When to Contact Us
When to Contact Us
Questions? Contact the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research Integrity (email@example.com) for assistance with export control questions before engaging in any of the following actives, to ensure export control regulations do not apply:
- Accept restrictions on publication, foreign national participation, or involve proprietary information in any activity
- Work on research/projects that will involve military, intelligence, space, encryption software, or nuclear related information, technical data, equipment, or software
- Travel outside of the United States
- You intend to have foreign nationals participate in research
- You intend to participate in an international collaboration
- You intend to host a foreign visitor at UCCS
Export Control Background and Penalties
U.S. export control regulations are federal laws governing the export of certain commodities or information. Export control regulations exist to protect the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States. Export controls govern the shipment, transmission, or transfer of regulated items, information and software to foreign countries, persons or entities, even in the United States.
Export Controls may arise for several reasons, most commonly*:
- The nature of the export has a military application or economic protection issue;
- There are governmental concerns about the country, organization, or individual receiving information or technology; and
- The end use or the end user of the export are of concern.
U.S. export control regulations are governed by the main federal agencies listed below*:
- Export Administration Regulations (EAR) administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce which cover dual use (civilian or military) technology
- International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) administered by the U.S. Department of State and cover military work
- The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury that covers sanctioned countries controls
*4/28/2020: BIS issued a Final Rule EAR 744.21 "military end uses" and military end users" from China, Russia and Venezuela.
Penalties for violations of export control regulations may include criminal and civil penalties for UCCS and the individual employee, student, or faculty member.
Export Administration Regulations (EAR) Criminal Penalties:
- University: a fine of up to the greater of $1,000,000 or fives times the value of the export for each violation
- Individual: a fine of up to 1,000,000 or imprisonment for up to 20 years, or both, for each violation
- University: a fine of up to the greater of $300,000 or two times the value of the export for each violation
- Individual: a fine of up to the greater of $300,000 or two times the value of the export or imprisonment for up to five years, or both, for each violation
The imposition of a fine of up to $1,000,000 for each violation. Additionally, for each violation of the EAR, any or all of the following may be imposed:
- Denial of export privileges; and/or
- Exclusion from practice; and/or
- Seizure/forfeiture of goods; and/or
- Inability to obtain federal contracts.
International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) Criminal Penalties:
- University: a fine of up to $1,183,736 for each violation
- Individual: a fine of up to $1,000,000 or up to ten years in prison, or both, for each violation
- University: a fine of up to $1,000,000 for each violation
- Individual: a fine of up to $1,000,000 for each violation
Additionally, for any violation of the ITAR, any of the following may be imposed:
- Denial of export privileges; and/or
- Seizure/forfeiture of goods; and/or
- Inability to obtain federal contracts.
Office of Foreign Assets Control Regulations (OFAC) Criminal Penalties:
- University: a fine of up to $1,503,470 for each violation
- Individual: a fine of up to $1,503,470 or up to twenty years in prison, or both, for each violation
- University: a fine of up to $1,503,470 or twice the amount of the underlying transaction for each violation
- Individual: a fine of up to $1,503,470 or twice the amount of the underlying transaction for each violation
Additionally, for any violation of the OFAC regulations, seizure and forfeiture of goods may result.
Report a violation
It is the policy of the University to voluntarily self-disclose violations as required and identified. All federal agencies have dramatically increased the investigation in, and successful prosecution of, export regulation violations. The penalties for these violations can be very severe, including personal liability, monetary fines, and imprisonment. However, government agencies assign great weight to voluntary self-disclosures as a mitigating factor.
Any individual who suspects a violation has occurred must immediately notify the Empowered Official Michael Sanderson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-255-3044 or the EthicsPoint secure hotline. The Office of Sponsored Programs and Research Integrity (OSPRI) will work with University Counsel to determine the appropriate follow-up to the notification, which may include a voluntary self-disclosure to the appropriate governmental agency. An internal review of the suspected violation, including review of the circumstances, personnel, items, and communications involved, will be conducted by OSPRI in coordination with University Counsel as appropriate.
Export Control Primer for Researchers
Quick Reference: Export Control Information Sheet
Export controls are federal laws that regulate the distribution of controlled devices, software, and information when such items are designated as "defense articles" or "dual use" commodities. Although these regulations frequently do not affect research activities, they can apply to the following situations:
- The nature of the technology in the research has actual or potential military applications
- Foreign countries, organization(s), or individual(s) involved in the research are prohibited by law
- The government regulates the potential end-use or the end-user of the technology resulting from the research
4/28/2020: BIS issued a Final Rule EAR 744.21 "military end uses" and military end users" from China, Russia and Venezuela.
How Export Controls Can Affect Research
The main impacts of export controls on Sponsored and Un-Sponsored research include
- Restrictions on foreign nationals (students, post docs and visiting scholars) from accessing or participating in on-campus research
- Restrictions on the dissemination or publication of research results (i.e. via Distribution Statements on Technical Documents)
- Requirements for implementation of security measures to handle export controlled items and technical data associated with research
- Limitations on shipments, exchanges of information, travel and financial transactions to certain countries and nationals of those countries
General Areas of Concern Where Export Controls Could Apply to Research
Technology subject to export control regulations?
