Export Controls for Researchers


If you need to export an item covered by the EAR or ITAR regulations, you may need a license, unless one of the exclusions applies.  Fortunately, most activities and information at Yale are excluded from export control regulations under various exclusions:

Exclusion 1: The Fundamental Research Exclusion

Covers information resulting from basic and applied research in science and engineering the results of which ordinarily are published and shared broadly within the scientific community (as distinguished from proprietary research).

Research will not qualify as fundamental, and a license may be required, if:

1. The research is conducted outside the U.S.

2. Certain terms and conditions were agreed to in the applicable research agreement.  The following terms and conditions will disallow the Fundamental Research Exclusion:

-Prohibition on the participation of foreign nationals in the research

-Requirement that the sponsor approve publications and not just review and comment on such publications

-Requirement that research results and research data be treated as confidential

Note:  these all limit in some way access to the research, limit participation in the research, or dissemination of the results of the research.

In some cases, a U.S. government grant may impose specific national security controls.  Such research still qualifies as fundamental research under EAR (not ITAR) if, and only if, the university strictly complies with the controls (which may, as a practical matter, be impossible or inconsistent with University policy).  In addition, an initial transfer of information from an industry sponsor to a university researcher may be subject to export controls even if the university researcher using it qualifies for the fundamental research exemption if the initial transfer is accomplished under a confidentiality agreement.

Do not accept confidential information or technology from third parties, except under an agreement approved by the General Counsel, Grants & Contracts, or the Office of Cooperative Research.

Exclusion 2: Information in the Public Domain

Information in the Public Domain is not subject to export controls.

Information in the public domain includes information that instructors share with students in listed Yale courses and associated labs.

It also includes information that is published and generally available to the public through:

-Commercially available books or journals

-Libraries available to the public


-Unlimited distribution at conferences, seminars, or trade shows generally accessible to the public in the U.S. 

Exclusion 3: Educational Information

Export control regulations do not apply to information released in academic catalog-listed courses or in teaching labs associated with those courses (other than certain encrypted software). 

In short, a faculty member discuss what might otherwise be export-controlled technology in a class or lab without a license even if foreign national students are enrolled in the course or working in the lab.

For more information about export control exclusions, visit the Yale Office of Research Administration Export Controls website.

Additional Resources:

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