Export Control Regulations

U.S. Export Control laws are primarily implemented and enforced by the Departments of Commerce, State, and Treasury.

Export Administration Regulations (EAR)

The Export Administration Regulations (EAR), 15 CFR §730-774 are administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce through the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). They regulate the export of "dual-use" items, such as goods and related technology designed for commercial purposes but which could have military applications (e.g. computers, aircraft, and pathogens). The list of EAR-controlled items (the Commerce Control List or CCL) is published at 15 CFR §774, Supplement 1.

The CCL categorizes covered items into the following ten broad categories:

  1. Nuclear materials, Facilities and Equipment, and Miscellaneous
  2. Materials, Chemicals, Microorganisms, and Toxins
  3. Materials Processing
  4. Electronics
  5. Computers
  6. Telecommunications and Information Security
  7. Lasers and Sensors
  8. Navigation and Avionics
  9. Marine
  10. Propulsion Systems, Space Vehicles, and Related Equipment

For goods and technology listed on the CCL, a license will be required for export, unless an exclusion or exemption applies. If embargoed countries are involved (see OFAC Sanctions Program below), a license will be denied.

There is an additional "catch-all" category in the regulations, "EAR 99", which covers any good or technology that is subject to the EAR as defined in 15 CFR §734.3(a) but is not explicitly enumerated on the CCL. EAR 99 items may or may not require a license, depending on the country and/or individual(s) involved in the export. Please contact the Office of Research Integrity for assistance in determining the applicability of EAR 99.

International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)

The International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), 22 CFR §120-130, are administered by the U.S. Department of State through the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC). ITAR regulates the export of defense articles, defense services, and related technical data ("defense" meaning that the government has determined the article, service, or data to be inherently military in nature). The list of ITAR-controlled items is published at 22 CFR §121 (the U.S. Munitions List or "USML").

Items on the USML have been determined by the Department of State to be inherently military in nature. Unless a specific exclusion or exemption applies, licenses are required for the export of any item on the USML:

  • Category I Firearms, Close Assault Weapons and Combat Shotguns
  • Category II Guns and Armament
  • Category III Ammunition / Ordnance
  • Category IV Launch Vehicles, Guided Missiles, Ballistic Missiles, Rockets, Torpedoes, Bombs and Mines
  • Category V Explosives and Energetic Materials, Propellants, Incendiary Agents and their Constituents
  • Category VI Vessels of War and Special Naval Equipment
  • Category VII Tanks and Military Vehicles
  • Category VIII Aircraft and Associated Equipment
  • Category IX Military Training Equipment & Training
  • Category X Protective Personnel Equipment & Shelters
  • Category XI Military Electronics
  • Category XII Fire Control, Range Finder, Optical and Guidance and Control Equipment
  • Category XIII Auxiliary Military Equipment
  • Category XIV Toxicological Agents, including chemical agents, biological agents, and associated equipment
  • Category XV Spacecraft Systems and Associated Equipment
  • Category XVI Nuclear Weapons, Design and Testing Related Items
  • Category XVII Classified Articles, Technical Data and Defense Services not otherwise enumerated
  • Category XVIII Directed Energy Weapons
  • Category XIX [Reserved]
  • Category XX Submersible Vessels, Oceanographic and Associated Equipment
  • Category XXI Miscellaneous Articles

Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Sanctions Program

The Department of the Treasury, through the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) (31 CFR §500-599) is responsible for enforcing all U.S. embargoes and sanctions programs. Special care must be taken when dealing with sanctioned and embargoed countries. For some countries, all activities are subject to strict licensing requirements and in many cases, licenses will be denied. For more information on specific OFAC sanction programs see International Collaborations.

Of particular note is the fact that the OFAC sanctions program may prohibit conducting surveys of persons in sanctioned countries. The complete and updated list of countries included in the sanctions program may be viewed at the following website: U.S. Department of Treasury Sanctions Programs and Country Information.

Who should I contact for help?

You can contact Aaron Menshouse in the Office of Research Integrity at or 907-474-7832.