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Export Compliance: UW Research

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Research Safe Harbors

If not for four exclusions set out in the EAR and ITAR, many University activities could result in the need for export licenses. Fortunately, these four exclusions act as a safe harbor for most University information-sharing:

Fundamental Research Exclusion:

Information arising from basic and applied research in science and engineering at an accredited institute of higher learning within the U.S., where the resulting information is ordinarily published and shared broadly with the scientific community, is excluded from the scope of the ITAR and EAR.

Public Domain/Publicly Available:

ITAR: information which is already published and generally accessible to the public is not subject to ITAR. Information that is available through books, periodicals, patents, open conferences in the United States, websites accessible to the public with no access controls, or other public release authorized by the U.S. government, is considered in the public domain.

EAR: publicly available technology and non-encryption software, such as information that is the subject of an open patent application, published in a book or periodical, released at an open conference anywhere, available on a website accessible by the public with no access controls or information that will be published is not subject to the EAR. This includes submission of manuscripts to journals for consideration with the understanding that the article will be published if favorably received.

Educational Instruction:

EAR: information that is released by instruction in catalog courses and associated teaching laboratories is not subject to the EAR.

ITAR: information concerning general scientific, mathematical, or engineering principles commonly taught in schools, colleges and universities is not controlled by ITAR.

Bona fide/full time employee:

Disclosure of technical data (as defined by ITAR) in the United States to a University bona fide and full-time regular employee, whose permanent abode is in the U.S., the employee is not a national of an embargoed country, and the University informs the employee in writing that the technical data may not be transferred to other foreign nationals without approval, is excluded from ITAR.

If unsure, check with exports@uw.edu to determine if an exclusion applies to information, software, or technical data you intend to share with a foreign national or send abroad.

Research Export Review

Any of the following activities associated with research at the University requires awareness and compliance with export control regulations:

  • Export of tangible items outside the United States
  • Working with proprietary or otherwise restricted information (Sensitive Uncontrolled Information or "SUI")
  • Projects performed abroad by UW personnel
  • Furnishing defense services to a foreign person within the United States
  • Transacting with embargoed or sanctioned countries or parties
  • Creating, receiving or working with encryption software
  • Providing technology or software regarding controlled equipment to a foreign national

Any research activity that involves restriction on participation, restrictions on access to research facilities or restrictions on publication must first be reviewed by the Faculty Council on Research (FCR) per University Executive Order No. 8. If approved by the FCR, the Research Security Team can assist with implementing measures to comply with the restrictions. This is known as a Technology Control Plan (TCP).

eGC1 Help

Sponsored research that requires the completion of an eGC1 application asks several questions in relation to export compliance. Help text can be found on each question in the eGC1.

Additional help and examples can be found here.

Example Scenarios

To help employees, researchers and students evaluate their project or activity against export controls please visit the Example Scenarios page found here.