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The term “Export Controls” refers collectively to those U.S. laws and regulations that govern the transfer of controlled items, technologies, information, or services to foreign countries (“export”) and/or foreign persons (“deemed export”). Transfers that are considered by the U.S Government to be of critical interest to national security, economy, and/or foreign policy are restricted or may be prohibited altogether.

EC Overview
Each of the above examples may constitute an "export" that is regulated by the federal government. Such activities may require a license prior to the export or be prohibited altogether. The transfer may be executed by shipping items outside of the United States or through written, oral, electronic, or digital communications to a foreign person or otherwise outside the United States.