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What is the Purpose of Your Trip?
University employees and students travel internationally for many reasons, and different export control issues arise depending on the nature of your travel:
Attending an International Conference or Meeting
Attendance at international conferences and meetings is generally acceptable. If the conference you are attending is an open conference (generally meaning open to all technically qualified members of the public) then any information you receive at that conference is generally considered published, in the public domain, and therefore not subject to export controls. However, any information you discuss in sidebar conversations at the conference should be limited to information that is already in the public domain. Any export controlled information discussed at a conference could potentially be a deemed export or export if it is discussed with non-U.S. citizens.
If you plan to attend a conference or meeting in any of the embargoed countries, please contact the Export Control Program well in advance of your departure to determine whether an export license is needed. If you plan to attend a conference in Iran, you must contact the Export Control Program, as a license will be needed in order to attend the conference. Export licenses can take several weeks or several months to resolve depending on the time it takes the U.S. government to respond to U-M’s license application. It’s best to contact the Export Control Program as soon as possible (even many months in advance) for travel to an embargoed country.
Presenting at an International Conference
Presentations at international conferences are generally acceptable, provided that you do not present any proprietary, unpublished, classified or export controlled data or information. If you plan to present data that have not been previously published, you should contact the Export Control Program to ensure there is no export controlled technical information included in your presentation. It is important to note that sidebar conversations with conference attendees should be limited to information already in the public domain. If the research being discussed in sidebar conversations is not related in any way to technologies on the U.S Munitions List or the Commerce Control List, then there is no risk of an export of technical data taking place via a sidebar conversation, regardless of where that conversation takes place. But if your research is related to a listed technology, then you may NOT talk to foreign colleagues about your work unless the conversation is licensed or otherwise exempt. Should you have any questions, please contact the Export Control Program for further review.
If you plan to present at a conference in any of the embargoed countries, please contact the Export Control Program in advance of your departure to determine whether a license is needed. If you plan to present at a conference in Iran, you must contact the Export Control Program, as a license will be needed in order to present at the conference.
Conducting Research Abroad
“Technology” includes, but is not limited to, certain types of export controlled: Equipment (including systems and components), Software (source/object code), Materials and substances, Services (e.g., training, instruction), Data or information about an item or material, and Funds (e.g., payments)
It is important to understand that under the export control regulations, research conducted outside of the U.S. is handled differently than the same research conducted in the U.S. The results of research conducted outside the U.S. may become subject to U.S. export controls when transferred back into the U.S. This means that the results of research conducted internationally could become ITAR-controlled or EAR-controlled when back in the U.S. This could potentially restrict the U.S. researcher who intended to use the results and could require authorization to export again from the U.S. - even back to the researchers who originated the technology.
Research that falls within the scope of the ITAR is not considered “fundamental research” when it takes place outside of “accredited institutions of higher learning in the U.S.” This means that research conducted by a U-M research team outside of the U.S. could be subject to the ITAR. Research that falls within the scope of the EAR is typically “fundamental research,” even if conducted abroad, unless there are restrictions on publication and/or participation.
If you have questions about the research you plan to conduct abroad, please contact the Export Control Program. Please also provide the Export Control Program with the names of any foreign colleagues associated with the proposed project so that restricted party screening can be completed prior to your trip. It is important that you also include the name of any international entities with which those colleagues are affiliated so that the entity can be screened as well.
Collaborating with Colleagues or an International Entity
See the guidance above on “Conducting Research Abroad.” Additionally, please let the Export Control Program know the names of any foreign collaborators and their home institutions so that restricted party screening can be completed prior to your trip. It is important that you also include the names of any international entity collaborators so that the entity can be screened as well.
Teaching, Training, or Providing Other Services Abroad
If you are teaching abroad, be careful to review your course content to make sure you do not cover areas that may have export control implications, such as encryption and nuclear technology. You also need to make sure you are not exporting ITAR-controlled technical data or EAR-restricted technology.
If you will be providing training or other services to foreign persons in the use of export controlled technology, in particular ITAR-controlled technology, please inform the Export Control Program prior to your planned trip. Such training could be considered a “defense service” under the Export Control Regulations.
Additionally, please let the Export Control Program know the names of any foreign collaborators and their home institutions so that restricted party screening can be completed prior to your trip.