Texas Tech University

Export and Security Compliance

Research and Export Controls
Foreign Collaborations
International Travel
International visitors

Texas Tech University faculty, staff, and students are likely to intersect with federal regulations imposing restrictions on access, dissemination, or participation, when transferring items and information.

Texas Tech is committed to complying with all U.S. export control laws and regulations having been implemented for reasons of national security, foreign policy, anti-terrorism, or non-proliferation.

Violations of export control laws and regulations can result in significant civil and criminal penalties for Texas Tech and for individual researchers involved.

What are Export Controls?

Export Controls are federal laws that regulate how technology is exchanged from the U.S. to foreign countries, persons, or entities. Export controls can affect international shipping or travel, Information technology (IT), laptops & software, personnel working on your projects, and more. Exports refer to both the physical transfer of a commodity out of the country as well as the transfer, release, or disclosure to foreign persons in the United States of "technical data" or "technology" about controlled commodities.


The Texas Tech OP 74.10 establishes policies for federal laws and regulations governing the export of information, products, and technology. Texas Tech adheres to multiple federal agencies' export controls regulations. The three main regulations are:

  1. International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) from the U.S. Department of State (Directorate of Defense Trade Controls) which covers items and services related to military/defense applications, including spacecraft and satellites.
  2. Export Administration Regulations (EAR) from the U.S. Department of Commerce (Bureau of Industry and Security) which covers "dual use" civilian/military items and technology.
  3. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, which covers restrictions due to foreign trade embargoes and economic sanctions.

How Do Export Controls Apply to Me?

Most campus activities will not be subject to export controls or licensing requirements, as they will fall under one of the following common exclusions : fundamental research exclusion, publicly available or public domain information, or education exclusion. However, your research may be subject to export controls if:

  • The topic of the research, or physical items, technology, or data used in the research are identified on U.S. export control lists (ITAR, EAR, or OFAC)
  • The work involves foreign nationals from countries that are sanctioned by the U.S.
  • A research agreement limits publication of results or participation in the design, conduct, or reporting of the research based on citizenship.

Please contact the Office of Export and Security Compliance if any of the following scenarios apply to your activity:

  • Restricted Research (e.g. nationality, publication) that may require a Technology Control Plan to be implemented.
  • Shipping or transferring physical items abroad
  • Traveling outside the U.S. with Texas Tech-owned property (e.g. laptop, cell phone, PDA, flash drive)
  • Traveling to foreign countries subject to embargo or trade sanctions
  • You plan to disclose, ship, transmit, or transfer any technology or software that is not "publicly available."
  • You plan to disclose, ship, transmit, or transfer any item, information or software that will be used to support military training of any foreign units or forces, regular or irregular.
  • You plan to disclose, ship, transmit, or transfer any "defense article," or any item, information or software that has been designed, developed, configured, adapted, or modified for military or intelligence applications.
  • Signing a non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement that may not be export control-compliant.
  • You enter into any type of agreement, engagement or relationship with a foreign entity or person that requires a restricted party screening. This includes hosting, collaborating, or working with non-U.S. persons on-campus, online, and abroad.
  • You are hosting a visitor or hiring a foreign national to work at Texas Tech.
  • You have a purchase request from a foreign vendor, enter into an agreement of any kind with a foreign person or entity, or if you sign an NDA with a foreign entity, please request a restricted party screening here.

Exclusions & Exemptions

The export controls regulations have a variety of exclusions and exemptions. For universities, the most pertinent is the Fundamental Research Exclusion (FRE) as identified in the National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) 189. This directive defines fundamental research and declares that federally sponsored university research should be unimpeded by export controls unless there are legitimate national security concerns at stake.


  • Basic and applied research in the sciences and engineering
  • Research conducted at an accredited institute of higher learning within the U.S.
  • Research in which:
    • The results will be maintained in the “public domain” (i.e., information which is generally available or accessible to the general public via any media or form)
    • There are no contractual clauses or informal agreements to restrict the dissemination of results
    • There are no restrictions on who can participate in the research

Fundamental research status is not affected when a sponsor of Texas Tech research requires prepublication review of research results or a temporary delay in publication to ensure that the publication would not:

  • Inadvertently divulge proprietary information that the sponsor has furnished, or
  • Compromise patent rights

Fines & Sanctions

Criminal Penalties (for willful violation): may result in the institution paying a fine of up to $1,000,000 or five times the value of the exports (whichever is greater) for each violation; and the individual may be fined up to $300,000 or be imprisoned for up to twenty years, or both, for each violation.

Criminal Penalties (for knowing violation): may result in the institution paying a fine of up to the greater of $50,000 or five times the value of the exports for each violation; and the individual may be fined up to the greater of $50,000 or five times the value of the exports or be imprisoned for up to five years, or both, for each violation.

Civil Penalties: include $12,000 for each violation or $120,000 for each violation for items involving national security or up to $311,562 for each violation involving sanction programs under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA); suspension or debarment from government contracts; seizure or forfeiture of the item; and/or revocation of export privileges.

Additionally, for each violation, any or all of the following sanctions may be imposed:

  • The denial of export privileges; and/or
  • The exclusion from exporting practice; and/or
  • Loss of federal funds; and/or
  • Seizure/Forfeiture of goods.

Office of Export & Security Compliance