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What Kinds of Items are Export Controlled?

What Kind of Tangible Items, Source Code and Information Are Export Controlled?

The U.S. Government, either alone or through agreements with other countries, has decided that access to certain items should be restricted because of how certain countries or their citizens might use them.  Those items are listed in bodies of regulation, such as on the Export Administration Regulations’ Commerce Control List and on the International Traffic in Arms Regulations’ U.S. Munitions List.  Some items are intrinsically harmful, such as certain pathogens or munitions, and other items have the potential for harmful applications, such as advanced encryption hardware/software that terrorists could use to plan operations without detection.

Areas of Inquiry Often Associated with Export Controlled Items

It is not always easy to identify what is export controlled, so nothing can replace searching the regulations for references to the subject matter with which you are working.  However, here are some examples of areas of research that seem to more often include items that are export controlled:

  • Chemical, Biotechnology and Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Technology
  • Remote Sensing, Imaging and Reconnaissance
  • Navigation, Avionics and Flight Control
  • Robotics
  • Propulsion System and Unmanned Air Vehicle Subsystems
  • Telecommunications/Networking
  • Nuclear Technology
  • Sensors and Sensor Technology
  • Advanced Computer/Microelectronic Technology
  • Information Security/Encryption
  • Laser and Directed Energy Systems
  • Rocket Systems
  • Marine Technology

Screening Your Subject Matter against “The Lists”

Our Agencies page provides a list of relevant Governmental bodies and related to links to help determine whether your subject matter falls within their purview.

Keep in Mind that Anything can Be Controlled when Embargoes/Sanctions Apply

Some fall into the trap of believing that, so long as the tangible items, source code, or information that they plan on sending to another country cannot conceivably be used for a military application, they are free to send those items.

It is important to remember that embargoes/sanctions required by the U.S., such as those enforced by the OFAC, are more focused upon limiting transactions in general than on transactions in certain items.

Contact

Johns Hopkins University
Research Administration

1101 E. 33rd Street, B001
Baltimore, MD 21218

(443) 927-3073
Email: jhura@jhu.eduSend an email to jhura@jhu.edu

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