Export Control

Overview

UNF is committed to an open scholarly environment that fosters the creative process and the enrichment of teaching and learning, while ensuring the fulfillment of the University's financial, contractual and regulatory obligations. This commitment includes compliance with export control laws, which may impose restrictions on the release or transfer of certain kinds of information, technology and physical items.

 

This website is designed to provide an overview of export controls that are relevant to a university setting and to help you obtain assistance with questions related to export controls.

Contact:  

For additional information, please contact Rick Buck, Office of the General Counsel (904) 620-2828 or Joann Campbell, Compliance Office (904) 620-2002.

 

An Overview of Export Controls

Under U.S. export control laws and regulations, the release of technology or technical data to a foreign national is deemed to be an export to the individual’s home country, even when the release occurs entirely within the United States. This concept is referred to as a “deemed export.” The rationale behind this rule is that a release of technology or technical data to a foreign national is permanent and the individual could apply the knowledge upon return to his/her home country.

 
In some cases, a U.S. government export license is required prior to the release of technology or technical data to a foreign national. Under export controls, a "foreign national" is anyone who is not a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (i.e., aliens possessing a valid Form I-551 or "green card"), or persons granted asylee or refugee status. In a university setting, a foreign national may be someone who is a faculty member, staff member, student, researcher, employee, sponsor or other collaborator.

 

The term "release" is broadly defined and can occur through visual inspection (including via computer networks), verbal exchanges, or the application outside the U.S. of personal knowledge or technical experience acquired in the United States.

 
Under the deemed export rule, the license requirement is dependent on two factors: (1) the nature of technology that will be released to the foreign national; and (2) the foreign national’s home country.

 
U.S. export control requirements are complex, especially in a university setting. For example, universities may work with a wide range of technologies in diverse areas of research. Though universities may be able to use a “publicly available” exclusion or exemption from U.S. export control requirements, the use of such exemption may be unavailable where the research is subject to publication or other restrictions.

 

 Further, enforcement of U.S. export control regulations includes fines up to $1,000,000 and 20 years imprisonment in the most egregious cases. Fines and/or imprisonment for violation of export control laws apply not only to UNF administrators but also to individual faculty and staff members, principal investigators, researchers, etc.

 

Exclusions and Exemptions from Export Controls

Technology or software that is “publicly available” is typically not subject to U.S. export controls. This includes technology or software that:

  • Is already published or will be published (Public Domain Exclusion);
  • Arises during or results from “fundamental research” (Fundamental Research Exclusion); or
  • Is educational as defined in the regulations (Education Exclusion).

Each exclusion and some potential limitations are described in greater detail below.

Public Domain Exclusion:

Technology and software information that is already published or publically available is not subject to export controls. Information is “published” when it becomes generally accessible to the interested public in any form, including:

  • Periodicals, books, print, electronic or any other media available for general distribution to any member of the public or to a community of persons interested in the subject matter either free or at a price that does not exceed the cost of reproduction and distribution;
  • Periodicals, books, print, electronic or any other media available at libraries open to the public or at university libraries;
  • Patents and open (published) patent applications available at any patent office; or
  • Release at an open conference, meeting, seminar, trade show or other public forum.

Limitations: It is important to note that this exclusion may not apply to technology or software related to defense, military, space applications, or certain encryption software.

Fundamental Research Exclusion:

Fundamental research is defined as basic and applied research in science and engineering conducted at accredited U.S. institutions of higher education where the resulting information is ordinarily published and shared broadly within the scientific community. Such research can be distinguished from proprietary research and from industrial development, design, production, and product utilization, the results of which ordinarily are restricted for proprietary reasons or specific national security reasons.

 
Information resulting from “fundamental research” is typically excluded from export controls. As a result, a license is not required to release information that qualifies as “fundamental research” to a foreign national.

 

 Limitations: The Fundamental Research Exclusion may be unavailable if an employee or the University accepts any restrictive clause or condition that:

  • Forbids or restricts the participation of foreign nationals;
  • Gives the sponsor a right to approve publications resulting from research;
  • Restricts access to and disclosure of research results; or
  • Otherwise violates the openness in research.

Education Exclusion:

In most cases, a license is not required to share with foreign nationals “information concerning general scientific, mathematical or engineering principles commonly taught in universities.” This includes information that is made available through classroom instruction and associated teaching laboratories.

