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This material is adapted from the basic design and content of Stanford University’s Decision Tree. We appreciate Stanford in granting us permission to use its content for the benefit of UAB.

For reasons of national security and trade protection, the United States has enacted export control laws to govern the transfer of certain information, items, or technologies to foreign countries and foreign persons. These laws apply to items that have a military application, as well as to commercial items that may have a potential military application or pose a foreign policy or national security concern. Therefore, UAB and its employees are required to exercise due diligence in evaluating whether a particular transfer of items, information, software, or technology requires an export license before it may occur.

The flowchart below walks you through a series of "Yes" or "No" questions, leading to a determination of whether an export license may be applicable to your situation. Before completing the decision tree, there are some terms that you will need to understand, particularly “deemed export”, “export”, “item”, and “foreign national”. Please refer to the definitions in the UAB Export Control Policy prior to answering the questions below. If you answer "Yes" to any of the eight (8) questions below, please contact exportcontrol@uab.edu immediately. Violations of these export control regulations can lead to significant civil and criminal penalties for individuals as well as institutions.

Last modified: 09/10/20.

1.) Are you sharing, transmitting, or transferring UAB-developed, non-commercial encryption software(1) in source code or object code(2)(including travel outside the country with such software)?

Even most publicly available "dual-use" encryption code captured by the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) requires the availability of a License Exception. A License Exception under the EAR is an authorization based on a set of criteria, which when met, allows the exporter to circumvent export licensing requirements. The release of publicly available encryption code under the EAR is generally authorized by License Exception TSU (Technology and Software - Unrestricted) whereby the exporter provides the US Government with a "one-time" notification of the location of the publicly available encryption code prior to or at the time the code is placed in the public domain. Notification after transmission of the code outside the US is an export control violation.

In addition, US persons are prohibited without prior authorization from providing technical assistance (i.e., instruction, skills training, working knowledge, consulting services) to a foreign person with the intent to assist in the overseas development or manufacture of encryption software that is subject to US Government notification or authorization. This prohibition does NOT limit UAB personnel from teaching or discussing general information about cryptography or developing or sharing encryption code within the United States that arises during, or results from, fundamental research.

Two License Exceptions are available for the UAB community when the tangible export of items and software containing encryption code is necessary for travel or relocation:

  • License Exception TMP (Temporary Exports) allows those departing from the US on university business to take with them as "tools of the trade" UAB-owned or controlled, retail-level encryption items such as laptops, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and cell phones and encryption software in source or object code to all countries except Sudan and Cuba, as long as the items and software will remain under their "effective control" overseas and are returned to the US within 12 months or are consumed or destroyed abroad;
  • License Exception BAG (Baggage) allows individuals departing the US either temporarily (travel) or longer-term (relocation) to take with them as personal baggage family-owned retail-level encryption items including laptops, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and cell phones and encryption software in source or object code. The encryption items and software must be for their personal use in private or professional activities. Citizens and permanent resident aliens of all countries except Cuba, Libya, Syria, Sudan, North Korea and Iran may take with them as personal baggage non-retail "strong" encryption items and software to all locations except embargoed or otherwise restricted locations.

If you have answered "Yes" to any of the questions above, an export license may be required before you ship, transmit, or transfer the item or information. Please contact The Office of Responsible Research Practices within the Office of Research at exportcontrol@uab.edu immediately to further assess the proposed export and proceed with a license application.

If you have answered "No" to all of the questions above, you do not need to obtain an export license. Just two more steps are required before you can complete the transfer:

  • Conduct a restricted-party screen to confirm and document that both the recipient and his or her organization are not identified on a US government restricted-party list. This screening can be completed quickly and easily through a software called Visual Compliance. If you do not have access to Visual Compliance, contact the University Compliance Office.
  • Document in writing that you have reviewed the proposed transfer in light of applicable export control regulations and have determined and justified that no export license is necessary. Retain your documentation should it be requested by the University Compliance Office in the future.