Export Controls & Research

The Principal Investigator (PI) is best suited for determining whether the particular technology, data, or information involved in the work is subject to export control regulations. PIs have expert knowledge of the type of information and technology involved in a research project or other university activity, such as presenting at conferences and discussing research findings with fellow researchers or collaborators. PIs must ensure that they do not disclose controlled information, such as information that has been provided to them under a corporate non-disclosure agreement, or transfer controlled articles or services to a foreign national without prior authorization as required.

Export control analysis should be performed when a PI submits a proposal, receives an award, or changes the scope of an existing project. The Export Control Officer performs a review of the request for proposal, broad agency announcement, or award. An Export Control Analysis Questionnaire is available to help identify potential export control issues.

Technology Control Plan (TCP)
When export-controlled equipment, data, or technology is identified for a project, the Export Control Officer will work with the PI to develop and implement a TCP to appropriately secure the equipment, data, or technology from access by unlicensed non-U.S. persons. The TCP will address the following informational needs:
  • How will the persons working on the project be documented and controlled?
  • How will citizenship status be verified?
  • How will unauthorized persons be restricted from accessing research data and materials?
  • What physical and informational security measures will be implemented to prevent access to the project by unauthorized persons?

To begin developing a TCP with the ECO, please fill out the Technology Control Plan Form.

The final document will be reviewed, signed, and approved by the PI and the department chair. The department chair has the responsibility to ensure the compliance of the PI. All persons listed on the TCP are required to comply with the plan’s terms and participate in export control training for the project.

Once the TCP is complete, each of the persons working on the project will need to fill out and sign the Export Control Handling Certification Form.

Restricted Parties Screening (RPS)

All non-U.S. persons and entities are screened against the specially designated and restricted parties lists. A RPS is a process by which you check the group and/or individual name against the denied or blocked parties lists maintained by the regulatory agencies. It is recommended to perform an RPS before transacting with a foreign person or entity.

Restricted party screening requests can only be made by current University of Alaska Fairbanks faculty, staff and students. Please complete the Restricted Party Screening Form to request restricted party screening. The Export Control Officer will contact you with the results and any other questions.

When to screen people:
  • Before entering into a collaboration, whether official OR informal
  • Before accepting or inviting visitors to UAF. Also, scan visitors’ home institutions
  • Before exporting any material, including printed material
  • Before “inviting” a speaker (or guest?) to a conference sponsored in whole or part by UAF
  • Before accepting learners into courses not associated with a UAF degree (workshops, online courses, on-campus professional education, etc.). You must also exclude learners ordinarily resident in comprehensively sanctioned countries
When to screen entities:

Many entities change their names. Search on or provide to the ECO any former names if you know these. Take this action:

  • Before entering into a collaboration, official OR informal
  • Before accepting or inviting any visitor from the entity to UAF
  • Before exporting any material to the entity (and check with ECO if the export is allowed to that country)
  • Before planning a visit to the entity
*Note: The presence on one of these lists doesn’t necessarily prohibit your fundamental research plans, but you should consult the Export Control Office to avoid violating any restrictions in place. Also, the restricted lists are dynamic. People and entities go on and off the lists from time to time, so if your interaction is continuing you may wish to rescreen periodically. The ECO staff will be happy to advise you, provide training on the screening tool, or direct you to any other relevant offices at UAF.
Export Control Marking Guidelines
Controlled item marking is a regulatory requirement in both the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (“ITAR”) and the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”). Accordingly, accurate marking of items subject to the authority of those federal agencies must be a fundamental element of any effective export control program.
Tangible Item Marking

Both the EAR and the ITAR include a requirement to provide an export declaration statement, known as a Destination Control Statement (DCS), on export shipping documents for controlled items when transferred outside of the United States or to foreign persons or entities. The purpose of the requirement for an export declaration statement on shipping documents is to provide explicit notice to foreign parties that the commodity received is subject to U.S. export control laws, and that the commodity may not be used or retransferred in contradiction to U.S. law. 

The DCS language and how to apply it in export shipments are as follows:

“These items are controlled by the U.S. Government and authorized for export only to the country of ultimate destination for use by the ultimate consignee or end-user(s) herein identified. They may not be resold, transferred, or otherwise disposed of, to any other country or to any person other than the authorized ultimate consignee or end-user(s), either in their original form or after being incorporated into other items, without first obtaining approval from the U.S. government or as otherwise authorized by U.S. law and regulations.”

Intangible Item Marking

Intangible commodities, such as technical information, software, manufacturing know-how, training, and performance of services, are also controlled for export under both the ITAR and the EAR.

