Export Controls

Dartmouth is fully committed to export control compliance. Export Controls are a complex set of Federal laws and regulations that govern how physical items, technology, information and data may be exported from the United States or shared with foreign persons within the United States. Export controls are designed to protect U.S. national security, to further U.S. foreign policy goals, and to maintain U.S. economic competitiveness.

About Export Controls

Research and other activities at Dartmouth may be subject to export controls, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), implemented by the U.S. Department of State, and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), implemented by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC), which is part of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, is responsible for administering and enforcing economic and trade sanctions against certain nations, entities, and individuals. Export controls may apply to research activities on campus, to the temporary export of controlled Dartmouth owned equipment including laptop computers containing controlled software or technical data, and to the shipment of research materials to foreign collaborators. Failure to comply with export controls can result in severe consequences for Dartmouth as well as the individual researchers, including fines of up to $1 million per violation, up to 20 years imprisonment, and debarment from future exporting activities.

Dartmouth faculty, staff, and students may encounter these laws when engaging in several activities (examples not meant to include all activities):

  • Hand carrying items that export controlled outside of the US
  • Receiving equipment from a vendor that is restricted
  • Shipping chemical or biological materials
  • Receiving materials from another institution
  • Temporary Export of Equipment
  • It is important to note that most information and software that Dartmouth develops, shares or receives from colleagues or other is not export controlled.
  • Dartmouth faculty should become familiar with export control rules. A number of resources are available at Dartmouth to assist with Export Control compliance. OSP's website provides comprehensive information on export control regulations, definitions and applicability. It includes information on what kind of research may be associated with exports controls and how to go about an export control license if necessary. A decision tree tool assists researchers in making the determination whether their project may be export controlled or may require additional analysis.

Fundamental Research Exemption

Even if an item appears on one of the U.S. government's lists of controlled technologies, generally there is an exclusion for fundamental research. "Fundamental research" means basic and applied research in science and engineering, the results of which ordinarily are published and shared broadly within the scientific community. Most research done at Dartmouth will be exempt from export controls as long as the PI has not accepted restrictions on publication of results and thus falls under the fundamental research exclusion. The Office of Sponsored Projects, the Research Compliance Office and TTO assure compliance with the College's Dissemination Policy that generally prohibits accepting publication restrictions.

Shipments from Dartmouth / MTAs

Any shipment of biological and chemical materials outside of the U.S. (or to a foreign national person inside the U.S.) must be compliant with U.S. export control laws and regulations. Please consult the information available on OSP's website, including the decision tree. It will help you determine if export controls apply to your shipment.

Please get in touch with the Research Compliance Office or OSP if you want to send material to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, the Crimea region of Russia or any country that is mentioned on the US Dept of Treasury page regarding sanctioned countries.

Please get in touch with the Research Compliance Office or OSP of if you have any reason to believe that the material to be shipped is listed on either the Department of Commerce's Commerce Control List (e.g. certain human or animal pathogens, toxins and viruses identified on the Australia Group list or the Departments of State's US Munitions list (defense related equipment, software or technology, nuclear devices, chemical or biological weapons, missiles). If you are in doubt, please consult the Research Compliance Office or OSP.

Deemed Exports

A deemed exports is a release of export controlled technology to a foreign person in the US. Such a transfer is "deemed" to be to the country where the person is a resident or a citizen.


  1. The routine "use" of controlled equipment by foreign nationals (e.g., using it in the ordinary way specified in the user manual, in a manner that does not disclose technical information about the equipment beyond what is publicly available would not be considered a deemed export. However, a deemed export may occur if a foreign national is "using" the equipment in such a way as to access technical information beyond what is publicly available (for example, accessing the source code of software or modifying a piece of equipment in such a way as to gain non-publicly available technical information about its design.)
  2. Visual Inspection (access only is not sufficient) would only be considered release of the technology and as such a deemed export to the observer, if it reveals export controlled information (for example information that would enable the observer to replicate or improve the item, such as technical specifications, blueprints etc.).
  3. Fundamental Research: Export controls (including research involving controlled technologies or deemed exports) do not apply to research conducted at Dartmouth, if there are no publication or access restrictions on the research. If this is the case, the Fundamental Research Exemption (FRE) most likely applies1. Foreign nationals including students, faculty and visitors can participate in research projects on campus, provided they are covered by the FRE. Note that although the FRE is broadly applicable, it generally does not authorize the transfer of physical items outside the U.S. (see above "Shipments")
  4. Footnote 1: Fundamental research includes basic or applied research in science and/or engineering at an accredited institution of higher learning in the United States where the resulting information, is ordinarily published and shared broadly in the scientific community.


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