Export Controls

Export control laws regulate the transfer of controlled information (including technical data and technical assistance) as well as controlled physical items (such as scientific equipment) to foreign colleagues and organizations in the United States and abroad. Exports include the shipment or transfer of equipment, articles, services or encryption software to another country as well as the transfer of technical data or information to a foreign national, whether it occurs in the U.S. or abroad. These regulations restrict dissemination of a wide range of goods, services, information, software and technology in a manner that may affect research abroad. Penalties for violations of the export control regulations include fines and imprisonment and can be severe.

Export controls usually arise for one or more of the following reasons:

  • The nature of the export has actual or potential military applications or involves space-based research

  • U.S. government concerns about the destination country, organization or individual

  • U.S. government concerns about the declared or suspected end use or the end user of the export

Examples of activities subject to export controls include:

  • Transfer of controlled items, equipment, materials, software, technology or data, for any period of time
  • International students and scholars or companies in the U.S.
  • International travel
  • Collaborations with certain countries, entities and individuals subject to U.S. sanctions
  • International financial transactions

Exports can be done by:

  • Personal transport
  • Mail
  • Shipping
  • Transmitting technical data or software (a “deemed export”)

Violation of export control laws and regulations can result in significant civil and criminal penalties for you, your colleagues and the University. To ensure compliance, consult the Office of Sponsored Programs, Export Compliance

As a general rule, most on-campus research or educational activities at the University of Washington will not raise any export control compliance issues.

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