Export Controls Primer for Researchers

Export controls are federal laws that regulate the distribution of controlled devices, software, and information when such items are designated as “defense articles” or "dual use" commodities.  Although these regulations normally do not affect research activities, they can apply in to following situations:

How Export Controls Can Affect Research

Main impacts of export controls on Sponsored and Un-Sponsored research:

General Areas of Concerns Where Export Controls Could Apply to Research

Technology subject to export control regulations?

Physical Exports?

Deemed Exports?

Foreign Travel?

Defense Research?

Exclusions to Export Controls

Three sheltering exclusions exempt most university research from export control regulations:

Certain qualifying criteria must be met for exclusion(s) to apply.  If exclusion criteria are not met, ITAR or EAR technology, articles, software, or technical data may be subject to export controls.

Avoiding restrictions on access and dissemination of research findings in contracts with the U.S. Government and industry is a key strategy for minimizing export control issues in university and research laboratory settings.

Process for Determining if Export Controls Apply to Research

Sponsored Programs reviews proposals and award:

PI’s assist Sponsored Programs and the Office of Export Compliance:

The Office of Export Compliance jointly works with Sponsored Programs and PI’s:


Interpreting export regulations can be particularly complex because they require balancing national security with traditional concepts of unrestricted academic freedom. Contact UCF’s Export Control Officer for compliance assistance.