Export Controls

What Are Export Controls?

Export controls are a set of U.S. laws and regulations governing the transfer of certain goods, materials, technologies, services and information outside the country or to non-U.S. persons. The University at Albany and the Research Foundation for SUNY are committed to ensuring compliance with federal export control laws and regulations.

Typically, the results of research at the University are not export-controlled. Most often, these research results are in the public domain or are excluded as fundamental research, as discussed below. However, items used in the development of the results could be controlled for export, such as proprietary information.

Export controls need to be reviewed in any instance where specific information necessary for the “development,” “production” or “use” of a product may be released either outside of the U.S. or to a foreign national. For example, the release of controlled information to a foreign national in your office on campus is as much an export as sending the information to an individual in a foreign country. Foreign nationals of potential concern can include students, collaborators and visitors.

While most University and research activities do not require an export control license, there are times when a license or documentation of compliance with the regulations is required. All University and Research Foundation personnel are required to demonstrate their due diligence and to document their adherence to the applicable laws and regulations.

The basic questions that you need to answer when involved with activities that require the transfer of information and/or items are:

  • What items or information will be used?
  • Who will access the items or information?
  • Where are any items or information going?
  • What will the end-user be using the items or information for?

If you have any questions about how to comply with export control regulations in your research, please contact the Office of Regulatory and Research Compliance (ORRC) at [email protected] or 518-437-3850. You may also contact Terrell D. Rabb, Director of Regulatory and Research Compliance, at [email protected]. The Office is here to assist you through the compliance process.


How to Comply

The University oversees all exports related to research or other projects conducted under its auspices. Below are instructions for submitting review requests for various reviews for the export of items or information.

Individual Training

Basic training is available through the online course, "Export Compliance." These trainings are available online via the CITI Training Program.

You may also reach out to [email protected] to schedule an information session.

Sponsored Awards

Most research at the University is eligible to fall within the fundamental research exemption (FRE) and may be shared broadly without review for export compliance.

However, the FRE is not absolute. It only covers the results of research where results are anticipated to be published. Any restrictions on the publication of the results of research may take the activity outside the FRE.

The following is a list of situations where an activity may not be eligible for the FRE. Questions about these situations may be directed to [email protected].

  • The documentation related to a proposal specifically states that International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) 22 CFR §§ 120‐130, Export Administration Regulations (EAR) 15 CFR §§ 734‐774, or Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) 31 CFR §§ 500-599 or other export laws/regulations will apply to the work or that the specific technology involved is export controlled.

  • The sponsor has specifically stated that the “fundamental research exclusion” otherwise available to universities does not apply to the activity.

  • The proposed project will utilize privately held information or data or there will be any prohibition on the release of information. For example, such instances can include but are not limited to:

    • a. Commercial Trade Secrets

    • b. Controlled Unclassified Information

    • c. Classified Information

  • The activity involves the development, testing or research of encryption technology or encrypted software.

  • The documentation related to a proposal contains publication restrictions or limitations.  This can include the right of the sponsor to review all proposed publications beforehand.

  • The project is funded by the Department of Defense or Homeland Security for non-research purposes, such as a procurement contract.

  • The proposal involves activities in the following countries: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, or the Crimean territory occupied by Russia.

  • Proposals that will transfer items or information that is not the result of fundamental research to countries in Group D of the 15 CFR 740. Currently these are:

    • Afghanistan

    • Armenia 

    • Azerbaijan 

    • Bahrain

    • Belarus

    • Burma/Myanmar 

    • Cambodia 

    • Central African Republic

    • China (PRC)

    • Congo, Democratic Republic of

    • Cyprus

    • Egypt

    • Eritrea

    • Georgia

    • Haiti

    • Iran

    • Iraq

    • Israel

    • Jordan

    • Kazakhstan

    • Kuwait

    • Kyrgyzstan

    • Laos

    • Lebanon

    • Libya

    • Macau

    • Moldova

    • Mongolia

    • North Korea

    • Oman

    • Pakistan

    • Qatar

    • Russia

    • Saudi Arabia

    • Somalia

    • South Sudan, Republic of

    • Sudan

    • Syria

    • Taiwan

    • Tajikistan

    • Turkmenistan

    • United Arab Emirates

    • Uzbekistan

    • Venezuela

    • Vietnam

    • Yemen

    • Zimbabwe

  • The activity involves the shipment of new unapproved FDA-regulated drugs or devices outside the country.

