ECR Exclusions

Recognizing the importance of academic freedom and the sharing of research results to the furtherance of knowledge, the federal government provides exceptions to certain licensing rules under EAR and ITAR (not FAC) for qualified research conducted at accredited U.S. institutions of higher education.  License exceptions are provided for:

  • Fundamental Research, which will be defined as basic or applied research in engineering and science where the resulting information is ordinarily published  and shared broadly in the scientific community;
  • Information that is in the Public Domain, meaning the information is published, generally accessible, and available to the public through sales at newsstands and bookstores or unlimited distribution at conferences, meetings, and trade shows, etc., or is fundamental research;
  • Technology for Temporary (‘Laptop’) export where the subject technology is a ‘tool of trade’ for temporary use abroad to conduct fundamental research;
  • Educational information released by instruction in courses listed in course catalogs or through general scientific, mathematical, or engineering principles;
  • Employment of foreign nationals who are bona fide and full time regular employees.

Important!  Although the majority of research conducted at the University of Maine qualifies as fundamental research, neither the fundamental research exclusion nor the public domain exclusion can be invoked for physical goods, software, and encryption; research when there is no intent to publish results; research conducted outside the U.S.; and research involving persons or countries subject to any sanctions.  Likewise, no exclusion can be claimed if the University or the researcher accepts award restrictions regarding the participation of foreign nationals or access to, dissemination of, or publication of resulting research information.

Violations of export control regulations carry potential criminal, civil, and administrative penalties for the University and the individual researcher or staff member.  Penalties can range from fines in the millions of dollars and imprisonment for as much as 30 years, to the revocation or denial of licenses, seizure & forfeiture of goods, and debarment from all government contracting. Don’t Let This Happen to You! (PDF)

It is critical for University researchers, research team members, and support staff to be aware, and understand the implications of export controls for University activities; be sufficiently schooled in the regulations to recognize potential export control issues; and contact the Export Control Officer immediately when an export control concern arises.

Up Next: Export Compliance Checklist