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Export Controls: FAQ's

What Are Export Control Laws?
How can export controls affect my research?
What kinds of projects raise export control questions?
As a principal investigator, what do I need to do?
Is Anything Excluded from Export Control Laws?
What happens if we violate the export control laws?
What is the SIUE Policy governing export control on research?
Where can I get help?

What Are Export Control Laws?

Export control laws are U.S. laws that were developed for foreign policy and national security reasons. They regulate the distribution of strategically important technology, services, and information to foreign nationals and foreign countries. The academic community must take specific steps to protect their research involving military and dual use application. In addition, financial and other transactions with certain countries, companies and individuals fall under export control laws. Failure to comply with export control laws may have serious consequences for both SIUE and you. The consequences for noncompliance are very serious for both the university and the researcher. Criminal penalties up to 30 years in prison and $10,000,000 in fines can occur for the most serious violations. Civil penalties can range from seizure and forfeiture of articles, revocation of exporting privileges and fines of up to $1,000,000 per violation.

How can export controls affect my research?

"Export" is defined not only as a physical transfer/disclosure of an item outside the US, but also as a transfer/disclosure in any form of a controlled item or information within the US to anyone who is a foreign national (not a US citizen or permanent resident). As a result, unless an exclusion or exemption is available, the university may be required to obtain prior governmental approval (in the form of an export license) before allowing the participation of foreign national faculty, staff, or students in affected research.

Additionally, laptops, PDA's/cell phones, digital storage devices, data, and software are subject to federal export controls regardless of why you are traveling even when your travel is not for SIUE-related business. Therefore, you must qualify for an exception or you may be required to obtain an export license. You should not take SIUE-owned equipment internationally except on SIUE-related business.

What kinds of projects raise export control questions?

Basically, any research activity may be subject to export controls if it involves the actual export or "deemed" export of any goods, technology, or related technical data that is either 1) "dual use" (commercial in nature with possible military application) or 2) inherently military in nature.

As a principal investigator, what do I need to do?

As the PI, you have the best understanding of your research and therefore the best information as to whether the particular technology, data, or information involved in that research is or may be covered by export control regulations. You are responsible for doing the following:

• You should carefully review the information on export controls provided on this web site.

• Before preparing a proposal or beginning any research, you should determine whether there may be any export control issues to address. You should coordinate with the research office regarding your research and the provisions of the proposal solicitation and/or award agreement in order to determine if there are potential issues.

• If any such issues are identified, or if any question exists, the research office will work with you to determine whether any export control restrictions may apply to the research.

• If it is determined that export controls apply to the project, you must adhere strictly to any applicable restrictions and cooperate fully with the university's efforts to monitor compliance.

• After work on the project has begun, you should notify the research office prior to implementing any changes that may give rise to the application of export controls, such as a change in the scope of work or the addition of new staff to the project.

Reporting Incidents and Events:

The following situations must be reported immediately to the research office:

  • any contact, by phone, letter, e-mail, or in person, by a U.S. government official or agency concerning exports or imports, including any request to review or discuss a previously issued export license or past export shipment
  • detention or seizure of a shipment from or to the university by U.S. Customs
  • receipt of a subpoena or other criminal procedure notification related to U.S. export or import laws
  • a suspected violation of export control laws or the university guidelines regarding exports
  • any reporting requirements under the anti-boycott and restricted trade practices regulation
  • any requirement for U.S. Government export approvals
  • any unauthorized or illegal activities, whenever discovered.

Sufficient information must be provided to allow the university to pursue an appropriate course of action. If a potential violation has been reported, the matter will be handled by the individual university research offices in consultation with the Office of General Counsel.

What is the SIUE policy governing export control on research?

The SIUE policy on U.S. Export Control and Scholarship is SIUE Policy 1M7 and may be found on the SIUE Policies and Procedures website.

Where can I get help?

Any time you have a question about the application of export controls to any stage of a specific research project, contact:

SIU Edwardsville

Susan Morgan:

Associate Dean for Research

Office of Research and Projects
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Rendleman Hall, Room 2202 Campus Box 1046
Edwardsville, IL 62026-1046
Phone: 618-650-2171-Fax: 618-650-3523

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