Export Controls Overview

Russia/Ukraine Update: Export sanctions are changing rapidly due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. If any of your work involves Russia, Belarus, or Ukraine, or the other comprehensively sanctioned countries (Iran, Cuba, North Korea, Syria), contact the ORCI to discuss your planned activities before conducting them. The U.S. government has very strict regulations in place for these countries, and an export license is usually required to conduct work/transactions with individuals in these countries, even if no monetary exchange is involved.

The United States Government controls exports of sensitive equipment, software and technology as a means to promote our nation's security interests and foreign policy objectives. Through the export control system, the U.S. government can effectively provide for national security by limiting access to the most sensitive U.S. technology and weapons; promote regional stability; consider human rights; prevent the proliferation of weapons and technologies, including weapons of mass destruction, to end users and supporters of international terrorism; and comply with international commitments including the UN Security Council. These web pages have been designed to provide faculty, students, and staff with access to resources to assist University personnel in keeping compliant with federal laws and guidelines.  

Export controls is a responsibility of the Office of Research Compliance and Integrity (ORCI) at Grand Valley State University. The ORCI has developed guidelines based on federal regulations and compliance. The Vice Provost of Research Administration serves as the University's Empowered Official. 


Please also see below for more information regarding:


If you have any questions regarding export controls please contact our office (049 James H. Zumberge Hall) at (616) 331-3197 or [email protected].

Export Control Policies for university employees

Export Control Policies, Procedures, and Guidance

Export controls present unique challenges to universities and colleges because they require balancing concerns about US economic vitality and national security with traditional concepts of academic freedom and dissemination of research results. University personnel need to be aware that export control laws and regulations may apply to their research and creative practice, whether sponsored or not.


GVSU has developed policies, procedures, and guidance related to export controls at GVSU. Information can be found on these webpages and in the documents listed below:

GVSU Export Control Policy

GVSU Export Compliance Program Handbook

Guidance Document G-1: Export Control Responsibilities of Faculty and Staff Members

Guidance Document G-2: Export Control Responsibilities by Role/Unit

University Activities and Technology Control Plans

Federal laws govern how items, technology, and data may be exported from the United States or shared with foreign persons within the United States. Export control concerns can sometimes arise as part of research activities. It is therefore important that the Office of Research Compliance and Integrity is aware of the types of research projects in which GVSU faculty are engaged. 

There are certain red flags in research and university activities that might trigger additional export control concerns. If your research involves any of these flagged activities, please contact the ORCI to discuss your situation ([email protected]).

If export controlled assets are identified in your research, it may be necessary to develop a Technology Control Plan (TCP). TCPs assist GVSU personnel in protecting and complying with government controls regarding their University activities involving software, data or materials that are subject to U.S. export regulations. The Office of Research Compliance and Integrity will determine if your activity requires a TCP. If one is required, the ORCI will provide you with the appropriate form and work with you to ensure completion of the plan. The TCP must be in place prior to beginning the activity.

Contracts and Service Agreements

The federal export control laws cover a wide range of equipment, information, and data. It can sometimes be difficult to determine when such items are subject to the federal regulations and how they should be handled. Therefore, it is critical that contracts and agreements entered into on behalf of the University include export control clauses, so that the University can be notified in advance of receiving these items to ensure proper protections are in place.


Standard export control language has been developed for the following types of contracts/agreements:

  • Non-Disclosure Agreements
  • Material Transfer Agreements
  • Data Use Agreements
  • Testing Agreements
  • Research Collaboration Agreements
  • Service Agreements
  • Lease Agreements
  • Procurement Agreements


Please visit the Technology Control Office website for templates of these forms (except Lease Agreements and Procurement Agreements), which includes the appropriate export control language to use in the agreements. For export control language to use for Lease Agreements and Procurement Agreements, please contact the Office of Research Compliance and Integrity directly at [email protected].

International Travel & Shipping

When you travel or ship from the United States to another country, everything you take and/or send is termed an “export.” The U.S. federal Export Administration Regulations (EAR), International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) each have a list of embargoed/prohibited/sanctioned countries and prohibited parties that restrict imports and exports to certain destinations without a federal export control license.


  • Embargo sanctions (Crimea - Region of Ukraine, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria) prohibit ALL transactions (including imports and exports) without a license authorization.
  • Targeted sanctions prohibit certain exports of items, data and/or software without a license authorization.


If you are traveling on behalf of the University to any of the embargoed or sanctioned countries identified below, you are responsible for notifying the GVSU Office of Research Compliance and Integrity (ORCI) at least 30 days prior to departure. If you are taking or shipping anything on behalf of the University to any of the countries listed below, you must obtain pre-approval from the ORCI prior to the item leaving the U.S. The ORCI will determine if an export license is needed. Please contact our office at [email protected] or (616) 331-3197.


Note for most destinations and technologies, a license will likely not be needed. However, electronic devices (i.e., laptops, tablets, PDA, flash drives, and research items) and other technology items can be distinctively different and may require a license by EAR, depending upon the specific make/model of the equipment, your destination, etc. If a license is required, it can often take several months to obtain, so you are encouraged to contact our office as early as possible.


Electronic Export Information (EEI) Filings: The U.S. Census Bureau requires an Electronic Export Information (EEI) filing for the shipment of certain goods to foreign locations. As described below, there are additional EEI requirements for the shipment/hand-carrying of items to China, Russia, and Venezuela. An EEI is filed through the Census Bureau's Automated Export System (ACE AESDirect). Filing is required at least 2 hours prior to departure, unless the item is ITAR-controlled, in which case filing is required 8 hours prior to departure. 

