Export Control

Export Control Laws are a set of federal regulations that govern how information and technologies can be transferred internationally and prohibit certain activities without a license from the US Government. These prohibitions support US national security objectives and protect critical US-origin technologies. 

The SJSU Division of Research & Innovation is committed to developing and implementing an effective compliance program for RSCA-related export control, and is supporting compliance in alignment with SJSU’s commitment to academic freedom, international collaboration, an non-discrimination.  

This commitment is demonstrated in the resources that the Division of R&I has invested in developing, implementing, and maintaining the Research Compliance Unit (RCU) and that unit’s export control function. The RCU has been provided with the tools to manage RSCA-related export control compliance, including training, budgets, and support from senior leadership. We are working to ensure that faculty, staff, and students understand how export laws and regulations affect higher education, and support the internal controls put into place to promote compliance.

However, achieving export control compliance is the joint responsibility of all SJSU faculty, staff, and students. Violations of export control laws and regulations can result in serious fines or penalties, including jail time. I ask each of you to take this matter seriously and support me in this effort. If you have any questions about how export control laws and regulations apply to your RSCA activities, please contact Jessica Trask, the Senior Director of Research Services.

Some examples of activities that may require a license are:

  • Any engagement with embargoed or comprehensively sanctioned countries
    The federal government heavily regulates interactions with North Korea, Syria, Iran, Cuba, and specific regions of Ukraine. A license may be required even for teaching or scholarly exchange. Targeted sanctions may also apply to engaging with students and faculty in Russia, China, Venezuela, or other countries.

  • Shipping research equipment or samples internationally
    Export control laws apply to the export of physical items or the use of those items by foreign nationals.

  • Travelling internationally
    Hand-carrying items during travel is also an export. Furthermore, export control laws apply to some software and technical data.

  • Purchasing controlled items for use in research
    Export control laws may restrict the extent to which foreign nationals can use or access certain items, software, or technical data. A Technology Control Plan (TCP) is required to ensure that these items are properly secured.

  • Collaborating with international colleagues
    International transfers of software or technical data via email or cloud services are still considered exports and may require a license from the federal government.

Please contact Research Compliance for guidance if you encounter any of these situations. Please be aware that license applications can take up to six months for review and approval by the federal government. Engaging in these activities without a license can result in fines, suspension of export privileges or even prison.   


Export Controls:  A Quick Start Guide

SBIR Tutorial:  Introduction to ITAR and the U.S. Munitions List

OFAC Sanctions Lists – Specially Designated Nationals List

OFAC Sanctions Programs and Country Information