System Export Control​ Program

The South Dakota Board of Regents and its institutions strongly advocate for the exchange of research and technology in accordance with the national security and nonproliferation objectives of the United States. Export control laws and regulations are in place to safeguard the economic vitality of the country, prevent illegal activities, and ensure national security. These regulations have a broad impact on various university functions, including human resources, student affairs, international affairs, purchasing and procurement, international travel, information technologies, technology transfer, and research. Although most activities at the governed institutions are exempt from U.S. export control regulations, the Board recognizes their significance and is dedicated to ensuring full compliance.
The System Export Control Office is committed to providing the necessary information, training, and expertise to ensure compliance with U.S. export control regulations.

​​​Frequently Asked Questions​​​​​

“Export controls” refer to a group of U.S. laws and regulations that govern the transfer of controlled items or information to foreign nationals or foreign entities. Most applicable to university purposes are the International Traffic in Arms (ITAR– see 22 CFR §§120-130) and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR, see 15 CFR §§ 700-799)

Each individual is responsible and held accountable for exporting items or information, within or outside of the U.S. Penalties for non-compliance are severe and can result in monetary fines, jail time, as well as termination.

An export occurs whenever any item (i.e., any commodity, software, technology, or equipment) or information is sent from the U.S. to a foreign destination or provided to a foreign national here or abroad. The manner in which the transfer or release of the item or information occurs does not matter. Some examples of export activities include: the shipment of items, written or oral communications, hand-carrying items when traveling, providing access to or visual inspection of equipment or facilities, and providing professional services.

A deemed export refers to the release or transmission of information or technology to foreign nationals in the U.S. or abroad, which includes students, post-docs, faculty, visiting scientists, or training fellows physically present on campus. A deemed export is treated as an export to that person’s home country regardless of where the individual is located when the information or technology is obtained.

Technology is considered “released” when it is available to foreign nationals for visual inspection (such as reading technical specifications, plans, blueprints, etc.); when technology is exchanged orally; or when technology is made available by practice or application under the guidance of persons with knowledge of the technology.

A foreign national is any person who is not a lawful citizen or permanent resident of the United States or who has not been granted “protected person” status. The term also applies to foreign entities.

Information concerning general scientific, mathematical, or engineering principles commonly taught in schools, colleges, and universities, as listed in course catalogs or part of established teaching laboratory curricula, is not subject to export control.

Exceptions to that general rule pertain to high-level encryption software and access to and instruction related to ITAR-controlled defense articles as part of a university course if foreign nationals are involved. Such activities may require a license. Even if no foreign nationals are associated with the class, it is important that all faculty, staff, and students associated with the class understand the applicable export controls in order to prevent inadvertent violations.

Depending on the topic, workshops and classes other than catalog-listed courses, for example, those developed for a specific audience, interest group, departmental seminar, government agency, or a private company, may be subject to export controls. It is the responsibility of the instructor or presenter to ensure that their presentation doesn’t violate U.S. export controls by disclosing controlled technology of technical data or providing a defense service to a foreign person(s) without the appropriate license or other government approvals. Additionally, there may be instances where students from sanctioned countries may require a license to participate fully in classes where general OFAC licenses do not cover access to required course materials.

​While it is important that everyone is cognizant of the export control implications associated with their work, the following areas are considered higher risk than most:

