Main Content

Export Controls for Research

U.S. export control laws and regulations, which are laws that regulate the exportation of certain items, technology and software to certain foreign destinations and individuals (“Export Controls”) are comprised of three primary sets of federal law, each set implemented and enforced by a different federal agency:

The Export Administration Act of 1979, which is implemented by the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”) and administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce. EAR regulate the export of “dual use” items, software, and associated technology, which are items that have both a commercial and military or proliferation application.

The Arms Export Control Act, which is implemented by the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (“ITAR”) and administered by the U.S. Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls. ITAR apply to the export of munitions, or defense articles and services, and associated technology. Additionally, any software or technology that is specifically designed, developed, configured, modified or adapted for military or intelligence applications can be considered a defense article.

Economic and trade embargoes and sanctions administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Asset Control (“OFAC”). These embargoes and sanctions are against targeted foreign countries, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, and those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

TCU is committed to compliance with Export Controls.  In furtherance of this commitment, the TCU Office of Research expects all research faculty, staff, students, visiting scientists and scholars, post-doctoral fellows, and other persons retained by or working at the university in associate with research to comply with all Export Controls as they relate to TCU research activities.

The information provided below relates only to the research function at TCU.  Other requirements may exist for TCU in general.  If you have any questions regarding exports controls related to your research, contact the Office of Research. For information regarding non-research export control matters, contact the TCU Chief Compliance Officer.

Export Controls restrict or prohibit U.S. individuals and companies from exporting or providing services of any kind to any party contained in U.S. government export denial, debarment, and blocked persons lists.  These lists are updated on a regular basis.  A restricted party screening involves a review of these lists to ensure that the person or entity with whom you are interacting is not on one of these lists.  RPS must be conducted prior to engaging in research activities.  Contact the Office of Research for more information.

Restricted Party Screening Procedures


Export Controls and Research Policy

Multi-national research collaborations

Visiting scholars and researchers who are foreign nationals

International shipment of research equipment and transmission of technological information

Traveling overseas with high tech equipment, confidential, unpublished, or proprietary information or data

Traveling with laptop computers, web-enabled cell phones and other personal equipment

Use of third party technology or information that is subject to Export Controls

Sponsored research containing contractual restrictions on publication or dissemination

International consulting

All materials, technologies, or equipment being sent outside of the U.S. for reasons related to research must be shipped through TCU Mailing Services.   Many items are controlled for export and may require a license before shipping, so allow plenty of lead time.  Detailed information about the requirements is found at

Restrictions vary from country to country and from item to item. The most restricted destinations are the embargoed countries and those countries designated by the Department of State as state sponsors of terrorism, including Cuba, Iran, North Korea, (North) Sudan, and Syria.

Export Controls cover exports in virtually all fields of science, technology and engineering, including research at TCU; however, most exports associated with academic research usually do not require a license because an exemptions/exclusions apply. In the event that an exemptions/exclusions does not apply, a license may be required before it can be exported.  Export Controls cover exports in virtually all fields of science, technology and engineering, including research at TCU. Most exports associated with academic research, however, usually do not require a license because an exemptions/exclusions apply. In the event that an exemptions/exclusions does not apply, a license may be required before it can be exported.  Do not make this determination alone.  If you have questions, contact the Office of Research.

Items you are taking with you on your travels are also subject to export controls regulations.  Frequently, faculty or staff desire to have an accompanying laptop computer.   Be sure the computer does not have any restricted software or data for the countries you will visit while away.  If you do need to take controlled data or technology, you will need a license for each controlled item.   If you do not need to take these items with you, but do not want to remove them from the computer, contact TCU IT about the availability of a loan computer for your travels.   These same requirements apply to software and data on your cell phone or other technology devices.
All TCU employees should register their international travel with TCU International Studies BEFORE leaving the U.S.   Click here to do so on our Study Abroad website.

Visitors who will be engaged in research are also subject to regulations.  Their access to some technologies, information, and materials may be restricted. visiting scholar checklist

Students from outside the U.S. are subject to the same restrictions as visiting scholars.   Faculty whose research involves sensitive technologies should consult with the Office of Research before granting international students’ access to lab spaces and information.   Principal Investigators with federal contracts should consult with the Office of Sponsored Programs to be sure support and access for international students is permitted.