For EAR-controlled technical information: “EXPORT CONTROLLED - This information may be subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) pursuant to 15 C.F.R. Parts 730-774. Transfer of this data by any means to a Non-U.S. Person, whether in the United States or abroad without the proper U.S. government authorization is strictly prohibited. Violations of the EAR may be subject to both criminal and administrative penalties under the Export Control reform Act of 2018 (50 U.S.C. §§ 4801-4852).”

For ITAR-controlled technical data: “EXPORT CONTROLLED - This information may be subject to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) pursuant to 22 C.F.R. Part 120-130. Transfer of this data by any means to a Non-U.S. Person, whether in the United States or abroad without the proper U.S. government authorization is strictly prohibited. A violation of the ITAR may be subject to both criminal and administrative penalties under the Arms Export Control Act of 1976 (as amended).”

It is important to note the distinction between the harmonized DCS required for tangible shipments of controlled items versus applying an export declaration statement as a good practice to an intangible technology export. If an electronic (intangible) version of a technical drawing is printed and shipped to a foreign person or entity, the technical drawing is then subject to the controls described above for tangible exports.

International Students & Scholars

If you are employing international students or scholars, you must certify through International Student and Scholar Services that you are in compliance with U.S. export controls. The visa beneficiary begins the export control certification process though the following forms:

New Visa Applicants:

Export Certification Form - Foreign National Employees & Researchers (E-3, H-1B, O-1A, or TN Visa)

Export Certification Form - Foreign National Visiting Scholars (J-1 Visa)

Visa Renewal Applicants:

Export Certification Form - Foreign National Employees & Researchers (E-3, H-1B, O-1A, or TN Visa)

Export Certification Form - Foreign National Visiting Scholars (J-1 Visa)

When you sign this certification, you are attesting to one of the following:

  • Either an export license is NOT REQUIRED to allow foreign persons to participate in your research or access equipment, software, data, or materials
  • Or an export license IS REQUIRED to allow foreign persons to participate in the research and that you will prevent access to controlled equipment, software, data, and materials until the required license is issued by a government authority

Even though you make this certification at the time of hire, you have a continuing obligation to make sure that international students and scholars do not have inappropriate access to export-controlled equipment, software, research data, or materials throughout the course of your research.

Another important consideration is hosting visiting scholars, including faculty, postdocs, and students from other institutions. Some universities, research institutions, and other organizations are restricted parties, meaning there are restrictions on your ability to share data with or provide access to certain technologies to individuals employed by these organizations. Keep in mind that any visitors receiving funding from a restricted entity should be treated as restricted parties themselves, even if they are not individually named on a restricted parties list.

International Collaborations

University activities that involve foreign national faculty, students, staff, visiting foreign scientists or collaborator(s), or other foreign entities (e.g., non-U.S. company, university or other organization) or research that will include travel to international conferences to present unpublished results may be subject to export controls especially if any of the foreign nationals are from embargoed or sanctioned countries.

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 individuals and/or organizations are not blocked or sanctioned entities. The Export Control Analysis Questionnaire is available to help identify potential export control issues.

International Field Work

Research projects where any part of the research will take place outside the U.S. (e.g., field work outside the U.S.) may not qualify under the Fundamental Research Exclusion and may be subject to export controls. For help in determining potential export control issues, please contact ORI. The Export Control Analysis Questionnaire is available to help identify potential export control issues.

For more information please visit International Travel

International Consulting
Providing professional consulting services overseas. Services to embargoed or sanctioned countries (e.g., Iran, Syria, Cuba, Sudan and North Korea) are almost always strictly prohibited.The Export Control Analysis Questionnaire is available to help identify potential export control issues.

 

If it is determined that an item, software, or service requires a license, UAF’s ORI will work with University personnel to apply for a license via the relevant agency, as described below. The license application will be developed with the cooperation of the concerned PI as the PI is accountable to UAF for complying with the terms of the issued license. It is worth noting that there is no guarantee that a license will be granted and, if granted, the terms can be less favorable than what was originally requested. The following general questions can be used to help determine whether an activity may require a license from the BIS, DDTC, or OFAC:

  • Is the person a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident (issued a green card)?
  • Is the information already published (for example on the Internet or in public libraries)?
  • Is it educational information covered in a course catalog?
  • Is the technology disclosed in a published patent application or an issued patent?
  • Is the research considered fundamental research that will be published?
  • What is the export control classification of the product – is it EAR99, or other?
  • Does a license exclusion or exemption apply?
  • Does the proposed transaction involve a sanctioned country or an individual from a sanctioned country?
ITAR Licensing

UAF is registered with the Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) and is therefore eligible to apply for licenses or utilize license exceptions for technology that is ITAR-controlled. License requests will only be made after formal approval is received by the Vice Chancellor for Research for the purchase of ITAR-controlled technology or conduct of research that otherwise falls under the USML. Licenses may take several months to be issued. University personnel should plan accordingly.