EEI filings are required for any foreign destination if any of the following apply:

  • Shipment of a single item or merchandise valued at more than $2500 (except if shipment is to Canada).
  • The shipment contains any item, regardless of value, that requires an export license or permit.
  • Any item subject to the ITAR, regardless of value.
  • Shipment of self-propelled vehicles.
  • The shipment contains "600 series" items on the Commerce Control List.
  • Exports falling under the Strategic Trade Authorization (STA) license exception.
  • Shipments containing rough diamonds, regardless of value.


Additionally, EEIs are required for the following when the shipment or hand-carry export of items is destined for China, Russia, Venezuela:

  • Shipments, regardless of value or content, intended for military end-use.
  • Shipments of all ECCN items listed on the Commerce Control List, regardless of value or whether an export license is required for the item. NOTE: This includes laptops and cell phones. If you are hand-carrying these items to China, Russia, or Venezuela, federal regulations currently require that you complete an EEI filing.  


For shipments, most couriers can file an EEI on your behalf when processing the shipment. (Be sure to save a copy of the filing for a minimum of five years after the shipment.) If you require an EEI for hand-carried shipments and/or licensed exports, please contact the Office of Research Compliance and Integrity for assistance if necessary. Please contact the ORCI at least five business days before sending international packages that require an EEI and at least 10 business days prior to departing the US with GVSU-owned items to China, Russia, or Venezuela. ORCI will review the EEI filing requirements and help ensure the EEI filing is completed by the required deadline, as well as determine if an export license is required.  

Clean Laptop Program

GVSU IT has "clean" loaner laptops available for GVSU travelers. Please visit the Safe Compute Program website for more details and to request a laptop.

International Collaborations

The Export Administration Regulations (EAR), the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Regulations collectively limit what activities U.S. citizens and residents are allowed to participate in with individuals of certain foreign countries. These limitations are dependent upon the country in question and the activities being performed. For some countries, these limitations include not only conducting activities within the foreign country, but also include conducting activities with individuals originating from those countries, even if the individual is located outside of the country in question. Refer to the table of embargoed/sanctioned/prohibited countries below for specific countries affected by these restrictions. If you have questions about research or other activities you are planning to perform related to any of these countries, please contact the ORCI prior to engaging in the activity ([email protected]; (616) 331-3197).

The penalties for engaging in restricted activities without the proper export control license can be severe, and individuals can be held personally liable. Both individuals and the University can face criminal and civil penalties if export control violations occur.

Embargoed/Sanctioned/Prohibited Countries & Regions

Export Administration Regulations (EAR)

International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)

Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

Embargoed countries: Cuba, Iran, Syria

Prohibited countries: Belarus, Burma, Cuba, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela

U.N. Arms Embargoed countries: Central African Republic, Congo, Eritrea, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan

Embargoed / Comprehensive sanctioned countries: 
Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine (Crimea, Donetsk, Luhansk, and other covered regions)

Targeted sanctions countries: Belarus, Iraq, North Korea, Russia, Ukraine (Crimea, Donetsk, Luhansk, and other covered regions)

Special policy: Afghanistan, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Congo, Cyprus, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Russia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, South Sudan, Sudan, Vietnam, Zimbabwe

Targeted sanctioned countries/regions/entities: Afghanistan, Balkans (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia/North Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo region), Belarus, Burma, Central African Republic, Congo, Ethiopia, Hong Kong, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Nicaragua, Russia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Russia, Venezuela, Yemen, Zimbabwe

Military End-Use/End-User licensing requirements: China


Prohibited Parties: Denied Parties List, Entity List, Unverified List

Prohibited Parties: Debarred List, Munitions E.C. Order

Prohibited Parties: Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN)

Proliferation activities

Other Red Flags*

Proliferation activities

Other Red Flags*

Other Red Flags*

This table is current as of 5/21/2024.

*Red flags: The U.S. export regulations prohibit proceeding with any transaction if the exporter detects something suspicious or indicates an illegal activity might occur. In such cases, the exporter is required to investigate and clear the red flags before proceeding. Please see this list of reg flags from the Bureau of Industry and Security for more information.

Restricted Parties

U.S. governmental agencies maintain lists of individuals and entities that are barred or restricted from entering into certain types of transactions with U.S. persons and entities. These lists include specially designated nationals, and individuals and businesses that have been debarred by the Department of State or restricted by the Department of Commerce because of previous violations of the regulations. The penalties for transferring or transacting with an individual or entity on these lists can be severe. GVSU policy states that University business cannot be conducted with any individual or entity on a prohibited party list published by the Departments of Commerce, State, or the Treasury. More information about these lists is available here.


The Office of Research Compliance and Integrity has a software system that can easily search if an individual or entity is on one of these lists. Please contact our office ([email protected]; (616) 331-3197) if you are seeking to engage in any of the following transactions on behalf of the University, and ORCI staff will conduct a screening on your behalf:

  • International collaborations/exchanges
  • International shipments
  • International visitors

Export Control Training

The following individuals are required to complete export control training every two years:

  • All unit heads of academic departments
  • Unit heads of other selected units as determined by the University’s Empowered Official
  • Deans/Associate Deans/Assistant Deans/Appointing Officers who review/sign contracts and agreements, review research, and/or approve FARs and FAPs
  • Other individuals who are likely to review/approve/oversee activities potentially subject to export controls, as determined by the University’s Empowered Official
  • Export Control Advisory Committee members
  • Personnel engaged in work governed by an active Technology Control Plan (TCP)


The required export control training is provided through the University's online compliance training platform, CITI. This training takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. Click here for instructions to access the export control training.

The Office of Research Compliance and Integrity also offers training tailored specifically to your activities/unit. If you are interested in additional training or guidance regarding possible export control regulations affecting your activities, please contact the ORCI at [email protected] or (616) 331-3197.

Page last modified June 26, 2024