Export Controls

About Export Controls

It is the position of the University of Missouri Office of Research that research conducted by the faculty, staff, and students of the University of Missouri is in the public domain and considered fundamental research, as that term is defined in export control legislation promulgated by the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Department of State. Most University of Missouri research will therefore be exempt from export control licensing requirements. However, where export control regulations are applicable to our research activities, the University requires full compliance with the law.

Federal export control regulations prohibit the export to foreign countries of certain goods, technology, and technical data without an export license issued by the government. These regulations were implemented for reasons of national security, economic and trade protection, and the advancement of foreign policy goals.

The term "export" as used in these regulations includes not only the actual shipping of goods to foreign countries, but also "deemed exports"— the transfer/disclosure in any form (verbal, written, electronic, visual) within the U.S. or abroad of export-controlled items or information to a foreign national (anyone who is not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident). As a result, an export license may be required before export-controlled items or information can be shared abroad or on campus with foreign nationals participating or collaborating in affected research projects. These activities, among others, may be restricted:

  1. The ability of foreign scholars and students to participate in export-controlled research at the University of Missouri;
  2. The ability of University of Missouri investigators to disclose or discuss previously unpublished research at conferences and meetings where foreign nationals are in attendance;
  3. The ability of University of Missouri investigators to engage in collaborations with foreign investigators, including restrictions on teaching foreign collaborators how to use export-controlled items in research (regulated as providing a "service"); or
  4. The ability to send research equipment abroad.

While such restrictions appear at odds with research traditions of open access and dissemination of results, the vast majority of university research is not subject to export controls, qualifying for an exclusion/exemption from the regulations. However, where export control regulations apply, the penalties for non-compliance are severe (up to $1,000,000 per violation and imprisonment up to 10 years) and may be imposed against individual investigators as well as their institutions.