Export Controls: Process and Procedures
The University has developed a process to ensure that University activities are conducted in compliance with export control regulations. This process involves:
- Screening grants, contracts, travel, purchasing, shipping, consulting, and other activities in which export controls are most likely to arise
- Conducting a thorough review of incoming and outgoing contracts and agreements to determine whether and how a particular project may be affected by export control regulations
- Educating the campus community to be aware of how the regulations may apply
- Managing export-controlled activities to ensure they are conducted in full compliance with the law
This process involves a cooperative effort between faculty and staff members, departments and colleges, the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP), the Office of Business Operations (OBO), University Counsel, and other administrative units. The role of each is described below.
Training and Education
Information will be provided to faculty, staff, and administrators via Export Control web pages and periodic training events on campus. OSP, OBO, and others will point individuals to the website when export control issues arise. Various administrative units will provide links to the central export control web pages and vice versa in order to assist the campus in finding the information they need.
Faculty and Staff Responsibilities
All University faculty, staff, and administrators have a fundamental responsibility for ensuring their activities are in compliance with the law, as well as monitoring the activities of those under their oversight or supervision. This responsibility can be carried out by:
- Becoming familiar with situations that may involve export control regulations.
- Alerting the Export Controls Coordinator when a question arises or they believe export controls may apply as soon as possible, and not begin any activity or share information with foreign colleagues or students until all questions have been resolved one way or the other.
- Cooperating with University efforts to screen and monitor compliance with regulations.
- Not signing any external agreements or making verbal side agreements with any external entity, especially not agreeing to any publication restrictions or other items that may inadvertently remove exemptions from the regulations.
- Inform the Export Controls Coordinator immediately when any change in an active project or activity occurs that may trigger export control concerns.
Screening and Monitoring
Screening for export control concerns will be the responsibility of all of the individuals and offices who engage in business, commercial, or research activity at the university, including the following:
- As noted above, all administrators must monitor activities that may involve the exchange of EC controlled items, including travel, purchasing, research, equipment maintenance, and other activities as described on the Regulations and Regulated Activities page.
- The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) includes Export Control screening questions on the OSP Proposal Routing and Approval form. This form is completed by the project director at the application stage for all grant and contract applications, and is signed by the PI/PD, department head, dean, and OSP staff. The screening questions and an Export Controls flowchart alert OSP to potential export control issues in the proposal or funder materials. If any questions are marked "yes" by the PI/PD on the routing form, the Export Controls Coordinator is informed and s/he contacts the PI to provide information on the issue, forms, and procedures.
- OSP also uses the screening questions and flow chart to monitor the existence of export control concerns in external research agreements and subcontracts. Subcontractors are notified that they are required to follow Export Control regulations and that they must inform the PI and/or Export Controls Coordinator at UNI in the event an of EC issue or concern.
- OBO uses the screening questions to monitor the need for Export Control requirements to be included in outgoing service contracts and consulting agreements. All such agreements must be reviewed by OBO prior to signature by any faculty, staff, or administrator. OBO strives to ensure that such agreements contain no clauses that may restrict the university's right to publish results of research (and thereby remove the exemption for fundamental research).
- OBO also monitors the business operations of the university in order to prevent commercial or other EC controlled activities from taking place with banned individuals, companies, or countries. This includes screening new vendor/supplier requests to ensure they are not on one of the federal lists restricting the activities of specific individuals, companies, or countries. It also includes advising on and/or monitoring equipment and technology purchasing and inventory acquisitions, and screening international travel authorization requests for export control concerns. International travel requests for advance funds must be accompanied by the International Travel Checklist. Equipment subject to controls will be tagged through inventory so that, upon disposition, it can be checked to see if export control restrictions still apply.
- International Programs, Financial Aid, Admissions, and Human Resources all monitor the regulations as they pertain to the admission and support of students and part-time employees from boycotted countries or who may be denied permission by the federal government to have any access to controlled information or items. The Office of International Programs (firstname.lastname@example.org) has access to a list of visa status information for pending or current students and other foreign nationals, including whether or not someone is in the U.S. as a permanent resident or as a temporary visitor. If someone you are working with is NOT a permanent resident of the U.S., you should avoid providing them access to export-controlled items until you understand the regulations and until someone (you or the EC Coordinator) has a chance to check the lists of restricted countries and individuals.
Determination and Management
When the Export Controls Coordinator is informed of a possible export controlled activity, s/he will work with the lead faculty or staff member to make a determination if the regulations and/or any exemptions apply to the activity. S/he will consult with University Counsel and any other resource experts as needed in making that determination. If the Export Control regulations do apply to a given situation, the faculty or staff member in question (e.g., the PD/PI) must complete the Export Controls Management form to outline the steps that will be taken to restrict access to the controlled information, technology, equipment, or other items. The Management Plan form will then be signed by the PD, head/director, and dean or vice president, and forwarded to the Export Controls Coordinator, who will consult with the administrative unit providing oversight for that activity (e.g., within OSP, OBO, or other unit). The responsible staff member in that unit will review the plan and comment, and then the plan will be forwarded to University Counsel for final approval. Counsel will also then apply for any license that is required. The PD/PI may not proceed with any restricted activities until the approved Management Plan signed by University officials is returned and any licensing requirements are taken care of. The PI must adhere strictly to the provisions of the Management Plan and any applicable regulatory restrictions, and cooperate fully with the University's efforts to monitor compliance.
After work on the project has begun, the PI should notify the Export Controls Coordinator prior to implementing any changes that may give rise to the application of export controls, such as a change in the scope of work or the addition of new staff to the project.
The University has designated Anita Gordon, Director of Research Services, within OSP, as the lead administrator responsible for oversight of its export control compliance activities. She serves as the custodian of any general records, coordinates export control policy and procedures at UNI, and serves as the point of contact for communications with regulatory agencies.
University Counsel Tim McKenna, serves as legal advisor to the University and will assist the PD/PI, EC Coordinator, OSP, and OBO with legal issues involving the application of export control regulations to University activities. He also provides final approval for all Export Control Management Plans and takes the lead in applying for any licenses that are needed in order to engage in the controlled activity.