Export Control Update and Overview

Rescinded: Section 480-20: Guidelines for Compliance with Export Control Regulations

Due to the evolving export control regulatory environment, UCI is rescinding Section 480-20: Guidelines for Compliance with Export Control Regulations.  Effective immediately, the University of California Policy on Export Control will replace Section 480-20. This policy addresses UC’s commitment to ensuring compliance with U.S. export control laws. Please direct questions regarding any aspect of export control to the Export Control Office.

What are export controls?

Export controls are federal regulations that protect national security interests, foreign policy objectives, and U.S. economic competitiveness. They govern the shipment or transfer of regulated items, software, and technology, as well as financial transactions to foreign countries, persons, or entities. These regulations also restrict the disclosure of controlled information or technology to foreign citizens in the U.S., otherwise known as a “deemed export.” 

Fundamental Research Exclusion

Fortunately, export control regulations provide exemptions for fundamental university research. The Fundamental Research Exclusion (FRE) applies to information resulting from basic and applied research in science and engineering conducted at an accredited institution of higher education located in the U.S. that is ordinarily published and shared broadly in the scientific community. 

The FRE can be compromised when:

  • There is no intention to publish the results, or a research sponsor imposes publication restrictions regardless of whether the restriction is part of the award terms and conditions (a brief review for proprietary information is acceptable).
  • A research sponsor imposes access or participation restrictions regardless of whether the restrictions are part of the award terms and conditions.

Is my work subject to export controls?

Consistent with its commitment to the free and open exchange of ideas, UCI strives to ensure that its personnel are engaged in fundamental research, but there are occasions when the FRE may not apply. Your activity may be subject to export controls if you answer “Yes” to any of the questions below and will require an export control review. Please note that this is not an exhaustive or determinative list.

Does your research or activity involve:

  • Research collaboration with foreign persons or entities (excluding UCI employees, researchers or students)?
  • International travel to conduct research?
  • Shipment of items or materials outside of the U.S.?
  • Participation or collaboration of a foreign person from Cuba, North Korea, Syria, Iran, or Ukraine (Crimea, Donetsk, and Luhansk regions)?
  • Foreign sponsors?
  • Military related research?
  • An agreement with export control terms?
  • The receipt of confidential or export-controlled materials or information?

When export controls apply, an export control review and determination need to be made before the work begins. To ensure compliance, it is important for UCI faculty, researchers, and staff to identify when their activities may trigger export controls and contact the Export Control Office. If your research or activity is associated with a formal agreement or award, an export control review is generally conducted within the standard administrative review process of the agreement. You may also refer to our Export Control Red Flags infographic for additional guidance.

To learn more, please visit our website, or view our export controls training module in the UC Learning Center