Export Control Compliance

Brown University is highly committed to protecting openness in research while also complying with U.S. export control laws and regulations.  

Brown University’s Export Control Policy and Procedures

What is Export Control?

Export Controls are federal laws that regulate the shipment or transfer, by whatever means, of controlled items, software, technology, or services out of the U.S.  Importantly, these laws also restrict the release of certain information to foreign nationals here in the U.S.  This is called a “Deemed Export."

U.S. export control regulations

How do export controls affect you?

Foreign scientists visiting​ BrownThe release of controlled technology to a foreign national, in the U.S. is “deemed” to be an export. Brown screens foreign scholars to ensure compliance with export control laws.  ORI will provide guidance on any restrictions related to hosting and interacting with foreign visitors from a restricted party or comprehensively embargoed country.

International Collaborations & Presentations. University activities that involve foreign national faculty, students, staff, visiting foreign scientists or collaborator(s), or other foreign entities (e.g., non-U.S. company, university or other organization) or research that will include travel to international conferences to present unpublished results may be subject to export controls especially if any of the foreign nationals are from embargoed or sanctioned countries.

Research in export-restricted science and engineering areas, such as military or Defense Articles and Services, High Performance Computing, select agents and toxins, encryption technology, space technology & satellites, can trigger export controls and require review by Brown’s export control officer. In many instances, Dual Use technologies - that is, technologies with both a military and commercial application – can also fall in the “export restricted” research category, and similarly require review.

International Travel with high tech equipment, confidential, unpublished, or proprietary information or data. Traveling with certain types of high tech equipment or with controlled, proprietary or unpublished data in any format, may require an export license depending on your travel destination. 

Traveling with laptop computers, web-enabled cell phones and other personal equipment. Laptop computers, web-enabled cell phones, and other electronics containing encryption hardware or software and/or proprietary software may require an export license to certain destinations. In general, an export license will be required to take any items to or through any U.S. sanctioned country (e.g., Iran, Syria, Cuba, Sudan, and North Korea).

Use of 3rd Party Export Controlled Technology or Information. University activities involving the use of export controlled information, items, or technology received from outside the university are not protected under the Fundamental Research Exclusion. All research involving the use of export restricted technology is subject to all export controls.

Sponsored research containing contractual restrictions on publication or dissemination. The vast majority of research done at the university is shielded from export controls under the Fundamental Research Exclusion. However, this important protection is lost whenever the university or the researcher agrees to allow any restrictions on the publication, dissemination, or access to the research by foreign nationals.

International Shipping. University activities that involve the transfer of project information, equipment, materials, or technology out of the U.S. by whatever means will be subject to export controls and may require export license(s) depending on the item, destination, recipient, and end-use.  

Providing Financial Support/International Financial Transactions. University activities that involve the international payment of funds to non-U.S. persons abroad need to be verified to ensure that the university is not inadvertently providing financial assistance to a blocked or sanctioned entity. Examples include providing support via a subcontract to a non-U.S. university or providing payments to research subjects in other countries. Contact Brown’s Export Control Officer if your activity involves payment to persons or organizations outside the U.S.

International Field Work. Research projects where any part of the research will take place outside the U.S. (e.g., field work outside the U.S.) may not qualify under the Fundamental Research Exclusion  and may be subject to export controls.

What am I required to do?

In order to ensure compliance with export controls, it is critically important for University personnel to:

  • have a basic understanding of export control laws and regulations;
  • be able to identify when activities may trigger export controls;
  • reach out to the Export Control Officer with questions or to get assistance;
  • follow internal procedures including but not limited to shipping, visitor screening, international travel, and purchasing;
  • take the appropriate steps to ensure governmental licenses are obtained; 
  • monitor and safeguard access to restricted information and controlled materials; and
  • complete any requisite training.