Skip Navigation

U.S. Export Laws and Regulations

export controls website wordmark
OU homepage Export Controls website
Skip Side Navigation

United States Export Laws and Regulations

Currently, there are several federal agencies of the United States government that oversee and monitor export control regulations. The agencies that most commonly affect University activity are the Department of Commerce, the Department of State, and the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). While there may be overlap of each department’s jurisdiction, it is important to be knowledgeable on each agency and its regulations in order to best comply with the United States’ mission for export control.

The U.S. Department of Commerce

The U.S. Department of Commerce serves to protect the economic prosperity of the United States and their responsibility which includes fostering, serving, and promoting the Nation’s economic development and technological advancement. In specific relation to export controls, the Department of Commerce houses the Bureau of Industry and Security. The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) acts as a subsidiary control administration that ultimately aims to advance U.S. security, which includes U.S. homeland security, cyber/internal security, economic security, and overall national security. In addition, the BIS also advances foreign policies and economic objectives by ensuring effective export control and treaty compliance systems while exhibiting continued U.S. strategic technology leadership. BIS established the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) which houses the Commerce Control List (CCL). The CCL is maintained by BIS and includes “dual use” items (i.e., commodities, software, and technology) subject to the export licensing authority of BIS.

The EAR is constantly being updated to reflect current U.S. foreign policy agreements. When you are conducting research and believe it to possibly be controlled or subject to export control regulations, it is important to check the EAR and the CCL. For more information or clarification on these federal export regulations, please contact the Office of Export Controls (OEC).

The U.S. Department of State

The Department of State aims to monitor foreign policies through advocacy, diplomacy, and assistance for all United States persons and their economic safety and prosperity. For export control measures, The Department of State overlooks the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) and with that the International Trade and Arms Regulation (ITAR). The DDTC ensures exports of defense articles and services are protected under national security and foreign policies enacted by the United States.

The ITAR entails the entirety of defense articles and services currently restricted by the DDTC in the U.S. Munitions List (USML) and is updated frequently in accordance to national and foreign governmental policies. Due to this, it is important to continuously be up-to-date with these regulations in their entirety. If questions arise during research, the Office of Export Controls is able to help mitigate compliance issues in order to avoid penalties.

The U.S. Department of Treasury

The Department of Treasury oversees the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) which implements and monitors national trade and economic agreements on the basis of maintaining national security and U.S. foreign policies. OFAC maintains a list of sanctioned individuals, companies, or organizations that are potentially acting against national interest, also called the Foreign Assets Control Regulations (FACR), in order to support compliance with sanctions and embargoes. The FACR is also amended frequently in accordance with newly instated policies from OFAC and other U.S. foreign agreements.

In order to maintain the highest integrity of the University, the research community, and national security measures, the OEC must comply with all set forth regulations and policies by these governmental agencies. Any intentional or unintentional disregard of these enacted forces can result in criminal and civil penalties for both the University and the individual(s) involved. For more information, please review the Penalties and Liability page.