Key Export Regulators and Regulations
United States Export Controls are a complex framework of regulations that restrict items that could:
- contribute to military capabilities of rivals
- prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, biological, chemical)
- ensure compliance with trade agreements and economic sanctions
- prevent terrorism
- maintain economic competitiveness
Failure to comply with export regulations is punishable by civil penalties and/or criminal penalties, including incarceration.
The three main regulators include:
- U.S. Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), which controls defense articles and services via the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) —under the U.S. Munitions List) covers defense-related items and services [22 CFR120-130]:
- Covers military items or defense articles
- Includes space-related technology because of application to missile technology
- Includes technical data related to defense articles and services
- The United States Munitions List
- U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry & Security (BIS), which controls specified commercial and “dual use” items with commercial and military/security applications via the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) which covers [15 CFR 730-774]:
- Dual-use items
- Items designed for commercial purposes, but which could have military applications (computers, civilian aircraft, pathogens)
- Includes space related technology
- Deemed exports
- The Commerce Control List
- The U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Controls (OFAC), which administers trade embargoes and economic sanctions that have been imposed against specific countries based on reasons of foreign policy, national security, or international agreements. Full descriptions of all countries currently subject to boycott programs are available here. OFAC covers [31 CFR §§500-599]:
- Regulates the transfer of items/services of value to embargoed nations
- Imposes trade sanctions and trade and travel embargoes aimed at controlling terrorism, drug trafficking, and other illicit activities
- Prohibits payments/providing value to nationals of sanctioned countries and some specified entities/individuals
- May prohibit travel and other activities with embargoed countries and individuals even when exclusions to EAR/ITAR apply.
- OFAC Sanctions
- OFAC sanction list search
Other U.S. government agencies may have additional oversight over movement of specific items such as: the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in relation to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for nuclear equipment and materials.
Anti-Boycott laws and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) also apply to international activities.
- Anti-Boycott laws prohibit U.S. persons from participating in boycotts that are inconsistent with U.S. foreign policy. This includes but is not limited to the Arab League boycott of Israel. Since receiving a request to agree to participate in an unauthorized boycott must be reported to the U.S. government, University personnel must contact RSCP immediately if such language is encountered.
- The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act establishes anti-bribery provisions that prohibit corrupt payments to foreign officials for obtaining/retaining business or securing improper advantage.Please see the U.S Foreign Corrupt Practices Act training material for more information.
Contact Export Control Staff
Director, Research Integrity and Compliance
Export Control Officer
Chief Administration Officer