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Export Control laws and regulations are promulgated and enforced by three federal executive offices: Department of State, Department of Commerce, and Department of Treasury. Specific laws related to exports include, but are not limited to, ITAR, EAR, and OFAC:

ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations)


Regulations governing the exports and re-exports of items and services for military use, which include defense articles, including technical data, defense technologies, and defense services. These regulations are under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls.  (22 CFR Parts 120-130).

  • Covers military items (munitions and defense articles) found on the United States Munitions List (USML)
  • Applies to most space-related technologies because of their application to missile technology
  • Applies to technical data related to defense articles and technical servicesprovided, including furnishing assistance with design, training, or use of defense articles
  • Policy of denial for exports to certain countries (See 22 CFR 126.1 for up-to-date list)

EAR (Export Administration Regulations)
Regulations governing the export, including deemed export and re-export of dual use commercial items and technologies and other commercial items and technologies without an obvious military use. These regulations are under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security. (15 CFR Parts 730-774, also Supplement No. 1 to part 734 - Questions and Answers - Technology and Software Subject to the EAR). 

  • Covers “dual use” items - found on Commerce Control List (CCL)
  • Applies to items designed for commercial purposes but also have military applications (computers, pathogens, civilian aircraft, etc.)
  • Covers goods, test equipment, materials, and the software and technology
  • Each item has an export controls classification number (ECCN)

OFAC (The Office of Foreign Assets Control)
The federal government office responsible for administering and enforcing foreign asset control regulations. This includes economic and trade sanctions based on federal foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, and those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The regulations administered by OFAC include controls with regard to specific individuals, specific organizations, and certain countries. OFAC is under the U.S. Department of the Treasury.  (31 CFR Parts 500-598).

  • Economic sanctions focus on end-user (individual/entity) or country and may limit transfer of technologies and assistance to OFAC’s list of sanctioned countries
  • OFAC has a “Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List”
  • Prohibits or requires a license for payments or providing “value” to nationals of sanctioned countries and certain entities

Violations of the above laws and regulations impose very severe penalties for both the individual and the University. For examples of severity, see Don't Let This Happen to You!  An Introduction to U.S. Export Control Law - Actual Investigations of Export Control and Antiboycott Violations and this summary of Department of Justice export control violation cases.