Export Controls Manual

Export controls and trade sanctions are the United States laws and regulations that regulate and restrict the release of critical technologies, software, equipment, chemical, biological materials and other materials, and services to foreign nationals and foreign countries for reasons of foreign policy and national security.

These laws apply to virtually all fields of science and engineering and restrict the shipment, transmission or transfer of certain commodities, software, technology and services from the U.S. to foreign countries. Deemed exports, i.e. the release of controlled information to foreign
nationals, even if located in the U.S., are also restricted under these laws and regulations.

Export control laws apply to all activities – not just sponsored research projects.

What is an export?

An export is:

  • Shipment of a controlled commodity, equipment, material, or software outside of the U.S.
  • Disclosing controlled technology or technical data to a foreign national, whether in the U.S. or abroad. (Such exports are considered to be a “deemed” export to the foreign national’s home country.)
  • Performing technical assistance or defense services for or on behalf of a foreign national, whether in the U.S. or abroad

The following high risk disciplines have been designated for particular focus for export control compliance at LSU: Engineering (including Physics), Space Sciences, Research with Lasers, Research with Encrypted Software, and Research with Controlled Chemicals, Biological Agents, and Toxins.

Key Factors

The following are factors to consider in determining the applicability of export regulations:

  1. Is the activity considered fundamental research? (Will research results be published and publicly available?)
  2. Is the activity limited to teaching or instructional activities?
  3. Is there a physical export of a good?
  4. Are foreign nationals restricted from participating in the activity?
  5. What is the Item’s Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) or U.S. Munitions List (USML) category?
  6. Where is it going (country)?
  7. Who is the end-user (person or entity)? What is the intended end use?
  8. Are you screening for persons or entities identified on any lists of sanctioned or barred persons or entities? 
  9. Is a license required? If so, is enough time allowed to secure one?
  10. Will the activity involve a sanctioned or embargoed country?


These guidelines outline processes for members of the LSU community to follow to ensure that LSU is in compliance with all export control laws and trade sanctions.