EAR Licensing

The ECO has the authority to submit license applications and commodity classification requests to the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) on behalf of UAF. License applications for items controlled on the Commerce Control List are submitted electronically through the Simplified Network Application Process Redesign (SNAP-R) system. Whenever possible, ORI will identify and take advantage of license exceptions and will document the utilization of those exceptions accordingly.

OFAC Licensing

Sanctions programs for which implementation and administration are delegated to OFAC are outlined in the particular part of OFAC regulations dedicated to that sanctioned program. In the case of economic sanction programs not yet implemented in the regulations, OFAC controls can be found in the applicable executive order or other authority. License application procedures and reporting requirements are outlined in each sanctioned/embargoed part of the regulations and govern the transactions to be undertaken pursuant to either a “general” or “specific” license described below.

OFAC, therefore, has provisions for two types of licenses:

General License: General licenses may be issued authorizing, under appropriate terms and conditions, certain types of transactions that are subject to the prohibitions contained in 31 CFR 501.801. General licenses also may be issued authorizing, under appropriate terms and conditions, certain types of transactions that are subject to prohibitions contained in economic sanctions programs the implementation and administration of which have been delegated to the Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) but which are not yet codified in this chapter. It is the policy of OFAC not to grant applications for specific licenses authorizing transactions to which the provisions of a general license are applicable.

Specific Licenses: Transactions subject to the prohibitions, or to prohibitions the implementation and administration of which have been otherwise delegated to the Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, that are not authorized by a general license may be effected only under specific licenses.

Fundamental Research Exclusion
Both the ITAR and the EAR provide that information published and generally accessible to the public through Fundamental Research is not subject to export controls. UAF is dedicated to preserving the Fundamental Research Exclusion (FRE) for all sponsored awards. To qualify for the FRE, research must be conducted free of any publication restrictions and without any access or dissemination restrictions. UAF works to preserve the Fundamental Research Exclusion by reviewing terms and conditions of sponsored awards, Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs), and other research-related agreements to ensure such restrictions are not placed on the research. This is an integral part of UAF’s export control compliance and ensures that we can uphold our mission of free and open academic exchange.
What could undermine the Fundamental Research Exclusion?
  • The FRE could be jeopardized if investigators agree to any “side-deals” outside of the negotiated terms and conditions of an award or agreement
  • The FRE does not apply to items, equipment, technical data, or software that are export-controlled. When conducting research involving ITAR-controlled hardware, software, technologies, or encryption software, the FRE does not apply to such technology. This means that while the results of the fundamental research may not be subject to export controls, the export-controlled technology used in the fundamental research remains export-controlled
  • Accepting proprietary information that is marked “export-controlled,” “Controlled Unclassified Information, or “CUI” and incorporating such information into your research
  • Under the ITAR, research can only qualify for FRE if the research is performed at an accredited institution of higher learning in the United States. This means that the FRE does not apply if research is conducted at facilities that are not accredited institutions of higher learning or abroad
  • Under the EAR, research can qualify for the FRE even if it occurs at facilities that are not accredited institutions of higher learning or abroad as long as the research meets the EAR’s definition of “fundamental research”
The PI is responsible for the following:
  • Carefully review the information on export controls provided on this web site. Additional training on export controls is available through the Office of Research Integrity
  • Before beginning any research, determine whether any export controls might apply by asking the questions listed to the right
  • Once the project is underway, the PI should notify the Office of Research Integrity prior to implementing any changes that may impact the applicability of export controls, such as a change in the scope of work or the addition of new staff to the project
  • If it is determined that export controls apply to the project, the PI must adhere to any applicable restrictions and assist in University efforts to monitor compliance

** PIs, please note: License applications require considerable time and effort to assemble, and once an application is submitted, processing can take from 6 weeks to 3 months to complete. Please factor this into your overall plan. **

The ITAR, EAR, and OFAC regulations all stipulate record-keeping requirements for regulated export activities. Under each of these sets of regulations, records must be retained for five years after the completion of the activity and made available to the regulating authority upon request. Records that should be retained include all memoranda, notes, correspondence (including email), financial records, shipping documentation, as well as any other information related to the export activities. Additionally, when a license exception (EAR) or license exemption (ITAR) is used, additional records documenting the applicability of the exception/exemption may be required and in some cases, there may be additional reporting requirements.

UAF’s policy is to maintain export-related records based on individual controlled items or activities. Unless otherwise provided for or instructed by UA General Counsel, all records shall be maintained consistent with the UAF record retention policy and shall be retained no less than five years after the TCP termination date or license termination date, whichever is later.