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Export Compliance & Controls

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The Office of Export Compliance in the Office of Research Services helps Penn researchers and staff remain in compliance with laws and regulations related to export control.

Export control regulations are federal laws that govern how technology, techonology related items and/or materials are physically or electronically exported, shipped, transmitted, transferred, or shared from the US to foreign countries, persons, or entities.

Examples of controlled items subject to federal requirements include infectious agents, computers, sensors, navigation and avionics, propulsion systems, toxins, chemicals, and telecommunications equipment.

The Office is here to help navigate export compliance issues as they arise, assist in determining when the regulations are applicable and if an export license may be required, and apply for licenses as necessary. 

For questions about export compliance and controls, contact EXPCTRL@LISTS.UPENN.EDU.

Related FAQs

How do I transfer equipment out of the United States?

An export license may be required to ship or hand-carry items or equipment out of the U.S. The need for a license is dependent upon the nature of the equipment, as well as the end-use, recipient, and destination of the equipment. Additionally, even temporary export of equipment to some locations may incur customs tax obligations. Due to complexities of the requirements you should consult the Office of Export Compliance for assistance regarding shipping or traveling with equipment internationally.

I am collaborating with a colleague abroad and would like to send some data to my collaborator. What should I do?

Depending on the nature of the data and the related technology, exchange of data with foreign collaborators may require a license. Please contact the Office of Export Compliance who can review the data and the country of the collaborator to determine whether there are any restrictions, or if a license is required.
A Data Use Agreement may also be needed to facilitate the transfer of data to a collaborator. Please reach out to the Office of Research Services for additional assistance with Data Use Agreements.

I have been invited to present at an international conference in a country that is on the U.S. sanctions list. Can I do this?

Presenting at an international conference in a U.S. sanctioned country may be viewed as providing a prohibited “service” under U.S. sanctions regulations. You should consult with the Office of Export Compliance prior to presenting to determine if a license is required (please note a license is required even when giving a virtual presentation).
Generally, any presentation to an international audience should be limited to the following:
• information that is already published;
• information already in the public domain; and/or
• information consistent with that conveyed by instruction in catalog courses and associated teaching laboratories at U.S. institutions of higher education.
Please visit Engaging with Sanctioned and Embargoed Countries for more information.

I plan to host a webinar/web conference on my research to be shared internationally. What do I need to know?

Information released at an open conference, meeting or webinar is considered published and excluded from certain controls. “Open” means that all technically qualified members of the public are eligible to attend, and attendees are permitted to take notes or otherwise make a personal record (not necessarily a recording) of the proceedings and presentations. An “open” conference can charge a registration fee reasonably related to cost, and can limit actual attendance, as long as attendees either are the first who have applied or are selected on the basis of relevant scientific or technical competence, experience, or responsibility. However, certain sensitive information cannot be shared via open conference or webinar. Evaluation is case-specific. Thus, it is recommended that you contact the Office of Export Compliance to review your circumstances.

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