Export Need to Know

Export Regulations: What You Need to Know

  • Export Controls are is regulated by multiple U.S. agencies (State, Commerce, Treasury, FDA, USPTO, DHS, etc.) and the laws involved can result in severe fines and prosecution. This liability applies to KU and you as a private citizen.
  • Academic pursuits can be excluded from export regulation if it falls under the fundamental research exclusion rule (unrestricted ability to publish), or is considered public domain, or is considered educational information. These determinations may require an export analysis, review by Legal when needed, and must start early in the planning process.
  • 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. Such research can be distinguished from proprietary research and from industrial development, design, production, and product utilization, the results of which ordinarily are restricted for proprietary reasons or specific national security reasons. Research conducted by scientists, engineers, or students at a university normally will be considered fundamental research ("University" means any accredited institution of higher education located in the United States).
  • An export is any oral, written, electronic or visual disclosure, shipment, transfer or transmission of commodities, technology, information, technical data, assistance or software codes to anyone outside the US (including US citizen), a non-US individual (wherever they are) and a foreign embassy or affiliate
  • Deemed Export occurs on campus when controlled technology is:

               – available to foreign nationals for visual inspection (such as reading technical specifications, plans, blueprints, etc.)
               – exchanged orally
               – made available by practice or application under the guidance of persons with knowledge of the technology

Export Controls: Do’s and Don’ts

  • · Do NOT ship any item outside the U. S. without first conducting an export analysis. Export controlled equipment, materials, software, or technology may require a license before transferring to a foreign entity (organization, person, business, etc.).
  • · Do contact the Office of Export Compliance or General Counsel’s office for assistance in classifying items involved in an export. All documents relating to export determinations, risk assessments, use of exceptions and shipping must be retained 5 years   for federal audits/investigations.
  • · Do ensure your staff is aware of controlled commodities, software and technology on site.
  •   When purchasing equipment, always request the export control classification number (ECCN) which provides control requirements.
  • · Do identify projects that involve restricted research and international transactions early in project development so an export analysis can be conducted to determine and plan for impact.
  • · Do conduct restricted party screening for all exports using KU Visual Compliance. If sanctions or alerts are identified during these screenings, have Export Control or Legal review.
  • · Do NOT carry, without an export review, export controlled technology when traveling abroad to include digital data that may be stored in your cell phone, laptop, USB drives or other digital media etc. If you are not sure, do not carry these items with you.

Technical Data

  • Do NOT enter into proprietary data agreements containing export control requirements, or restricts dissemination to others on the basis of nationality or citizenship without a Legal/Export review.
  • Do NOT accept data from a commercial contractor that is marked "export controlled." without an export review
  • Do make sure that technical data about export controlled commodities qualifies as "public domain" or "publicly available" by any of the following criteria:
    - published information: in journals, books, open websites, or other media available to a community of persons interested in the subject; readily available at university libraries.
    - published through release at open conferences and meetings.
    - educational information released by instruction in catalog courses and associated teaching laboratories of the University.
    - fundamental research where the resulting information is ordinarily published and shared broadly within the scientific community and where no contractual restrictions have been accepted.
  • Do review any Confidentiality/Non-Disclosure Agreements to ensure that KU is not assuming the burden of restricting dissemination based on citizenship status or securing export licenses.
  • Do implement a KU technology control plan (TCP) for your work areas if there is a risk that a foreign national (employee or visitor) may inadvertently access export controlled technology.


  • · Do NOT agree to software license restrictions on access to, or use of, the software by nationals of certain countries or restrictions on dissemination of the "direct product" of the software.
  • · Do, whenever possible, make KU created software "publicly available" or ensure an export classification is completed on the software before export.
  • · Do "publish" software and technical data, making it available in the public domain or obtain a legal/ export review prior to distribution.

Note: If using source code of a software program that is publicly available, then the machine readable code compiled from the source code is software that is publicly available and therefore not subject to export controls.

  • Do ask software providers to identify the ECCN number of their software and understand the controls involved before exporting (includes deemed export).
  • Do consult with Export Control for software transfers involving export of encryption software with symmetric key length exceeding 64-bits
  • Do Not accept Third Party's Controlled Items or Data without conducting an export analysis to determine impact to your project.agreements
  • Do consult with Export Control or Legal when research agreements contain the following:   

              -  references U.S. export control regulations (beyond a mere statement to comply with the law);  

               - restricts access or participation based on country of origin;

               - restricts the use of proprietary or confidential information;

               - grants the sponsor pre-publication review and approval for matters other than the review for patent or sponsor proprietary/confidential information;

               - allows the sponsor to claim the results or data generated in the agreement as proprietary or trade secret;

               - involves export controlled equipment;

               - includes foreign sponsors or collaborators;

               - travel, shipping, or work outside of the United States;

               - military applications of project results.

Need Help? Contact Export Controls at ueco@ku.edu