Export and International Travel

This summary of export compliance procedures is designed to provide a broad overview of the agencies and regulations involved in exporting goods and services. The procedures outlined herein should always be supplemented with a thorough review of the applicable regulations in effect at the time of export. Detailed information is available on the GIT export website.

There are two Acts with corresponding regulations involved in export compliance. The first step is to determine which would apply to a particular export. The Export Administration Act (EAA) and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) govern the export of all "dual-use" products and technologies as well as civilian and commercial products and technologies. The EAA and EAR are administered by the Department of Commerce.

The Arms Export Control Act of 1976 (AECA) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) govern the export of defense articles, related technical data and defense services. AECA and ITAR are administered by the State Department's Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC).   All exports require a license or prior approval.

In addition, the U.S. Treasury Departments Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) governs the sanction programs.  These sanctions are country specific and the countries are subject to change.  The OFAC website contains a current list of sanctioned countries with specific santions. 

It is important to understand that conversations and emails are exports, just as providing equipment or technical data to a foreign national is an export. For example, giving controlled information to a foreign visitor may be an export. For this reason, proposals to be submitted to foreign sponsors should first be reviewed by the Office of Legal Affairs to ensure that the information contained therein is not controlled.

If an Export Control Review is required, please be sure to complete the Export Certification and Review Form located on the GIT export website and submit it to export@gatech.edu.

Export of Items on the U.S. Munitions List:

There is a two-step process for exporting defense items. The first, registration with DDTC, has been accomplished for GTRC (GTARC) and GIT. The second is the actual licensing procedure, which covers three broad categories of exports: (1) defense articles (items designated on the U.S. Munitions List), (2) Manufacturing Licenses and Technical Assistance Agreements (TAA), (3) unclassified technical data and classified information. For the first and third categories, DDTC issues a license; for the second category, no license is issued, but DDTC approves the TAA on an individual basis. A TAA may not go into effect until DDTC has issued its written approval.  Section 129.3 of the ITAR requires persons, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, who facilitiate defense trade activities with respect to the manufacture, export, import or transfer of any defense article or defense service subject to the controls of ITAR Section 121 or any "foreign defense article or defense service" (as defined in Section 129.2) to register with DDTC.  This registration is in addition to the registration required to be an exporter. 

A license is used when exporting data or equipment. A TAA is required if GT is furnishing assistance (including training) to foreign nations (whether assistance is provided in the U.S. or abroad) in the design, development, engineering, manufacture, testing, repair, maintenance, operation of any defense article, alone or in conjunction with furnishing a foreign national any technical data controlled by the ITAR. A project may not proceed until State Department approval has been obtained.

As with other sponsored research projects, research staff and faculty should submit their proposal to the Office of Sponsored Programs who will make a request for export review to export@gatech.edu.  If an Export Control Review is required, the Contracting Officer will have you complete the Export Certification and Review Form located on the GIT export website and it will be submitted by the CO to the Office of Research Integrity Assurance (ORIA) to initiate a review. The Office of Legal Affairs provides export review and assistance to ORIA. The TAA sent in for approval should be acceptable to both parties but should not be signed by either party. Review and approval by DDTC can take six months or more. Once approved, the terms of the TAA may not be modified (including the scope of work identified in the TAA) without review and approval by DDTC. DDTC may approve, reject, amend or cancel any export authorization at any time.

Export of Non-Military (Civilian) Items:

The EAR is intended to serve national security, foreign policy, nonproliferation, crime control, anti-terrorism and short supply interests of the U.S. A review of the EAR for determining export requirements is a very extensive and technical review. EAR license requirements are dependent upon an item's technical characteristics, the destination, the end-use, the end-user, and other activities of the end-user.

