Export Controls

Export Controls are a set of regulations derived from international treaties and Federal policies designed to limit military and sensitive technology transfer outside the U.S. while also furthering national foreign policy goals. Export Controls cover technology, items having both a military and commercial application, and emerging technology areas of concern, as well as country-specific and list-based sanctions covering financial transactions and services.

The Office of International Programs & Services provides resources and compliance services to help the Millersville University community understand and address export control risks. Export controls regulate the following:

  • On-campus research with foreign nationals
  • International travel
  • International shipping
  • Hosting foreign visitors
  • Procurement
  • Information technology
  • Working with restricted or sanctioned entities

PASSHE Compliance

With extensive input from universities, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education developed procedures for compliance with 1) Export Administration Regulations implemented by the Department of Commerce, 2) International Traffic in Arms Regulations implemented by the Department of State and 3) Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control economic and trade sanctions which protect foreign policy and national security goals. Procedure/Standard 2012-14-A provides procedures as well as supplemental information for the universities to assist in compliance with these laws.

For more information contact International@millersville.edu


    An export is any oral, written, electronic, or visual disclosure, shipment, transfer, or transmission of commodities, technology, information, technical data, assistance, or software codes to:

    • Anyone outside the U.S., including a U.S. citizen
    • A non-U.S. individual wherever they are (deemed export)
    • A foreign embassy or affiliate

    Export control regulations are federal laws that prohibit the unlicensed export of certain commodities or information for reasons of national security or protections of trade. Export controls usually arise for one or more of the following reasons:

    • The nature of the export has actual or potential military applications or economic protection issues.
    • Government concerns about the destination country, organization, or individual.
    • Government concerns about the declared or suspected end use or the end user of the export.

    Three primary agencies oversee export controls within the U.S.: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureasu of Industry and Security (BIS), U.S. Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), and U.S. Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). 

    These agency regulations can affect day-to-day activities within your institution. The agencies have provided some examples below:

    • Taking a laptop or other electronic device to a restricted country
    • Showing an foreign student how to operate a high energy laser
    • Accepted research clauses that prohibit foreign person participation or publication or dissemination of certain research
    • Working remotely from an embargoed country

    Many of the devices we use in our day-to-day activities contain encryption technology. Many institutions have anti-virus software installed on all institution-owned devices or other software with encryption capabilities in order to comply with other internal policies or federal regulations, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Regardless of the reasons why such software is on the device, importing this technology may be restricted or prohibited by either the U.S. or the country for which the technology is being imported into.

    If your travel takes you to destinations such as Vietnam, Tunisia, South Korea, Poland, Morocco, Israel, or Egypt you may be required to obtain approval to import certain technology from that country's government prior to arriving. While the countries listed here is not inclusive, all travelers should verify any restrictions with exporting, as well as importing, the encryption technology on their institution-owned or personally-owned devices that are used for business purposes for their proposed destinations.


    Jail sentences have been mandated for faculty and staff who break compliance rules in spending grant dollars and who transgress export controls. For example, a jury convicted a Tennessee professor of illegally exporting information to foreign countries via his graduate students and his trip to a foreign country and sentenced him in July 2009 to four years in federal prison.

    Criminal penalties can reach 20 years imprisonment and $1,000,000 USD per violation. Administrative monetary penalties can reach $11,000 USD per violation, and $120,000 USD per violation in cases involving items controlled for national security reasons.