Travel Abroad

KU employees and students traveling on University business or traveling with KU property are responsible for complying with export control laws and regulations when traveling outside the U.S. A license may be required depending on which items are taken, which countries are visited, or whether defense services are provided to a foreign person.

The traveler or the traveler’s supervisor should contact OEC with any potential export control concerns and to determine the need for Restricted Party and Commodity Screening.

When planning a trip abroad, travelers should review applicable export control regulations, OFAC sanctions and embargoes. Individuals should ensure that any information that will be discussed or any items that will be taken are not controlled, or, if controlled, that appropriate licenses are in place. Not only could KU be held liable, but individuals may also be held liable for improperly transferring controlled information or materials. Most travel for conferences will fall under an exclusion to the export control regulations, e.g., the Publicly Available/Public Domain Exclusion, 22 C.F.R. 120.11 and 15 C.F.R. 734.3.

Information that is published and is generally accessible to the public through publication in books or periodicals available in a public library or in bookstores or information that is presented at a conference, meeting, seminar, trade show, or other open gathering is considered to be in the public domain. An open gathering is one in which members of the general public are eligible to attend, and attendees are permitted to take notes.

KU employees and students traveling outside the U.S. with laptops, PDAs, cell phones, or other data storage devices and encrypted software must ensure that there is no Controlled Information on such devices unless there is a specific license or other authorization in place for the intended destination. Any individual traveling with or transmitting Controlled Information outside the U.S. should first consult with the OEC.

There are a number of exceptions and exclusions which may apply depending upon the facts and circumstances of each case. If personal computers and other storage devices are taken abroad that contain encrypted software, a government license or other government approval for export may be required when traveling to certain countries.

Temporary exports under the "Tools of Trade" license exception apply when the laptop, PDA, cell phone, data storage devices, and encrypted software are:

(a) Hand-carried with the individual while traveling,

(b) Carried in the luggage or baggage that travels with the individual, or

(c) Shipped no more than thirty days prior to the individual’s departure or may be shipped to the individual at any time while the individual is outside the country.

Generally, so long as an individual (1) retains his or her laptop computer, PDA, cell phone, data storage devices and encrypted software under their personal custody and effective control for the duration of travel; (2) does not intend to keep these items outside the U.S. for longer than 1 year; and (3) the individual is not traveling to an embargoed country, no government export license is required. This license exception is not available for equipment, components, or software designed for use in/by/with most satellites or spacecraft. “Effective control” means retaining physical possession of an item or maintaining it in a secure environment.

Researchers frequently need to take other KU equipment temporarily outside of the United States for use in University research. Often, but not always, the tools of trade license exception applies. Some equipment (e.g., global positioning systems (GPS), thermal imaging cameras, inertial measurement units, and specialty software) is highly restricted and may require an export license, even if one hand carries it. If taking KU equipment other than a laptop computer, PDA, cell phone, or data storage devices, contact the ECT or OEC to determine if an export license or other government approval is required prior to taking the equipment out of the country. It is important to note that activities involving teaching or training Foreign Persons on how to use equipment may require a license.