If you believe that you may be dealing with a sponsored project involving technology, equipment or materials under the EAR you may initiate a review by submitting a completed Export Certification form found on the export website to the Office of Research Integrity Assurance (ORIA).  ORIA will refer the matter to Legal Affairs for assistance. The following information should be included when completing the certification form: a detailed description of the item or technology, where it is going, who will receive it, what they will do with it, what else it can be used for, and specific information relating to what the particular item will be used for. The descriptions should be sufficiently detailed to faciliate an accurate classification. The Project Director will need to assist ORIA and Legal Affairs with the classification of the technology/item as part of the review process. Based on the information provided, Legal Affairs will determine whether a license is required. If Legal Affairs and the Project Director are unable to determine the classification, a Commodity Classification Request may be submitted to the Commerce Department and/or a Commodity Jurisdiction (CJ) Request may be submitted to the U.S. State Department.  The CJ request process involves the State Department DDTC consulting with the Departments of Commerce, Defense and other agencies to determine the correct export classification for the item.  It generally takes 60-90 days for the Commerce Department and/or the State Department to respond to these requests. Once the item is classified by the Commerce Department, the Office of Legal Affairs will be able to determine whether a license is required.

If a license is required, an application for an export license will be submitted to the Commerce Department. The license approval process may take six months or more.

Public Domain Information:

The export regulations contain an exception for information that is in the public domain. Public Domain information includes information that is published and generally accessible or available to the public through sales at the news stands and bookstores, subscriptions available without restriction, libraries open to the public, patents available at the patent office, and through fundamental research involving general scientific, mathematical, or engineering principles commonly taught in academia. University research will not be considered fundamental research if there are publication restrictions or if the research is funded by the U.S. Government, and specific access and controls are applicable. Thus, many of GT's contracts will be subject to export restrictions. There are other circumstances where, for the purposes of these regulations, GT research projects will not fit the definition of fundamental research or be exempt under the public domain exception. An export review is initiated by submitting a completed Export Certification form found on the export website  to the Office of Research Integrity Assurance.

Legal Affairs will make the determination as to whether the information to be exported is public domain information.

International Shipping

If you plan to ship something internationally, please contact GT Export who will contact Legal Affairs to determine if an export license is required.  If materials are being shipped, the MTA form on the export website must be completed and sent to ORC at export@gatech.edu to begin the export review.  Please note that shipments involving items valued over $2,500.00 require a filing with the U.S. Census Bureau's Automated Export System (AES).  Please see the export website, and click on Shipping Internationally for more information.

International Travel

The policies and procedures relating to the approval of International Travel for Georgia Tech business have been revised to include an export review under certain circumstances. Travelers will now complete four export control questions that have been added to page two of the Travel Authority Request Form.  You must log-in with your GIT user name and password and complete the travel authority electronic form.  If an export review by our office is required, the automated system should notify our office.

An export review must be obtained from the Office of Legal Affairs prior to travel if any questions are answered yes on page two of the Travel Authority Request Form. Prior to international travel, faculty should become aware of applicable export laws, regulations and risks associated with international travel. Additional information is available on the GIT export website.

Plans for international travel should be submitted to the Office of Legal Affairs (via the two-page Travel Authority Request Form) not later than 30 days prior to the desired departure date for travel to a foreign country and 45 days for travel to sensitive countries under travel advisories or involving the shipment of equipment or biological materials. The earlier the proposed travel is reviewed, the greater likelihood of processing reviews without delay. Processing a license can take up to a few months. Thus, if the need for a license is anticipated, request for travel needs to be received well in advance.

Computer Security Travel Tips

The Office of Information Technology has developed a brochure full of travel tips for both domestic and international travel to help ensure your computer and data are secure.

Penalties:  There are severe criminal and civil penalties for failure to comply with export regulations. We encourage you to call us as soon as you know that you will be dealing with a foreign entity. You should also contact the GTRI Office of Research Security prior to such dealings. In the event you become aware that you have provided information to a foreign national that may be controlled by these regulations, contact Legal Affairs immediately.


Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (NACUANOTES:  Vol.15, No. 9 - May 18, 2017)

Export Controls Training Programs:  A Roadmap (NACUANOTES:  Vol 12, No. 2 - March 20, 2014)

Student Conduct Issues During Study Abroad Programming (NACUANOTES:  Vol. 11, No. 5 - January 15, 2013)

Boots on the Ground:  Opening an Office in a Foreign County (NACUANOTES:  Vol. 10, No. 14 - August 1, 2012)