- Research involving technologies specified in the International Traffic in-Arms Regulations (ITAR) or the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) may be export controlled unless they qualify for an exclusion.
- Technologies involving controlled pathogens, toxins, bacteria, fungi, select agents, or chemicals have different qualifications for exclusions.
- A license may be required if the research involves the international shipping of export controlled equipment or data.
- If export controlled data or material will be transferred to foreign persons inside the US, the research must first qualify for a "fundamental research", "public domain", or "educational" exclusion.
- Deemed exports may also limit research collaborations or field work with foreign nationals.
Export control regulations do not apply to most information released in academic catalog-listed courses or in teaching labs associated with those courses. This educational exclusion is based on the recognition in ITAR that "information concerning general scientific, mathematical, or engineering principles commonly taught in schools, colleges, and universities, or information in the public domain" should not be subject to export control restrictions. The EAR provides that educational information released by instruction in catalog courses and associated teaching laboratories of academic institutions (except for certain encryption technology) is not subject to the EAR.
However, there are some topics within courses that are subject to the EAR, so it is important to recognize the following topics that are sensitive and, in some cases, subject to Export Controls:
- Encryption software (possibly in engineering or computer courses);
- Topics of discussion in courses within the scope of ITAR (such as astro/aero physics or nuclear science) can possibly meet the definition of "defense service" which is subject to control;
- Sensitive Nuclear Technology (possibly in engineering, science, or physics courses).
It is important to note that follow-on-questions and discussion can go beyond public information and into practical implementation, which requires specific authorization. If you have questions or concerns about your classroom instruction, please contact Michael Sanderson via email at email@example.com or 719-255-3044.
Export Controls may also affect some online education. Under export control regulations, online courses are considered to be providing a service, which is not generally authorized, when they:
- Provide forums for interaction among students and teachers
- Assign and evaluate homework
- Administer and grade quizzes or tests
- Document evidence of successful completion
Such services require a specific authorization for students in or ordinarily resident in Cuba, Iran, and Sudan, under OFAC’s sanctions.
In contrast, open courseware, in which the entire content of a course is freely available, is considered public information and informational material and is therefore excluded from EAR and ITAR controls and generally authorized under OFAC (no specific authorization required).
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) may be impacted by export control regulations depending on the design of the course and the interaction provided. To learn more, please review this blog post from Harvard: Updates from the Second Annual Impact of Export Controls on Higher Education and Scientific Institutions Conference (Part 1 - MOOC)
If you have questions or concerns about online educations and export controls, please contact Michael Sanderson via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-255-3044.
- International travel with export controlled equipment or data may require a license or a "tool of trade" exception
- Travel to sanctioned/embargoed countries may require a license and limit the hand-carrying of certain technologies
- Provisioning financial support or services overseas in a sanctioned/embargoed country or foreign nationals of those countries is highly regulated
- Unfunded research related to nuclear, chemical, biological, weaponry, missiles, unmanned vehicles, or strong encryption technologies is subject to the ITAR
- Contract and grants funded by the Department of Defense or NASA can be subject to the ITAR
- Restrictive clauses in defense research contracts can limit publication or foreign national access or participation
- Research involving the use of defense articles on the ITAR U.S. Munitions List (USML) or associated technical data does not qualify for an exclusion and may require implementation of research security measures
Dual Research of Concern (DURC)?
- Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC) is defined as life sciences research that, based on current understanding, can be reasonably anticipated to provide knowledge, information, products or technology that could be directly misapplied to pose a significant threat with broad potential consequences to public health and safety, agricultural crops and other plants, animals, the environment, materiel, or national security
- To learn more about DURC, please visit the following Public Safety website: https://ehs.uccs.edu/export-control/dual-use-research-of-concern
Process for Determining if Export Controls Apply to Research
Office of Sponsored Programs and Research Integrity reviews proposals and award:
- Determine if research qualifies for an export control exclusion or if the research is otherwise subject to export controls
- Screen for restricted parties
- Negotiate restrictive or troublesome clauses with the Sponsor to ensure research qualifies as fundamental research
- Inform the PI of projects that have export control restrictions or that are suspect and require further determination
Exclusions to Export Controls
Three sheltering exclusions exempt most university research from export control regulations:
Certain qualifying criteria must be met for exclusion(s) to apply. If exclusion criteria are not met, ITAR or EAR technology, articles, software, or technical data may be subject to export controls. Avoiding restrictions on access and dissemination of research findings in contracts with the U.S. Government and industry is a key strategy for minimizing export control issues in university and research laboratory settings.
PI's assist the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research Integrity:
- Assist OSPRI to determine if the technology involved in their research is specified in the ITAR U.S. Munitions List (USML) or the EAR Commerce Control List (CCL) when requested
- Assist OSPRI in developing Technology Control Plans (TCP) and implementing research security measures if required
- Notify OSPRI when new staff are added (students, post docs, visiting scholars) or there is a change in scope of an export controlled project
- Ensure foreign nationals are excluded from access to export controlled technology or data until the availability of an exclusion has been determined or an export license has been obtained