Hiring Foreign Nationals

ORRC works with Research Foundation Human Resources to review whether foreign nationals hired will require a license or license exception. Counsel’s office works with UAlbany Human Resources to review whether foreign nationals hired by New York State will require a license or license exception. Individuals looking to hire foreign nationals should work with the appropriate Human Resources office from the beginning of the hiring process.

Foreign nationals and the work they will be involved in will be assessed to determine if a license is needed to share controlled items or information with the individual. If you have controlled items or information in your lab, the items or information may not be shared with the foreign national until it is determined no license is needed or a license has been received.

Sanctioned Parties & Entities

One of the fundamental considerations for export controls is who a controlled item will be transferred to. While most controls cover countries there are myriad individuals for whom exports, and other transfers are prohibited. Regulators maintain various lists of sanctioned parties that UAlbany and other entities may not do business with, such as the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List managed by the US Treasury and the Entity List enumerated in Supplement 4 of Part 744 of the EAR. Transactions with such parties may be prohibited or require a license even if they do not involve controlled goods or technologies.

If you anticipate engaging with an individual identified on either the SDN List, the Entity List, or identified by New York State’s Iranian Divestment Act you must first contact ORRC at [email protected]. ORRC will work with you and General Counsel to determine if the engagement may be undertaken.

Shipping Items

To request a review of a shipment, please submit an Export Controls International Shipping Review Request Form to [email protected].

Requests for review must be made by faculty and staff of UAlbany or the Research Foundation. Students needing to ship items for UAlbany projects must work with their faculty advisor or project supervisor to submit requests.

Reviews currently take between one and two weeks.

Traveling Abroad

Individuals who will be traveling on University business (research or education) must submit requests according to these University policies:

Hand Carrying Items Abroad

The Export Administration Regulations (EAR) make an exception to licensing requirements for the temporary export (or re-export) of certain items, technology or software for professional use as long as several criteria are met and you must certify that this is the case (see 15 CFR §740.9).

The exception does not apply to any EAR-controlled satellite or space-related equipment, components or software, or to any technology associated with high-level encryption products. In addition, this exception does not apply to items, technology, data or software regulated by the ITAR. Nor does this exemption apply to exports to embargoed countries, to restricted parties or for prohibited end-uses.

Items Eligible for Temporary Export (TMP) Exemption

  • UAlbany or RF-owned items

  • Items necessary and related to the purpose of the travel, such as: laptops, tablets, smartphones and other electronic storage media

Items Not Eligible for TMP Exemption

  • Items not owned by UAlbany or the RF

  • Items that will be kept abroad as a result of a sale, lease or rental agreement

  • Items, technology, data, or software designed for military or dual-use purposes

  • Satellite or space-related equipment, components or software, or any technology associated with high-level encryption products

  • Exports to embargoed countries, to restricted parties or for prohibited end-uses

Individuals who will take University or Research Foundation-owned equipment (e.g., laptops) abroad need to complete Traveler Certification identifying the equipment (e.g., laptops) to be taken. This certification should be kept with the items.

Foreign Boycotts

If you are asked to participate in a foreign boycott, you must report it to the Office of Regulatory and Research Compliance at [email protected].

UAlbany and its agents are prohibited from taking certain actions in furtherance or support of a boycott maintained by a foreign country against a country friendly to the United States (unsanctioned foreign boycott).

U.S. companies must report to the Office of Antiboycott Compliance their receipt of certain boycott-related requests for information designed to verify compliance with an unsanctioned foreign boycott.

Non-compliance, Penalties & Sanctions

Export controls also carry institutional and individual liability. Government agencies each have their own sets of penalties and sanctions for violating export control regulations. Depending on the nature of the violation, fines could be as high as one million dollars for each violation and 20 years imprisonment for an individual.

Additional penalties and sanctions include the suspension or debarment from government contracts, the revocation of export privileges, the seizure or forfeiture of the article, and the loss of federal funds.