International Travel

​Faculty, researchers, and staff frequently travel abroad in furtherance of university research, education, service or employment. While most international travel does not cause any export control issues, there are travel scenarios that cause concern and require additional planning, approval, accommodations, etc. to maintain export control compliance. As an example, traveling to embargoed countries or transporting export controlled items to foreign destinations often necessitate additional authorizations or licensure in advance of departure. To assist in determining what export control implications may apply to your upcoming travel, it is recommended that you complete the International Travel Form  and submit it to your campus export control contact as far in advance as possible, but preferably at least (15) business days before departure. The above conforms with Board policy. However, if your individual campus has its own interantional travel forms and processes, we recommend you complete those forms only. Individual campuses are free to tailor their own forms and processes for international travel as long as it is compliant with SDBOR policy. 

Before traveling to a foreign destination there are three basic questions university personnel need to consider when determining if export controls apply to their travel.

​Where are you going?

Travel to most countries is not a problem; however, tighter export controls are in effect for countries that are sanctioned or have restrictions imposed by the U.S. government. Travel to countries such as Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria require advance planning and coordination with the Export Control Office.

The U.S. Department of State issues periodic travel warning and travel alerts when a country is potentially dangerous or unstable. If you are traveling to a country with a travel warning you will need to comply with your campus specific procedures for obtaining approval for such travel.

International travelers are also encouraged to sign up for the U.S. Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. Enrolling in this free service will help the government provide assistance in case of an emergency while you are traveling.

What are you taking?

When determining what items to take abroad, you must determine if any of the items are export restricted based on your destination country. In most cases, researchers can take EAR-controlled items and software, including laptops, smartphones, or digital storage devices using EAR license exception TMP (for university owned items) or BAG (for personally owned items). However, travel to sanctioned countries like Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria and Sudan, will almost always require a license for even everyday items such as laptops and smartphones because the EAR license TMP and BAG exceptions are generally unavailable for these destinations. Additionally, see Foreign Travel with Computers & Other Electronic Devices. 

You cannot take ITAR controlled articles or technical data abroad without a license. Additionally, do not travel with any of the following without first consulting with the Export Control Office:
  • Data of information received under an obligation of confidentiality
  • Computer software, devices, or equipment received with restrictions on export to or access by foreign nationals
  • Data or analysis that result from a project that has contractual constraints on the dissemination of the research results
  • Private information about reserach subjects
  • Classified information
  • Devices, systems, and/or software that were specifically designed or modified for military or space applications
  • Devices and/or technology restricted by federal export control regulations
What are you doing?

Presentations or Seminars:  Open seminars are usually not a problem unless they take place in a sanctioned country or involve restricted parties. Information presented at seminars must be limited to topics that are not related to export controlled items or technologies, unless that information is already in the public domain.

Foreign Collaboration:  Publicly available information or fundamental research can be shared with foreign colleagues so long as the recipients are not employees or representatives of the government of a sanctioned country or restricted parties.

Field Work, Research or Instruction Outside of the U.S.:  University field work, research activity and instruction done outside of the U.S. may not qualify for the Fundamental Research Exclusion and therefore may not be protected from export controls until the work is published or otherwise in the public domain. Before disclosing or sharing information or data when participating in any of these endeavors, it is important to ensure the information is not export restricted.

Provision of Financial Assistance:  In order to ensure compliance with OFAC regulations prohibiting the university from providing material ro financial assistance to any block or sanctioned individual or entity, any university activity that involves payment to a non-U.S. person, business, or organization must be verified against all appropriate sanctioned party and entity lists. Contact your campus export control contact or the Export Control Office for assistance in screening the applicable parties or entities before entering into a contract, conducting business, or otherwise participating, directly or indirectly, in the provision of any financial assistance involving foreign individuals or entities.