International Shipping

University personnel who engage in international shipping are responsible for ensuring compliance with US export control laws. Violations of export control laws and regulations may result in substantial individual and institutional civil and criminal penalties. The Office of Export Controls (OEC) will provide support for any University export; inadvertent violations made by personnel acting under the direction of OEC would generally be considered institutional violations and would be extremely unlikely to result in individual penalties. University personnel who choose to conduct exports without consulting OEC may be held personally liable for violations.

University policy (FIN-043) requires that all University employees, trainees, and students seek "assistance from the Office of Export Controls prior to performing any export, including deemed exports, of technology or goods." The OEC will work with the exporter to obtain the export control status of the item(s) from the manufacturer; perform an internal technology assessment, resulting in a self-determination; or request a formal determination from BIS or DDTC, as appropriate.

Once the export control status of the item(s) has been established, OEC will determine any specific licensing requirements; evaluate possible license exceptions or exemptions; submit a request for export authorization, if necessary; and instruct the exporter on any requirements. Should an individual choose to export without consulting OEC they are personally liable and responsible for assuring compliance with all export control requirements identified in the Step-by-Step Instructions for Exporters.

Note 1: These requirements apply to acquired items (hardware, materials or software) for use in the conduct of research, teaching or service activities as well as items created in the course of fundamental or restricted research.

Note 2: Export restrictions apply to transfers of information (technology or technical data) when it is proprietary information, is restricted access government information (e.g., FOUO, SBU, CTI, or CUI), is research data subject to publication/dissemination restrictions, is being provided as part of a defense service (whether or not the information is publicly available), or when the information is not published and is being exported to a sanctioned country.

Exports from the US are Imports to the Receiving Country

It's important to remember that there are (at least) two countries involved in every US physical export (international shipment) and you must comply with the legal requirements of each country. The OEC cannot and does not know the import laws of other countries, so your best bet is to work closely with the foreign recipient and/or the shipping or freight forwarding company you are using to ensure you comply with all applicable import requirements.  The International Trade Administration's Country Commercial Guides are an excellent source for information on the import requirements of other countries.  Also, exports from and imports to the United States of hazardous materials require the review and approval of Environment Health and Safety.

OEC Export Assessment Review

The review conducted by OEC prior to authorizing any export includes establishing the export control status (jurisdiction and categorization) of the items to be shipped; determining the eligibility of the recipient to receive US exports; ensuring that the end use is allowable; and determining what license or other authorization, if any, is required for the shipment.

The critical first step in the assessment process is to determine which export regulation, EAR or ITAR, applies (jurisdiction). When doubt exists as to the correct jurisdiction after the internal assessment is completed the OEC will request a Commodity Jurisdiction from DDTC to confirm the self-determination. The second step in the assessment process is to determine the applicable control category (e.g. USML category number or Export Control Classification Number on the CCL). When doubt exists regarding the correct classification of an item or technology OEC shall confirm the self-determination by requesting either a Commodity Jurisdiction from DDTC, for defense articles; or a Commodity Classification from BIS, for non-defense articles. For items acquired by the university (procurements, loans, etc.) OEC will attempt to obtain the export control status from the supplier or manufacturer.

Items and technical data, not including the results of fundamental research, which are developed specifically for a military use will be treated as ITAR until designated as subject to the EAR by DDTC (i.e. in response to a Commodity Jurisdiction request). The results of unrestricted fundamental research, whether or not externally sponsored, will not be subjected to a technology assessment until one of the following occurs:

  • there is a need to physically export an item developed by UVA in the conduct of fundamental research; or
  • the UVA Licensing and Ventures Group (UVALVG), a.k.a. the UVA Patent Foundation, determines there is commercialization potential and directs that the invention (item and associated technical data) or innovative technology be protected as proprietary or trade secret.

Although created solely to benefit the University of Virginia, the UVALVG is a separate legal entity and as such is not subject to University export control policy or procedures, including this manual. However, OEC works with the UVALVG to perform technology assessments and ensure that any items and technology disclosed to and accepted by the UVALVG but retained by the University for the purpose of continuing use or development are appropriately marked and controlled. As a separate legal entity, the UVALVG is responsible for performing its own restricted party screenings, making its own export licensing decisions, and obtaining any necessary export authorizations prior to exporting UVA developed items, technical data, or technology to foreign persons.

Record Retention

The University’s policy is to maintain export‐related records on a project basis. Unless otherwise provided for, all records indicated herein shall be maintained consistent with the University record retention policy, and shall be retained for no less than five years after the project’s TCP termination date, last date of export, license termination date, or other time‐point identified in the applicable regulations. Should a discrepancy exist between the University’s retention policy and an applicable export regulation, documents will be retained for the longer period. For record retention requirements for a specific export control related document please contact OEC at