International Collaborations

In general, collaborations between university personnel and scholars at foreign institutions or organizations do not require export licenses unless they involve export controlled or restricted research or involve scholars in sanctioned countries. Before engaging in an international collaboration, the university needs to determine if export licenses are required and to verify that the foreign individual and/or organization are not blocked or sanctioned entities.

U.S. Embargoes and Sanction Programs

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is responsible for enforcing all U.S. embargoes and sanction programs. Depending on each country’s embargo or sanction program, different activities may or may not be prohibited without a specific government authorization or license.

The OFAC sanction programs can be generalized into three categories:

  • “Comprehensive” – In general, under comprehensive sanctions programs, ALL interactions and activities are prohibited, including exporting to, importing from, financial transactions of any kind, and/or providing services of any kind. While essentially all interactions with comprehensively sanctioned countries are prohibited, there is an exception for informational materials that allows certain transactions to occur. See Informational Materials and Publishing Activities and Amendments to Cuba Sanctions below.
  • “Limited” – Under limited sanctions programs only some activities (e.g., importation of items) are prohibited.
  • “Regime or List-Based” – Regime or List-Based sanctions are targeted against specific individuals identified by the Treasury Department and referred to as Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs) or are targeted against specific groups of people usually associated with a governmental body or regime.

Below is a table of the countries currently under U.S. sanction along with an indication of the sanction program in place. For additional information on a specific sanction program see OFAC Sanction Program Summaries.

Comprehensive Limited      
Regime/List   
Cuba Burma/Myanmar Balkans/Yugoslavia
Iran Syria Belarus
Sudan North Korea Democratic Republic of Congo
    Liberia
    Libya
    Iraq
    Zimbabwe

Informational Materials and Publishing Activities

OFAC has granted a general license that specifically allows for activities in support of publishing and/or marketing of informational materials with sanctioned countries Iran, Cuba, Sudan, and Burma [see 31 CFR Parts 515, 537, 538, and 560]. As authorized under this license, U.S. persons can freely engage in activities that are “necessary and ordinarily incident to the publishing and marketing of manuscripts, books, journals, and newspapers in paper or electronic format…” This general license allows university personnel to participate in any activity that is part of the normal academic peer-review or publishing process. However, it does not allow for these activities to occur if the foreign person(s) involved is a governmental official, or represents or is working on behalf of the government of the sanctioned country. For the purposes of this license, academic and research institutions and their personnel are not considered governmental employees or their representatives. It is important to note that this general license does not allow for or authorize the provision of any customized or consulting services. Such activities would still require a separate governmental authorization or license.

Amendments to Cuba Sanctions

On December 17, 2014 the President announced a set of diplomatic and economic changes in U.S. relations to Cuba and the revised regulations went into effect on January 16, 2015. UAF faculty wishing to travel to Cuba to attend professional meetings or to engage in research activities may now be able to do so under a General License. For more information, please read the full listing [see 31 CFR 515.564].

Who should I contact for help?
You can contact Bridget Watson in the Office of Research Integrity at bjwatson@alaska.edu or 907-474-7832.

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