• Purpose
  • Background
  • Definitions
  • Guidelines
  • .... Research at Penn State University
  • .... Approval of Advanced Funds
  • .... Traveling Abroad
  • .... Visiting Scientists
  • .... Shipping Items Abroad
  • Cross References


    It is the purpose of these guidelines to establish clear procedures for University personnel to follow in ensuring their compliance with any applicable export regulations and/or licensing procedures when performing sponsored research, as required under University Policy RA18.


    The University has adopted University Policy RA18 to ensure compliance with federal export regulations established under the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of State.  These guidelines are intended to assist faculty and staff in making determinations of applicability of export regulations to intended sponsored research initiatives and the procedures to follow when they are applicable.


    Export: The term export as used in the various export control regulations has an expansive meaning.  In general an export includes any: (1) actual shipment of any covered goods or items; (2) the electronic or digital transmission of any covered goods, items or related goods or items; or (3) any release or disclosure, including verbal disclosures or visual inspections, of any covered technology, software or technical data to any Foreign National/Person.  An export may also include the actual use or application abroad of personal knowledge or technical experience acquired in the United States. See also ITAR (22 CFR §120.17)

    Person: A natural person as well as a corporation, business association, society, trust, or any other entity, organization or group, including government entities.  See also ITAR (22 CFR §120.14)

    U.S. Person: A Person who is a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. (a citizen of the U.S. or citizen of a foreign country who has been issued a “green card” by the U.S. Government), as well as a Person incorporated or organized to do business in the U.S. See also ITAR (22 CFR §120.15)

    Foreign National/Person: A Person who is not a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. (includes a person that has not been issued a “green card” by the U.S. Government or who possesses only a student visa), as well as a Person not incorporated or not organized to do business in the U.S.  See also ITAR (22 CFR §120.16)

    International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR): The ITAR is composed of published regulations and guidelines concerning the Department of State review of regulated exports.  ITAR applies to defense articles and services, including any technical data associated with such defense articles and services.  A list of regulated defense articles is contained in ITAR, and is commonly referred to as the U.S. Munitions List (USML).  The complete text of ITAR and the USML is available at

    Export Administration Regulations (EAR): The EAR is composed of published regulations and guidelines concerning the Department of Commerce review of regulated exports.  The EAR generally refers to items that have “dual use,” i.e. both military and commercial applications.  Goods and services that are regulated by the EAR are listed in the Commerce Control List (CCL).  The complete text of the EAR and the CCL are available online at: [Instructions: Go to Part 774 on the page and look at categories 0 through 9 to view list].

    Fundamental Research: As used in the export control regulations, Fundamental Research includes basic or applied research in science and/or engineering at an accredited institution of higher learning in the United States where the resulting information is ordinarily published and shared broadly in the scientific community.  Fundamental Research is distinguished from research that results in information that is restricted for proprietary reasons or pursuant to specific U.S. Government access and dissemination controls.  University research will not be deemed to qualify as Fundamental Research if: (1) the University or researcher accepts any restrictions on the publication of the scientific and technical information resulting from the research, other than limited pre-publication reviews by research sponsors to prevent inadvertent divulging of proprietary information provided to the researcher by the sponsor or to insure that publication will not compromise patent rights of the sponsor; or (2) the research is funded by the U.S. Government and specific access and dissemination controls regarding the resulting information have been accepted by University or the researcher.  See also EAR (15 CFR § 734.8) and ITAR (22 CFR § 120.11)


    The University recommends that University personnel follow these guidelines to determine whether U.S. export control regulation issues are of concern.  Prior to any University personnel exchanging any potential export controlled materials and/or technical data, he or she must contact the Office of Sponsored Programs Export Control Compliance Officer for an export control review.

    Research at Penn State University:

    An export control review should be performed when a PI submits a proposal that has a foreign sponsor or foreign sub-agreement, or receives an award with terms and conditions specifically identifying the project as subject to ITAR or EAR, or receives an award that invalidates the Fundamental Research Exemption; e.g., foreign national restriction or publication restriction.  If the review flags a possible export control issue, the Principal Investigator may be required to complete an Export Control Review Checklist.

    Upon completing the Export Control Review Checklist, a Security Meeting may be required to create a Technology Control Plan, which outlines the security requirements to be followed during the life of the project.  The Security Meeting will also address:

    Approval of Advanced Funds:

    The Office of Sponsored Programs Export Control Compliance Officer is included on the IBIS approval path to review projects when a budget and fund number is requested prior to receiving sponsor funding and any of the following five questions are answered “yes” by the college department:

    Traveling Abroad:

    Traveling abroad, as part of a sponsored research project, may require an export control review for all efforts other than attending a conference.  Presentations at international conferences are generally acceptable.  It is important to note, however, that side-bar conversations with conference attendees should be limited to information already in the public domain.  For additional information regarding foreign travel, please refer to the Office of Sponsored Programs “Foreign Travel” link:

    Visiting Scientists:

    Visiting scientists should not be granted access to controlled  materials or technical data.  The following steps should be taken prior to a visiting scientist having access to equipment, materials, technical data and/or given a University computer access account:

    Shipping Items Abroad:

    It is important to note that when performing sponsored research and shipping equipment or materials abroad, an export review should be performed by the Office of Sponsored Programs Export Control Compliance Officer to ensure that a license from the U.S. Department of State or the Department of Commerce is not required.  Please contact Environmental Health and Safety before shipping any hazardous chemicals or materials (


    Other Policies in this manual should also be referenced, especially the following:

    RA18 - Compliance with Federal Export Regulations

    Penn State University Export Compliance Manual:

    Effective Date: June 22, 2012
    Date Approved: June 22, 2012
    Date Published: October 9, 2012

    Most recent changes:

    Revision History (and effective dates):

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