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“Tools of Trade” License Exception

In order to use the “Tools of Trade” license exception, both of the following must apply:   

1. Personal requirements for Using “Tools of Trade” license exception:

  • You must be a U.S. person or the employee of a U.S. person,

  • Any accompanying family member must be a U.S. person,

  • You must take only the usual and reasonable kinds and quantities of items for use in a lawful enterprise or undertaking, or the trade, occupation, employment, vocation or hobby of you or an accompanying family member,

  • You must bring the items back with you upon your return or within 12 months,

  • You must keep the item under your effective control at all times rather than leaving it in your locked hotel room, and

  • You must take precautions against the unauthorized release of software and technology.

2.  Hardware, Software, and Data requirements for Using “Tools of Trade” license exception:

  • The laptops and other computing and data storage devices are all standard, off-the-shelf products and are generally available to the public through retail outlets.

  • The operating system and all software applications are generally available to the public and are either pre-installed on standard, off-the-shelf hardware or can be purchased and installed by a user without vendor support.

  • Any "mass market" encryption, i.e., encryption of the kind that is generally available to the public and does not allow for user revisions to enhance communciations security capabilities. "Mass market" encryption software is either pre-installed on standard, off-the-shelf hardware or can be purchased and installed by a user without vendor support. Examples include: FileVault for Mac, Bitlocker for Windows, U-M Cisco VPN, and Duo.

  • Any data and analyses you take are publicly available (e.g., published in journals or published on the web). Data and analysis from research that ordinarily would be published and that are not restricted by contract from general dissemination can be treated as publicly available; and

  • There are no other export constraints on any of the equipment, software, data or information that would apply to your intended travel. Examples of items with export constraints that are not eligible for this exception include satellite or other space related equipment, components or software, high level encryption products, and defense items covered by the International Trade in Arms Regulations (ITAR).

PLEASE NOTE:  The Duo app and hardware tokens are encryption items that are subject to U.S. export control regulations. The Duo app and hardware tokens are controlled to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria and the Crimea region of Ukraine. The "Tools of Trade" license exception applies to Duo, as follows:

  • You may take the Duo app and hardware tokens to Cuba or Sudan using the "Tools of Trade" license exception.
  • The "Tools of Trade" license exception DOES NOT apply to Iran. You will need an export license from the U.S. Department of Commerce to take any technology, including Duo, to Iran.
  • If you need to take the Duo app or hardware tokens to North Korea, Syria or the Crimea region of Ukraine, you must contact the U-M Export Control Program (exportcontrols@umich.edu) to determine whether the "Tools of Trade" or other license exception is available.

If you would like to document your export compliance and self-assess that your electronic device complies with the "Tools of the Trade" license exception, you may download either the TMP for U-M-owned technology form or the BAG for personally-owned technology form to take with you when you travel.