FAU’s faculty, staff, and students frequently travel internationally as part of their engagement in university-supported activities. Whether to perform research, present recent findings, attend a conference, or study abroad, not only are these all examples of international travel being subject to export control regulations, but they are also instances of exports. While most of the University’s international engagements do not require an export license, it is essential for all FAU-travelers to be able to identify when such a license may be needed. The information contained herein does not replace any requirement or obligation owed by members of the University’s community in adhering to and complying with FAU’s policies and procedures related to their university-support travel.

When engaging in university-supported international travel, there are four primary factors that must be considered for export control compliance purposes. These factors include: (1) where you will be going; (2) what you will be taking with you; (3) the reason for your travel; and (4) who you plan on engaging during your travel.

Where are you going?

In most instances, the country of destination does not itself pose an issue for FAU's travel engagements. However, the U.S. government maintains country-specific sanctions programs, which come with varying levels of restrictions. Countries that are currently subject to comprehensive embargoes by the U.S. government include: (1) Cuba; (2) Iran; (3) North Korea; and (4) Syria.

Travel to any comprehensively sanctioned country, if permitted, will require significant regulatory compliance. Such compliance is not limited to federal and state regulations, but also the procedures that the University has implemented in reviewing university-supported travel requests. Obtaining an export license may take several months. Travelers are encouraged to submit the travel request as far in advance as possible as the need to obtain an export license becomes known during the review of the travel request.

What will you be bringing?

As mentioned above, when traveling internationally, all items a traveler brings with them will be considered to have been “exported.” While most low-tech off-the-shelf items that are commercially available will not require an export license, the country of destination plays a critical role in making that determination. For instance, travel to any of the comprehensively embargoed countries will almost always require an export license. This is true for every-day items that may be inconspicuous such as a cell phone or a software program on a laptop. As the exporter, it is critical for the traveler to be aware of the items and the destinations that may trigger the need to obtain an export license.

It must be noted that any and all ITAR-controlled equipment, software, and/or technical data, which includes information stored on a laptop, CANNOT be taken abroad. This is true for all FAU faculty, staff, and students. All exports of items and information that are ITAR-controlled will require an export license approved and provided by the Department of State prior to the export.

In most instances, however, the items a traveler takes with them will qualify for an exception from export control regulations. Most commonly, the “Temporary Exports” (TMP) exception is available to those engaging in university-supported international travel. The TMP exception permits the export, re-export, and in-country transfer of items considered to be “tools of trade” that are commonly used by researchers in a similar field as the traveler. For the TMP exception to be available, the traveler must satisfy ALL of the following requirements for the items brought abroad:

  • Must be a "tool of trade" for research purposes;
  • Must remain under the "effective control" (See "Definitions" page) of the FAU traveler
  • Must return the item to the U.S. within 12 months of the initial export;
  • Must NOT take or ship the item to comprehensively sanctioned or embargoed countries; and
  • Must sign and submit a TMP Exception Letter prior to engaging in the travel

NOTE: the TMP exception is NOT available for: (1) any EAR-controlled satellite or space-related equipment, components, or software, (2) any technology associated with high-level encryption products, (3) any items or information that are ITAR-controlled, or (4) any destination that is comprehensively sanctioned or embargoed (i.e., Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, or the Crimea Region of the Ukraine).

FAU’s travelers are encouraged to follow the best-practices for international travel (see Additional Resources below). Some of the best-practices include the following:

(1)   Only travel with educational and/or research-related information that has already been published. Traveling with information that has restrictions on the dissemination of information is highly discouraged as the likelihood of an export control exemption applying is severely diminished.
(2)   Do NOT travel with encryption products. In addition to restrictions imposed by U.S. export control laws and regulations, some countries have laws that prohibit the importing of encryption technologies. In addition to local criminal violations, the encrypted technology may be impounded by the foreign country, which includes all of the information contained within that technology (e.g., a laptop and the information contained on the hard drive).
(3)   Review the Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security a list of companies that have published the classification information (i.e., ECCN's), which may be found here. The ECCN will assist in identifying potential export control restrictions related to the item(s) the traveler intends to being with them. If uncertain, University faculty and staff should contact the Export Control Officer for assistance.
(4)   Contact FAU's OIT for assistance in cleaning FAU's IT-related equipment prior to traveling.

NOTE: In preparation of the travel, it is recommended to all university-supported international travelers to register with the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Regardless of whether the FAU-traveler requires an export license, the CBP may require the traveler to register the items that will be leaving the US. In addition, registering with the CBP may assist in avoiding unexpected delays in customs when returning to the U.S.

Why are you traveling?

As a research-intensive institution of higher education, the reasons for university-supported travel are primarily for (1) attending and/or presenting at conferences, and (2) performing field work or research abroad.

In general, attending an open conference or seminar is not an issue unless it takes place in a sanctioned or embargoed country. If the FAU faculty, staff, or student will be presenting at the conference, the individual is advised to be aware of what will be shared. Intend to present only information that is published or publicly available, or that qualifies as fundamental research under the applicable regulation.

NOTE: Travelers should be aware of the differences between EAR's definition and ITAR's definition of "fundamental research" (see "Definitions" page).

Research that is performed abroad may not qualify under the Fundamental Research Exemption. As a result, the research, and its data and information remain subject to export control regulations until it published or made publicly available. In such circumstances, it is advised for the FAU researcher ensure that the information is not export-controlled before disclosing or sharing information from international research-efforts or field work.

Who will you be engaging with while traveling?

See the guidance contained on the “International Collaborations” page. Additionally, another aspect of export control that has yet to be discussed is the provision of financial assistance. The Office of Foreign Assets Control maintains regulations relating to rendering prohibited services, which includes monetary transactions. All persons engaging in university-supported travel must conduct Restricted Party Screenings (see “International Collaborations” page) for all non-US persons, companies, and organizations (e.g., vendors, banks, hotels, etc.) that will receive payment from the FAU-traveler.

NOTE: ALL international travelers are strongly advised to utilize Visual Compliance's Restricted Party Screening tool prior to their departure. In addition to complying with export control rules and regulations, the FAU’s faculty, staff, and students engaging in university-support travel must adhere to all of FAU's policies and procedures, which include those for domestic and international travel.

Additional Resources

Policies and Procedures

FAU: Global Travel Safety and Security Policy

Safety and Security

CIA: World Fact-Book
DOS: Smart Traveler Enrollment Program
DOS: Overseas Security Advisory Council

Student Resources

FBI: Best Practices for U.S. Students Traveling Abroad
FBI: Safety and Security for U.S. Students Traveling Abroad
FBI: Advice for U.S. College Students Abroad – Foreign Intelligence Threat

Faculty and Staff Resources

FBI: Best Practices for Academics Traveling Overseas
FBI: Safety and Security for Business Travel Abroad
NCSC: Traveling Overseas with Mobile Phones, Laptops, PDAs, and Other Electronic Devices

Other Resources

FBI: Preventing Loss of Academic Research
FBI: Elicitation Techniques
FBI: Intellectual Property Protection
FBI: Higher Education and National Security