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Frequently Asked Questions


What if I'm traveling abroad?  Can I bring a laptop?

Please see guidance here.


All the research that I do is fundamental research.  Doesn't the fundamental research exclusion cover everything I do? 

NO, not everything.  Please see guidance here.


What is a deemed export?

An export of technology or source code (except encryption source code) is "deemed" to take place when it is released to a foreign national within the United States.  Technology is "released" for export when it is available to foreign nationals for visual inspection (such as reading technical specifications, plans, blueprints, etc.); when technology is exchanged orally; or when technology is made available by practice or application under the guidance of persons with knowledge of the technology. See §734.2(b)(3) of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).


What happens if we run afoul of the export control laws?

Please see potential penalties here.  


What is the difference between EAR and ITAR?

Export control regulations control the conditions under which certain technologies, commodities and software can be transmitted outside of the United States or to foreign nationals inside the United States.  The Department of Commerce regulations are entitled the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), and apply to transfers of commercial or dual use technologies, while the State Department regulations are entitled the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), and apply to transfers of military or defense-related technologies.  The purpose of the ITAR regulations is to ensure U.S. security, and there is no balancing of commercial or research objectives, while the EAR regulations, covering dual use items, attempt to balance commercial and research objectives with national security considerations.


Which foreign nationals are subject to the deemed export rules?  What about that professor or graduate student down the hall who is a foreign national - do I need to put a wall around my lab?

Any foreign national is subject to the "deemed export" rule except a foreign national who (1) is granted permanent residence, as demonstrated by the issuance of a permanent resident visa (i.e., "Green Card"); or (2) is granted U.S. citizenship; or (3) is granted status as a "protected person" under 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3).  Note, however, that as long as the Fundamental Research Exclusion applies to your research, then you may openly disclose the technology, with only limited exceptions.