Export Licensing

When might I need an export license or permit?

  • When you need to ship controlled equipment or materials to a foreign destination.
  • When you want to involve a non-U.S. person on a restricted project (i.e. specifically includes export control language, requires sponsor approval for publication or public dissemination, or restricts participation based on citizenship/nationality)
  • When you want/need to share export controlled technical data, software, etc. with a non-US person located in the US or abroad.
  • If you need to train a non-US person on how to use, adjust, or repair an export controlled item or software.
  • If you are asked to provide training to foreign government representatives (especially military).
  • If you need to take export controlled information, including that subject to a confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement, out of the country. 

How can I determine if I need an export license or permit?

The easiest way to find out whether or not you need an export license or permit is to contact the Office of Research Integrity or submit a completed Export Determination Request form.

Points to Remember:

  • Each country has it's own laws regulating the import and export of a wide range of items, materials, technology and technical data.
  • What is exported from one country is imported by another, so you'll typically have two sets of law and regulations that may be applicable to a single international transfer.  You must abide by both countries' requirements.
  • Not all exports or imports require a license or permit, but some do. 
  • Just because the import or export is to support fundamental research doesn't mean that a license or permit isn't required.
  • Exports can be permanent or temporary; either may require a license.
  • Releasing export controlled technical data to a foreign national is an export regardless of whether it occurs in the U.S. or a foreign country.  It is "deemed" to be an export to the person's country of citizenship/residency; hence the commonly used term "deemed export".

What type of information is necessary to determine whether or not an export license or permit is required?

  • A Thorough Description of the Items or Materials.  This needs to include manufacturer and model number for commercially acquired equipment, sensors, software, materials, or technical data.  For equipment developed and manufactured at UAF, please provide a description of the item and the source of funding (including grant or contract number) used for it's development.
  • Specific Destination.  Physical address(es) where exported items will be shipped and used; at minimum this must include the country and nearest city or town, for remote locations provide GPS coordinates if possible.  Destination must include the name of the end-user (company or institution); this may be UAF if the export is to support field work for example.
  • Purpose.  Describe why it is necessary to export these items and how they will be used.
  • Shipping.  Provide information on how these items will be exported and the names of any companies or individuals (i.e. if the items will be taken as personal baggage or hand carries) that will be involved in the proposed export.
  • Timeframe.  Provide the propsed date of export.  Acquiring necessary export licenses or permits can take significant lead time depending on the agency(ies) involved.  Please provide at least two months of lead time, more if possible.

Who can apply for export licenses or permits?

It depends on which agency has jurisdiction over the items and materials to be exported. 

Requests for a license to export items, materials, technical information, or services, subject to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Export Administration Regulations (EAR), or Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctions must be submitted to the appropriate agency by the Office of Research Integrity per UAF's Export Management Policy and our institutional registrations with these agencies.

Export permits or licenses from other agencies are typically issued to individuals rather than organizations or institutions.  Principal investigators or others engaged in export activities are responsible for insuring that all necessary import or export permissions have been received prior to shipment.  The UAF Office of Research Integrity can provide guidance and assistance to researchers regarding compliance with export control regulations and processes other than those in the ITAR, EAR and OFAC sanctions.  Examples of agencies that issue import/export permits or licenses to individuals rather than organizations include, but are not limited to, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services (CITES, MBTA, and ESA), National Marine Fisheries Permits (CITES and MMPA),  Drug Enforcement Agency, and U.S. Department of Agriculture.

How long does it take to get an export license or permit?

It depends on the agency, but it can anywhere from a week or two to several months.  This means that you need to do your homework early and determine not only if you'll need an export  license or permit, but also what the agency's normal processing time for applications is so you know when to apply.

What happens if I get caught without a license or permit?

Again, this varies widely by agency however, consequences can range from seizure of the items or materials to a small civil penalty (fine) of a few hundred dollars to significant jail time and penalties in the millions of dollars.  Although fines and penalties may be issued against both the individual and institution, criminal charges and jail time are assessed against the individual(s) performing the unlicensed and therefore illegal import/export.