What is an Export?

“Exports” are defined in two principal ways:

(1)  Shipments of items or data abroad by any means; cargo shipments; electronic data transmission (email), spoken communication, hand carried articles, fax, and courier.

(2)  By “release” or disclosure:  visual and computer access to export controlled items, technology or technical data (hard or soft copy), occurring in the U.S by foreign persons of certain countries validly here on temporary student or employment visas, but who are neither U.S. citizens nor Permanent Residents; the export is “deemed” to occur upon the foreign national’s return to his/her home country. The definition of “foreign persons” includes companies not incorporated in the U.S., foreign governments, and international organizations.

** For purposes of both (1) and (2) above, technical data is defined as follows: blueprints, plans, diagrams, models, formulae, tables, engineering designs, and specifications, manuals and instructions written or recorded on other media or devices such as disk, tape read-only memories; and oral communication about any data contained therein.

The export control regulations govern what laboratory instruments, equipment, materials, software, technology and technical data can be transferred out of the country by any means (e.g. cargo shipment, hand-carried laptop content, courier, email, and spoken communication) as well as what can be accessed by foreign nationals present at our laboratories for whom certain export restrictions apply. In certain cases, these situations require prior authorization (an export license) from one of the applicable governing agencies. These agencies include the Departments of Commerce, State, Treasury, Defense, Energy, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

While the vast majority of research and business activities that we conduct at SIU System are restriction-free, the significant increase in the level of agency export enforcement with respect to major research institutions such as SIU System requires that we ensure full compliance with these regulations, particularly where export license requirements or technology controls apply. 

Failure to adhere to these regulations can result in severe monetary penalties, revocation of export privileges, debarment from federal funding, and civil or criminal enforcement against both SIU System and/or the individual PI to whom a violation is attributed. This heightened enforcement is further evident in the new H1/O Visa Petition Certification requirement, requiring SIU System to certify whether H1 or O visa beneficiaries will require an export license to access export controlled technical data in the course of their research responsibilities within our laboratories.