Associated Federal Agencies
Export control laws are federal regulations that control the conditions under which information, technologies, and commodities can be transmitted overseas to anyone, including U.S. citizens, or to a foreign national on U.S. soil.
Federal agencies and regulations most commonly associated with research activity at U.S. academic institutions:
- Department of Commerce through its Export Administration Regulations (EAR)
- Department of State through its International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)
- Department of the Treasury through its Office of Foreign Assets Control Regulations (OFAC)
Items, information, and software that are generally subject to export control laws and used in a university environment are set out on these two lists:
Often referred to as controlled exports, these items generally fall into these categories:
- Nuclear materials, facilities, and equipment
- Chemicals, microorganisms, and toxins
- Electronics and computers
- Telecommunications and information security technology
- Sensors and lasers
- Navigation and avionics technology
- Marine technology
- Aerospace technology and related equipment
Liability and Potential Penalties
Researchers may be personally liable for violating export control laws and regulations. Therefore, it is important to review regulations and ask the ORIA export control staff for assistance. In addition, use care in identifying research assistants and/or collaborators who are foreign nationals. In the event that items, information, or collaborations are determined to be subject to controls, the Georgia Tech Office of Legal Affairs will file for appropriate export licenses. Until approval is received, you should not transfer or disclose such information to a foreign national. Once approval is received you should take care in controlling access to export controlled information in your possession.
The penalty for unlawful export and disclosure of export-controlled information under ITAR is up to two years in prison and/or a fine of $100,000. Under EAR, the penalty is the greater of $1,000,000 or five times the value of the export in addition to imprisonment for up to 10 years. The ORIA export control staff will assist investigators in complying with regulations, but the primary responsibility rests with principal investigators.
For more information about key terms involved in export control, visit our Definitions page.