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Export Control FAQ

What is an export?

An export is the physical shipment of items or data to a foreign country OR an electronic or verbal transmission of controlled information (phone, fax, email) to an individual in a foreign country OR the transfer of items, data or controlled information to a foreign national on US soil (Deemed Export), OR the provision of a service based on knowledge acquired in the U.S. to a foreign entity.

What are export controls?
Export Controls generally refer to the federal regulations governing the export of materials, data, technical information, services, and financial transactions to foreign countries based on U.S. security interests. These regulations include the ITAR, the EAR, and OFAC regulations.

What is the ITAR?

The International Traffic in Arms Regulation – ITAR (22 CFR 120-130) is implemented by the Department of State. These regulations are designed to cover materials and technologies whose primary purpose is considered to be military in nature. Materials covered under the ITAR are enumerated in the United States Munitions List (UMSL). Export of defense services, defense articles, and related technical data on the USML requires licensing from the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC).

What is EAR?

The Export Administration Regulation – EAR (15 CFR 774) is implemented by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) in the U.S. Department of Commerce. These regulations apply to “dual use” technologies, i.e. items that have a civilian use, but which may also have a military use or which may be controlled for shipment because of national security concerns.

Under the EAR, items and technologies are assigned an ECCN or Export Control Classification Number. This number is a 5 digit alpha-numeric code that identifies the item and technology. Export controls depend on the item classification and the export destination (or home country in the event of a deemed export to a foreign national). In the case of a controlled export, it may be necessary to apply to BIS for an export license.

What is OFAC?

The Office of Foreign Assets Control – OFAC (Trade Sanctions and Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list; 31 C.F.R. 501.801) is administered by the Office of Foreign Asset Control.  Sanctions can be either comprehensive or selective using the blocking of assets and trade restrictions to accomplish foreign policy and national security goals.   OFAC regulations often provide general licenses authorizing the performance of certain categories of transactions. OFAC also issues specific licenses on a case-by-case basis under certain limited situations and conditions.

How can I check for export control designations,  sanctions, embargoes or specially designated nationals?

Georgia Southern has subscribed to Visual Compliance, a web based tool that can be used to determine the ECCN or if the technology is subject to the ITAR.  The tool will also allow you to screen for Specially Designated Nationals,entities and identify applicable trade sanctions.   Use of the service requires a user name and password.  Contact  your departmental administrator or the Office of Research Integrity for access or help with the system.

You may also consult the Consolidated Screening List maintained by the US Departments of State and Commerce at

Where can I get training on Export Controls

Georgia Southern has subscribed to the CITI (Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative) program export control on line modules.   Modules are available for Researchers, Procurement, Shipping, Operational Research Support and  Research Administration.

You can access these modules free of charge by logging in or registering and affiliating with GS here.      You can access the CITI program training site from your portal in the Research Resources tile.

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Aren’t Universities exempt from the Export Control Regulations?

Only some functions of the University are exempt.  Both the ITAR and the EAR have clauses providing exemption from the licensing requirements for fundamental university research. Information resulting from basic and applied research in science and engineering conducted at an accredited institution of higher education in the U.S. that is ordinarily published and broadly shared within the scientific community falls under this fundamental research exemption.   The exemption does not apply to equipment or objects.  The exemption does not apply to any course or project that is conducted outside of the US by GS.

It is important to note however, that research will not be considered fundamental if: the University or its researchers accept restrictions on the publication of scientific and technical information resulting from the project or activity, or the research is funded by the U.S. government and specific access and dissemination controls protecting information resulting from the research are applicable.

Furthermore, participation of foreign nationals should not be restricted if the exemption is to apply.

What are the main  exclusions and exemptions applicable to GS?

Exceptions and exemption information is located on the second tab of the policy page on the links below.  Make sure to read the exclusion or exemption carefully to assure you understand the conditions applied.

Fundamental Research

Public Domain

Educational Content

Bonafide Full Time Employee 

Temporary Import/Export of University Owned Equipment (hand carried)

What is a Technology Control Plan?

A technology control plan is a formal plan that delineates how an Export Controlled research project will be conducted. It includes details about how the technology will be secured, who will have access to it, and how the technology will be disposed of at the end of the project.  A formal written plan is required for export controlled research.

Last updated: 6/6/2023