 

Limitations: It is important to note that this exclusion may not apply to technology or software related to defense, military, space applications, or certain encryption software.

Red Flags

Though University activities are often eligible for exceptions and exclusions, the use of such exclusions/exemptions may be unavailable in certain circumstances. The following provides guidance on circumstances that require a closer review of potential export control issues.

 
Questions regarding the applicability of the export controls or availability of the exclusions/exemption should be directed to Rick Buck, Office of the General Counsel (904)620-2828, or Joann Campbell, Compliance Office (904) 620-2002.

Restrictions on Publication or Dissemination of Information:

Export controls may apply if an employee or the University accepts a restriction on publication or dissemination of information, including:

  • Pre-publication review by a sponsor or third party;
  • Treatment of research results as proprietary or confidential;
  • A sponsor’s right to withhold information from dissemination;
  • A sponsor’s expectation that confidential or proprietary sponsor information remain unpublished.

Restrictions on Research Activities or Participation:

Export controls may apply if an employee or the University accepts research restrictions, including those that:

  • Forbid or restrict the participation of foreign nationals;
  • Limit research participation to “U.S. persons” or “U.S. citizens”;
  • Designate the research activity, content or results as “subject to export controls”;
  • Include a sponsor initiated or Government flow-down export control clause (other than a general statement of compliance);
  • Require a background check or other screening arrangement of participants by the sponsor; or
  • Otherwise limits the openness in research activities.

International Travel:

Export controls may also apply to University activities related to international travel. If you plan to travel overseas and your travel includes support from UNF, you must review the rules applying to international travel.

 
International travel activities that may be subject to export controls include:

  • Shipment or hand-carrying items, materials, equipment or technical data to another country;
  • Travel to a country subject to a U.S. embargo or sanction. (travel.state.gov/travel)

Performance at Foreign Locations or International Collaboration:

With few exceptions, the Fundamental Research exemption is limited to research conducted at regionally accredited U.S. institutions of higher learning. Therefore, research activity involving a foreign location or exchange of technology with a foreign located collaborator may invalidate this exemption.

 

In addition, collaborative research with any U.S. embargoed or sanctioned country may be subject to U.S. export controls or economic sanctions regulations.

Export Shipments:

The Fundamental Research exemption does not cover the export of hardware, software or technology to a foreign location.

Restricted Technology and Software:

Not all technology and software is eligible for the exclusions/exemptions described on this site. Export controls may apply to research or other academic activities involving:

  • Technology or software related to a military, space or satellite application;
  • Development or production of encryption source code or encryption software;
  • Development or production of controlled chemicals, or bio-agent/toxic materials;
  • Research, information or software related to nuclear activities or chemical/biological weapons;
  • Training of foreign nationals in the use of defense articles;
  • Access to technology considered proprietary or confidential by the University or a third-party.

 

Key U.S. Export Control Regulations and Agencies 

Export Administration Regulation ("EAR"):

The EAR covers “Dual Use” technology that has both commercial and potential military uses. These regulations are administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”). Under the EAR, an export includes “release of technology or source code subject to the EAR” to a foreign national. The BIS website includes a set of FAQs that define terms related to “deemed exports” and provide answers to deemed export questions.

Website: www.bis.doc.gov

International Traffic in Arms Regulations ("ITAR"):

The ITAR covers items on the United StatesMunitions List (“USML”) and generally applies to items that are specifically designed, modified, configured, or adapted for military or space use. These regulations are administered by the U.S.Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (“DDTC”). Under the ITAR, an export is defined to include “disclosing of technical data to… (or) performing a defense service on behalf of… a foreign national”. In general, any transfer or release of ITAR technical data or services to a foreign national requires an export license.

Website: www.pmddtc.state.gov

U.S. Economic Sanction Regulations:

The U.S. Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) administers sanction regulations, including: (a) a comprehensive embargo against Cuba, Iran, and Sudan; and (b) an embargo against certain persons, e.g., Specially Designated Terrorists (SDT), Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO), Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT), and Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers (SDNT).

Website: www.treasury.gov/about/organizational-structure/offices/Pages/Office-of-Foreign-Assets-Control.aspx