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Sec. 480-20: Guidelines for Compliance with Export Control Regulations

Responsible Administrator: Vice Chancellor - Office of Research
Revised: June 2014

References / Resources

Contact: Office of Research, Export Control Officer at (949) 824-0445 or

A. Purpose

The purpose of these Guidelines is to implement, within the campus research community, the University of California's Export Control Management System; to provide information on available campus resources; and to communicate UC Irvine's commitment to ensuring compliance with export control regulations while recognizing and protecting academic freedom. Questions and concerns regarding any aspect of export control related to research should be shared with the Export Control Officer in the Office of Research.

B. Background

Changes in the application and interpretation of a number of export control laws may conflict with the University’s tradition of academic freedom and openness.  All members of the University of California, Irvine research community need to understand that the law is applicable to individuals, and the responsibility to comply rests with the individual. It is critical for both compliance reasons and for the University’s continued ability to educate and conduct research that University faculty, staff and students make research results publicly available and be aware of items and information subject to export control regulations. Compliance with University procedures will ensure that no item or information is exported in violation of export control laws and regulations.

C. Applicability

Federal and State laws, statutes and other regulations apply to all activities at the University, however, these Guidelines apply specifically to UC Irvine research activities.

D. UC Export Control Management
  1. Export control regulations are federal laws that prohibit the export of specific commodities and information for reasons of national security or trade protection. In general, the export control regulations cover:

    1. The transfer of controlled information, including technical data, to persons and entities outside the United States.
    2. Physical items such as scientific equipment that are controlled and require export licenses when shipped from the United States to a foreign country.
    3. Verbal, written, electronic, or visual disclosures of controlled scientific and technical information related to the export of controlled items to foreign nationals (“deemed exports”), even when such disclosures occur within the United States.
    4. Travel to certain sanctioned or embargoed countries for purposes of teaching or performing research.
  2. Policies and procedures covering these activities constitute the University of California's Export Management System. The System requires the review of materials shipped abroad, screening for restricted individuals and entities, and protection of the exemptions provided in the export control regulations for intangible information.

E. Responsibilities
  1. Office of Research

    The Vice Chancellor for Research (VCR) is the institutional official responsible for compliance by researchers with federal statutes and regulations, and university policies and procedures pertaining to export control. This includes providing adequate resources for the administration of UC Irvine's compliance program. The VCR is also responsible for designating personnel to:

    1. The Export Control Officer (ECO) leads the campus Export Control Advisory Group and serves as the primary export control resource for the campus research community by providing interpretation and application of export control regulations and consultation on individual export control issues. The ECO will:

      • Determine whether certain technologies are export controlled and, if so, will determine the correct classification and reason(s) for control.
      • Check for license exceptions or exclusions and when an export license is required submit the application.
      • Conduct screening for restricted individuals and entities.
      • Upon request train members of the Export Control Advisory Group and other individuals working with potential export control items or information. The Export Advisory Group will include staff from Environmental Health & Safety, Office of Technology Alliances, Office of Global Engagement, Purchasing, and other affected faculty and representative staff.
      • Document and communicate export control decisions; act as point of contact for research related export control inquiries from government agencies.
    2. Sponsored Projects Administration will review proposals and awards for publication controls or access/dissemination restrictions (such as approval requirements for use of foreign nationals) and other potential export control issues such as foreign travel and collaboration. They will review an award's scope of work for potential receipt of export controlled information during the project (such as integration of the research results into a defense article), and review non-disclosure agreements for potential receipt of export controlled information by the principal investigator.
    3. Technology Alliances will inform the ECO of potential export control issues identified during their regular work activity and, for materiel transfer agreements (MTAs), provide detailed information on proposed transfers or shipments to a foreign country, including the screening for restricted individuals and entities. Technology Alliances will also review contracts, MTAs and other agreements for potential publication controls or access/dissemination restrictions (such as approval requirements for use of foreign nationals). They will review non-disclosure agreements for potential receipt of export controlled information by the principal investigator. The licensing unit, in particular, must be aware of export controls affecting product licensing.

  2. Purchasing will screen for restricted individuals and entities. For items requisitioned for purchase and identified for export out of the U.S., Purchasing will complete an export control review documented on a checklist that will include screening for restricted parties and entities, reviewing the items for controls, applying OFAC sanctions, and evaluating end use. The ECO should be notified if an item requires further screening.

  3. Environmental Health and Safety will inform the ECO of potential export control issues identified during their regular work activity and will provide detailed information on the chemical, radioactive or biological item, substance or instrument a researcher plans to take or ship to a foreign country.

  4. Principal Investigators, Researchers and Staff will:

F. Regulatory Terms and Explanations
G. Export Licensing
  1. To determine whether an item, project, or activity is controlled and whether or not an export license is required principal investigators, researchers and staff should complete the following steps and are encouraged to contact the ECO at (949) 824-0445 or to have the steps below completed for them. The ECO has access to tools that can make completing this process faster and easier and will provide documentation for record keeping. Principal investigators, researchers and staff are advised to begin this process early since it takes two to three months to obtain an export license if one is needed.
    1. Review the following regulations while considering 1) what the item is, 2) where it is going, 3) who will receive it, and 4) what it will be used for :

  2. When a particular project or activity is subject to export controls and no exemption is available, the individual responsible for the project or activity must secure the items, software or technology against disclosure or transfer to any foreign national within or outside the United States until a license or other authorization is obtained.

  3. Keep records related to export control for five years. Section 762 of the EAR addresses recordkeeping.

H. Sanctioned Countries and Foreign Boycotts
  1. The Office of Foreign Assets Control lists sanctioned countries. Before transacting with a country subject to OFAC sanctions, contact the ECO.

  2. Antiboycott laws require U.S. institutions to refuse to participate in foreign boycotts that are not endorsed by the U.S. government (examples of boycott requests). Additional information on antiboycott regulations and reporting requirements is available from the BIS website on Antiboycott Compliance.

I. Penalties for Non-Compliance

Export control violations can result in civil and criminal penalties against the University of California, and/or assessment of fines or imprisonment of an individual. Penalties apply to each individual violation, which means that if a violation relates to more than one controlled material or item, or occurs on more than one occasion, each item or incident may trigger a penalty.

Appropriate voluntary self-disclosures may mitigate the seriousness of a penalty. The ECO is available to advise on how to address circumstances that may trigger export control concerns. Contact the ECO for assistance if a previous action may have been in violation of export controls.

J. Notification in the Event of Regulatory Noncompliance

In the event of a potential regulatory violation, or any of the scenarios listed below, the Director of Sponsored Projects Administration and the ECO should be notified immediately.

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