Export Control University Exceptions

Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) export control regulations allow for "publicly available, fundamental research" results to be excluded from the regulatory requirements for approvals or licenses. This does not apply to physical shipments that need to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

For university-based research there are three ways that technical information may qualify for an exemption from the foreign national-deemed export licensing requirements and transfer of information outside the U.S.


Publicly Available Research

If the research is publicly available, ITAR and EAR regulations allow for exemptions. Information is "published" when it becomes accessible to the public in any form including:

  • Publication in periodicals, books, print, electronic or other media available for general distribution or through unrestricted subscription
  • Readily available at public libraries or at university libraries
  • Through patents or published patent applications available at any patent office
  • Through unlimited distribution at an open conference, meeting, seminar, trade show or other open gathering held in the United States. Presentations abroad may still require a license and Export Control office should be consulted.

Limitations to the Publicly Available Exemption

To qualify for the publicly available information exemption, the following must be true:

  • No equipment or encrypted software involved
  • No reason to believe information will be used for Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • U.S. government or funding entity has not imposed any access or dissemination controls as a funding condition


Educational Information Exclusion

Educational instruction in science, math, and engineering taught in courses listed in catalogs and associated with teaching laboratories of academic institutions can be excluded, even if the information includes controlled commodities or items.

With the exemption from ITAR, the exclusion covers only general principles and not specific information and technical data about ITAR controlled items (“defense articles”). Specific information about defense articles, including operation manuals, data sets, blueprints, may not be released to foreign nationals, even in an instructional environment, unless such technical data is otherwise excluded or exempt from ITAR or released under an applicable license or license exemption.


Fundamental Research Exclusion

The Fundamental Research Exclusion (FRE) exempts most on-campus university research from export control licensing requirements. Fundamental research is defined as basic and applied research in science and engineering conducted at an accredited U.S. institution of higher education where the resulting information is ordinarily published and shared broadly within the scientific community.

The FRE allows foreign members of the University community to participate in research projects involving export-controlled technical information on campus in the U.S. without a deemed export license. Technical information resulting from fundamental research may be shared with foreign colleagues abroad and shipped out of the U.S. without securing a license.

The Fundamental Research Exclusion (FRE) does not apply when:

  • The University or its researchers accept publication restrictions of scientific and technical information resulting from research other than limited prepublication reviews by sponsors to prevent inadvertent divulging of proprietary information or to ensure that publication will not compromise patent rights.
  • Research sponsors require access and dissemination controls preventing the involvement of non-U.S. persons from participation.
  • Shipping or otherwise transferring ITAR-controlled items internationally (or to international waters) whether by shipping carrier, post, hand carry or other method.
  • Providing assistance concerning ITAR-controlled technology to international parties (excluding the University’s non-U.S. person employees and students participating in the research).
  • The activity is not research, but a service.


Email the Export Controls Officer at orsc@uts.cc.utexas.edu