  • Engineering
  • Military, Defense, or Space research
  • Computer science
  • Biomedical research (Select Agent/Toxin List)
  • Research involving encrypted software
  • Research involving controlled chemicals, biological agents, and toxins
  • Shipping equipment to a foreign country
  • Collaborating with foreign colleagues in foreign countries
  • Hosting foreign visitors on campus
  • Exposing foreign nationals to research labs
  • Training of students (foreign nationals on research protocols or equipment)
  • Working with a foreign country subject to the U.S. embargo
  • Sponsor approval rights over a publication
  • Sponsor limit on participation of foreign students
  • Hiring a foreign national
  • Traveling overseas to attend a conference
  • ​Whenever you have any export control concerns, questions, or issues.
  • Equipment, software, samples, or technical data will be temporarily or permanently exported from the U.S.
  • You will be working with prototypes, software, samples, or technical data, particularly if supplied by the sponsor or third party.
  • ITAR-controlled equipment, software, samples, or technical data may be used or generated in the conduct of the proposed activity.
  • Any work or communication with an individual from or entities affiliated with North Korea, Iran, Cuba, Syria, or Sudan.
  • Any party, such as an individual, company, or other organization, to the proposal, award, or other agreements of a foreign military or a party acting on behalf of a foreign military.
  • A sponsor, collaborator, or other party asks you to exclude or restrict the participation of foreign nationals; tells you that the information, materials, software, equipment, etc., are subject to export controls; requests you not publish or discuss your results without prior approval. We are happy to review agreements with you if you have questions about restrictions.
  • When the results of research or development have an obvious military use or purpose.

Technology Control Plan

A Technology Control Plan (TCP) is a document that formalizes the processes and procedures used by university personnel to control access to and release of export-controlled items, information, materials, etc. in accordance with federal export regulations. The Office of Export Controls has developed a template TCP, which should be modified and tailored to comply with the specific regulatory requirements and to accommodate the particular project or program.

A TCP is appropriate if:

  • A project or activity involves the receipt of Sensitive Unclassified Information (SUI) from an outside party or sponsor under a nondisclosure agreement or sponsored research agreement;
  • A project or activity is not considered Fundamental Research or
  • A project or activity involves technology or software associated with export-controlled equipment.
TCPs should be completed and approved prior to handling export-controlled information associated with a research project, which may be prior to the project start date.

A TCP generally includes:

  • A statement of institutional commitment to export control compliance;
  • Identification of the relevant export control categories and controlled technologies;
  • Identification of the project’s sponsor(s);
  • A description of physical security measures;
  • A description of information security measures;
  • Personnel requirements and
  • Administrative elements (i.e., inspections, training, recordkeeping, etc.)

The physical and information security measures necessary to prevent unauthorized access and export must be included in the TCP. Examples of security measures include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Restricted Access/Compartmentalization: The project may be limited to laboratory areas with restricted access/observation by unauthorized individuals. Such areas must remain secured at all times when subject items or information are in use.
  • Marking: Clearly mark all export-controlled information/items.
  • Personnel Identification: Identify individuals who will access the controlled areas and the approval, process, and documentation required before any visitors are allowed in the controlled area.
  • Secure Storage: Provide adequate safeguards to ensure tangible items, electronics, technology, and electronic data are securely stored.
  • Training: All project personnel should be trained on the TCP and project-specific export control areas.

It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator or program leader to develop, maintain, and enforce compliance with the terms of the TCP. The Office of Export Controls will assist with development and determine whether or not it is sufficient to adequately protect the subject items and information from unauthorized access and export.

The completed TCP should be sent to the System Export Control Officer for review and comment BEFORE collecting the required signatures on the TCP. Once the System Export Control Officer has approved the safeguards and confirmed the eligibility of the identified users, the PI will be notified. At that point, the PI will need to distribute the TCP to the authorized users and have them sign the TCP. Once all of the user signatures have been obtained, a copy of the executed TCP should be provided to the System Export Control Officer.

Contact the Office of Export Controls if you have any questions regarding TCPs or Export Controls in general.

International Travel

​Faculty, researchers, and staff frequently travel abroad to further university research, education, service, or employment. While most international travel does not cause any export control issues, there are travel scenarios that cause concern and require additional planning, approval, accommodations, etc., to maintain export control compliance. To assist in determining what export control implications may apply to your upcoming travel, it is recommended that you complete the International Travel Form and submit it to your campus export control contact as far in advance as possible, but preferably at least (15) business days before departure. Individual campuses are free to tailor their own forms and processes for international travel as long as it is compliant with BOR policy.

Before traveling to a foreign destination, there are three basic questions university personnel need to consider when determining if export controls apply to their travel.