agencies:

  • The Export Administration Regulations (EAR) administered by the Department of Commerce. The EAR regulates the export of dual use items – items that may have both a commercial and military application – as well as items with only commercial applications.
  • The International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) administered by the Department of State. The ITAR regulates the export of items inherently military in nature. Items regulated by the ITAR are listed on the United States Munitions List (USML).
  • The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the Department of the Treasury administers and enforces sanctions against targeted foreign countries and terrorists. Distributing items or providing services to a sanctioned country without permission from the U.S. government will result in a federal violation. The list of sanctioned countries changes so please monitor the list.
  • Several different government agencies also publish Restricted Party Lists. Transactions with people or entities on these restricted party lists are prohibited. Please submit a Restricted Party Screening Request (DOC 32K) to request a screening so that you do not enter into a transaction with a restricted party.

Is Anything Exempt from Export Controls?

Generally, fundamental research -- basic and applied research in science and engineering where the resulting information is ordinarily published and shared broadly -- conducted at Appalachian is excluded from export controls. In addition, published information that is generally accessible to the public is not regulated by export controls. Likewise, instruction in science, math and engineering courses listed in course catalogues is excluded from export controls. See the Exclusions to Export Controls below for more information.

Are There Penalties for Violating Export Controls?

Penalties for export control violations are severe and may be assigned both to the person violating the regulations as well as Appalachian. Civil penalties include $250,000 per transaction and up to 10 years in prison. The University is required to keep records of compliance with export control regulations for 5 years.

Please consult the Forms and Resources webpage for additional information about complying with export controls when traveling abroad with Appalachian owned items, collaborating with foreign nationals, or exporting items or information abroad.

What Researchers Should Know

How do export controls affect researchers?

  • Export controls require screening (DOC 32K) of international collaboratorsagainst government restricted party lists. 
  • Export controls require an export license or the documentation of an exception for an export license for the transmission of items, software or technical information outside of the United States.  
  • If your research does not fall under the Fundamental Research Exclusion, please contact Robin Tyndall at compliance@appstate.edu to discuss potential deemed exports to foreign nationals at Appalachian.

What kind of research is export controlled?

  • Any research activity may be subject to export controls if it involves the actual export of controlled goods, technology, or software or “deemed export” of technology or source code to a foreign national within the United States. 
  • Information resulting from fundamental research and information in the public domain is excluded from export controls.  See Basics of Export Controls and Exclusions to Export Controls for more information.  Stanford University has a Decision Tree that can be used to determine if research is export controlled. 
  • Research in the following areas is commonly regulated by export controls (note: this is not a complete list):
    • Chemical, Biotechnology and Biomedical Engineering
    • Materials Technology
    • Remote Sensing, Imaging and Reconnaissance
    • Navigation, Avionics and Flight Control
    • Robotics
    • Propulsion System and Unmanned Air Vehicle Subsystems
    • Telecommunications/Networking
    • Research with controlled chemical, biological agents and toxins
    • Sensors and Sensor Technology
    • Advanced Computer/Microelectronic Technology
    • Information Security/Encryption
    • Laser and Directed Energy Systems
    • Marine Technology

As a Principal Investigator, what should I do to comply with export controls?

  • Review the export controls website and attend a training session on export controls or review the online export controls training powerpoint presentation (PPT 3.15M).
  • Provide all agreements, memoranda of understanding, contracts, terms or clauses negotiated with a sponsor to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs to review for any provisions or restrictions that might negate the Fundamental Research Exclusion from export controls requirements.
  • Complete restricted party screening of any international collaborators and request assistance for the export of any technology and goods overseas. 
  • For any export controlled technologies, complete a Technology/Data control plan to restrict access of export controlled research to foreign nationals on campus.  See the Forms and Resources webpage for a template.

If a sponsored project has publication restrictions and/or restrictions on who can participate in the research, how does that impact export controls?

  • Publication restrictions and/or restrictions on the participation of foreign nationals in the research negate the Fundamental Research Exclusion so the research may be export controlled.

If research is export controlled, what should we do?

Exclusions to Export Controls

Fortunately, some exports of information and software are excluded from export controls.

Fundamental research, defined in Part 734.8 of the Export Administration Regulations as "basic and applied research in science and engineering, where the resulting information is ordinarily published and shared broadly within the scientific community", is excluded from export controls regulating deemed exports. In other words, fundamental research conducted at Appalachian may be shared with foreign nationals in the United States. Shipments of goods or services outside the U.S. are not covered by the Fundamental Research Exclusion. If fundamental research includes any restrictions on publication (such as pre-approval by a sponsor) or if the sponsor of fundamental research limits the participation of foreign nationals, then the fundamental research will be subject to the export controls.

Information in the Public Domain that is published and generally accessible to the public does not require an export license. Examples of published material include: periodicals, books, electronic media available for general distribution to any interested member of the public, any materials available at public or university libraries, patents and information released at an open conference, meeting, seminar or other open gathering.

Instruction in courses and teaching laboratories listed in a course catalog are exempt from export regulations. Typically, instruction includes transmitting information concerning general scientific, mathematical and engineering principles commonly taught in schools, colleges and universities or information in the public domain.

Please consult Robin Tyndall at compliance@appstate.edu or 262-2692 for further information on exclusions to export controls.

Exporting Items

In order to export an item or software, the item or software must be classified according to export regulations. In some cases, the producer of the item or software may be able to classify the item or software. See the Forms and Resources page for websites with export classifications.

For the export of goods, submit a Request for Assistance for the Export of Goods (DOC 28K). Requests should be submitted with ample time to get an export license if a license is required. Government agencies can take 2 to 6 months to process an export license.

Any export that requires an export license or is valued over $2500 should be entered into the Automated Export System (AES) hosted by the Census Bureau. The AES system will provide the export with an International Transaction Number (ITN). Typically, this is done approximately 24 hours prior to shipment to alert Customs and Border Patrol. If a freight forwarder files with AES for you, please obtain the ITN for documentation purposes.

Sanctioned Countries

Comprehensive and Limited OFAC Sanction Programs

  • Balkans
  • Belarus
  • Burma (Myanmar)
  • Cote d'Ivoire
  • Cuba
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Iran
  • Iraq-related
  • Former Liberian Regime of Charles Taylor Regime
  • Lebanon-related
  • North Korea
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Zimbabwe

For more information, consult: http://www.ustreas.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/programs/index.shtml

Country Group D:1 National Security

  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belarus
  • Burma
  • Cambodia
  • China (PRC)
  • Georgia
  • Iraq
  • Kazakhstan
  • North Korea
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos
  • Libya
  • Macau
  • Moldova
  • Mongolia
  • Russia
  • Tajikistan
  • Turkmenistan
  • Ukraine
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vietnam


Director of Research Protections
Robin Tyndall

Assistant Director of Research Protections
Monica Molina

Assistant Director of IACUC and IBC Programs
Shante' Mathes

Compliance Coordinator
Dennis Gabriels

QEP Global Learning