International Travel - Export Controls

International Travel - Export Controls

Export control regulations are federal laws that prohibit the unlicensed export of certain commodities or information for reasons of national security or protections of trade.

In general, the majority of international exchanges among faculty and students can go forward without the requirement of an export license, provided they do not concern detailed information regarding controlled items or technologies. When an individual is traveling outside of the United States, taking encrypted software and/or research equipment, or even a laptop computer, smartphone, or data storage device, s/he might require an export license, or certification and documentation of a license exception. A laptop computer taken abroad to a controlled country might contain strong encrypted software that is regulated under export control laws. The University is required to document the export (even a temporary export) of licensed items, or exceptions if the items are owned by the University. Any individual intending to travel with or transmit/ship controlled items outside the U.S. (or to foreign nationals) should first consult with the appropriate University office to determine if there are any export control issues or requirements.

Export Control News - Spring

Why Do You Care?

Jail sentences have been mandated for faculty members who break compliance rules in spending grant dollars and who transgress export controls. For example, a jury convicted a Tennessee professor of illegally exporting information to foreign countries via his graduate students and his trip to a foreign country and sentenced him in July 2009 to four years in federal prison.

Best Practices

BEFORE each foreign trip, it is important to consider:

  • What you are taking;
  • Where are you going;
  • Who you are working with;
  • Why are the end-users collaborating with you (what is the desired end result?).

FBI Informational Brochures (PDFs)
Best Practices - Academics Traveling Overseas (PDF)
Business Travel (PDF)
Student Travel (PDF)

It is important to consider all of the above before each international trip as federal regulations change frequently.

International Travel Documentation

Faculty Led Travel - Export Control Guidelines (PDF)
Travel Letter (PDF)

Please complete documents 2-3 months prior to your international travel and send them to . Keep a copy of the completed documents for five years past the last date of travel activity.

International Travel Questionnaire

PDF Format

This form is used to document travel outside of the U.S. it is important to plan ahead and think about what is being exported (laptop, equipment, information, technical data, biologicals), where you are going, who you are visiting, who you will be meeting with, etc

Remember - If you don't need it - don't take it with you!

Temporary Export Certification

TMP Export License Exception (PDF)
BAG Export License Exception (PDF)

  • If a laptop is required for travel and a "clean laptop" is not an option, then before each foreign trip, a temporary export certification is completed, signed, a copy is kept on campus, as well as a copy to take with on travel;
  • Acknowledgement by the Dean of the traveler or a senior administrator on the permanent file copy is recommended to document the temporary travel exception;
  • Federal regulations require export related documentation is kept for five years past the last date of activity on the project.