Penn State - Research Administration
This policy is designed to provide guidance to University personnel in the application of the various United States export regulations to University research and to Foreign Nationals/Persons, including, but not limited to, graduate students, teaching assistants, research assistants, post-doctorate scholars, visiting faculty, and colleagues at meetings and symposia. These regulations include those established under the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of State.
It is the goal of the University to allow faculty to freely explore their research interests and disseminate their research results. It is also a goal to allow faculty to freely collaborate with their international colleagues in the conduct of fundamental research and to allow foreign researchers and graduate students to participate in University research projects. The University must pursue these goals in accordance with applicable export laws.
The United States Federal Government has issued regulations restricting the export of specially designated items from the United States without obtaining an appropriate export license. The reach of such regulations is quite broad. Certain actions that generally might not be regarded as an "export" in other contexts may actually constitute an export and would be subject to various export control regulations. For instance, a faculty member's oral disclosure or demonstration of technology to a Foreign National/Person in a University laboratory may be deemed an export and would require an export license. Other examples of exports controls include the return of foreign equipment to its country of origin after repair in the United States, and University generated email or other electronic transmission of non-public data that would be received, directly or indirectly, abroad.
It is a commonly mistaken belief that research and information dissemination conducted within the University setting is exempt from all such export control regulations. To the contrary, both funded and unfunded research can be subject to export control regulations established by the Department of Commerce and the Department of State. Current regulations do provide an exemption for "fundamental research," but certain contractual clauses (such as publication restrictions or limitations, including clauses that require prior approval before publishing) can exclude the subject research from the "fundamental research" category and remove the exemption. Both the Department of Commerce and the Department of State have released extensive guidelines governing the application of these export control regulations, and these guidelines should be consulted prior to any research initiative, especially when they involve Foreign Nationals/Persons or foreign corporations or entities, to determine whether any export controls will come into play as a result of the intended research.
In planning research involving foreign countries or Foreign Nationals/Persons, the principal investigator should consider that, depending upon the nature of the research and the status of the foreign country involved, the process of obtaining export licenses can take weeks and sometimes months. The University has had good success in obtaining licenses, but the process is necessarily careful and sometimes slow.
It is the policy of the University that all University personnel engaged in funded or non-funded research of any scope and duration shall be responsible to review, prior to beginning such research, the applicable export control regulations to determine whether the intended research is impacted by the controls or requirements contained within such export regulations and, if applicable, that they will comply with such requirements. In addition, all personnel currently engaged in any research shall review periodically, and at least annually, such research to determine whether changes in the terms of sponsorship, in the scope of work, or personnel involved have brought such export control regulations into play since the time of the initial review. The University shall provide assistance to personnel in assessing the application of and compliance with such regulations, but the primary responsibility for ensuring that there has been a good faith and diligent determination as to the application of export regulations and compliance with such regulations rests with the principal investigator of the research.
University faculty and staff engaged in research shall perform an annual review of their research to determine if any aspect is subject to export control regulations and, if they have been or are engaged in any research that is covered by ITAR or EAR requirements, they shall file an annual assurance stating that they are in compliance with all applicable export regulations.
PIs must indicate on the applicable Internal Approval Form the appropriate information regarding the applicability of ITAR/EAR to the proposed research.
University Guideline RAG11 contains definitions and guidelines that are intended to assist University personnel in making an informed review of whether standard export regulations apply to the intended research initiative. Principal Investigators and others are directed to those guidelines for further information. Questions about this policy or the applicable guidelines should be directed to the Vice President for Research.
Failure to comply with applicable export control regulations can lead to civil and criminal penalties as described under U.S. law, as well as to disciplinary actions under University policies..
Other Policies in this Manual may have specific application and should be referred to especially;
RAG11 - Guidelines for Ensuring Compliance with Export Control Policy RA18
Effective Date: October 15, 2002
Date Approved: October 7, 2002
Date Published: October 14, 2002 (editorial changes on July 24, 2006)
Most recent changes:
Revision History (and effective dates):