Texas Tech University

Common Export Control Myths


Due to the complex and continually changing nature of export control regulations it has become increasingly difficult to determine if and when export controls apply. The examples below illustrate some of the most common misunderstandings. Following each is a brief explanation of the problems involved.

Myth: I work at a University. Everything I do is fundamental research and therefore not subject to export controls.

Explanation: While most work at Texas Tech University is not subject to export controls, the possibility of requiring access to or producing export-controlled information exists. Recent enforcement actions indicate that it is no longer safe to assume that all work performed at a university is fundamental research.

Myth: My sponsor is an agency of the federal government. That means that export controls won't apply to my research.

Explanation: Everyone is required to comply with export controls. Sponsorship of university operations/functions by any agency of the U.S. government does not mitigate, supersede or remove the university's responsibility to adhere to U.S. export control laws.

Myth: I have a foreign national working on my research project who is a graduate student. I've heard that there's an exception to all license requirements for foreign national graduate students.

Explanation: No such exception exists. There are certain specific license exceptions but there is no blanket exception for graduate students or post docs.

Myth: I'm shipping my equipment to Canada. There shouldn't be an export license requirement for that.

Explanation: Export license requirements exist for every country in the world, including Canada.

Myth: I'm sending my equipment internationally through a freight forwarder. I don't have to worry about export licenses because they'll take care of all of that.

Explanation: Contracting with a freight forwarder or courier does not alleviate your responsibilities under export controls law. Even though a freight forwarder or courier is involved, you are the exporter of record. This means that you are still responsible for ensuring that the export will not violate any export control regulations.

*Used with permission of the University of Oklahoma Office of Export Control