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Export Controls

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What are Export Controls?

Export Controls are federal laws that govern how technology, technical data, technical assistance, and items or materials (from software to satellites and more) are physically or electronically exported, shipped, transmitted, transferred, or shared from the U.S. to foreign countries, persons, or entities. These laws protect national security and U.S. foreign policy interests, prevent terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and preserve U.S. economic competitiveness.

While Ohio State is transferring and releasing technology to foreign persons regularly, the university does not often interact with controlled items, technology or services. The Office of Secure Research identifies when Ohio State works with controlled items, technology or services to ensure that export control regulations are followed.

In some cases, exports may require express written permission from the United States government, known as an export license. Non-compliance with export controls can result in severe monetary and criminal penalties against both an individual as well as the university, and can result in fines, jail time, loss of export privileges, the loss of research contracts, and reputational damage.

Your research may be subject to export controls oversight when:

  • The items, materials, technology or technical data used in the research are identified on U.S. export control lists.
  • Working with (formally or informally), or providing technical assistance to, foreign nationals from countries currently sanctioned (e.g., for trade, travel, or terrorism) by the U.S.
  • A research agreement (e.g., contract, award, non-disclosure agreement) limits publication of results or participation in the design, conduct, or reporting of the research based on citizenship. 

​​​​​Other Export Control Concerns 

Besides research with military or dual-use items and technical information, export control regulations may impact research activities, including

  • Overseas shipping
  • Information technology (IT)
  • International travel
  • Laptops & software
  • Attending DOD restricted conferences (DD2345 process)
  • Hiring workers
  • Disposal of controlled items & information
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Export Controls

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Ohio State Export Control Program

Ohio State adheres to multiple federal agencies' export controls regulations. The three main regulations are

  1. International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) from the U.S. Department of State (Directorate of Defense Trade Controls) which covers items and services related to military/defense applications, including spacecraft and satellites.
  2. Export Administration Regulations (EAR) from the U.S. Department of Commerce (Bureau of Industry and Security) which covers "dual use" civilian/military items and technology.
  3. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, which covers restrictions due to foreign trade embargoes and economic sanctions.

The Export Control Officer supports university investigators and research administrators with questions about and actions required for compliance with these federal regulations including:

  • Evaluating research activity (e.g., sponsored project, technology transfer, international travel) for export controls conditions in coordination with ORSP, OTT, and other university units
  • Assisting in the creation of a Technology Control Plan (TCP), if export controls apply to the research activity
  • Obtaining appropriate federal licenses and other approvals for the export controlled research activity
  • Advising on, and monitoring the completion of, required export controls training 

Researcher Roles and Responsibilities

As an Ohio State investigator you are expected to:

  • Answer the Export Control questions on the ePA-005 to the best of your knowledge
  • Respond to any follow-up questions regarding export controls 
  • Complete a Technology Control Plan when and as applicable
  • Verify with the Export Controls Officer if export controls apply when traveling internationally to conduct research or for research-related activity (e.g., conferences)

Additional Information


Export Controls Contact