Key Terms and Definitions

There are a number of key terms that are important to understanding your and the university’s role in complying with export control requirements.


(EAR: 15 C.F.R. §734.13 and ITAR: 22 C.F.R. §120.17)

Exports are defined broadly and apply to all activities, regardless of the funding source. Generally, an export means:

  • an actual shipment or transmission of items controlled under the EAR or ITAR (such as goods, software or technical data) out of the U.S. (including transfer to a U.S. citizen abroad whether or not it is pursuant to a research agreement with the U.S. government);
  • any written, oral or visual release or disclosure of controlled technology, information or software to a foreign person either in the U.S., which is deemed to be an export to the foreign person's home country ("deemed export"); or
  • any actual use or application of controlled technology on behalf of or for the benefit of any foreign entity or person anywhere.


(EAR: 15 C.F.R. §734.14) and (ITAR: 22 C.F.R. §120.19)

Re-exports are actual shipments or transmissions of items subject to export regulations from one foreign country to another foreign country. In regards to the EAR, the export or re-export of items subject to the EAR that will transit through a country or countries to a new country, or are intended for re-export to the new country, are deemed to be exports to the new country.

Deemed Exports

 (EAR: 15 C.F.R. §734.13(2) & § 734.2(b)(2)(ii) and ITAR: 22 C.F.R. §120.17.(2))

Deemed exports occur when technology or software source code is released or transmitted to a foreign person within the U.S. including through a discussion with a foreign researcher or student. The disclosure or transfer of export-controlled software, technologies or technical data to a foreign entity or individual inside the US is deemed to be an export to the home country of the foreign entity or individual.

Foreign Persons 

(EAR: 15 C.F.R. EAR 772.1 and ITAR:22 C.F.R. §120.16)

Foreign persons are defined under both the EAR and ITAR as any person, corporation, business association, partnership, trust, society or any other entity or group that is not incorporated or organized to do business in the U.S. as well as international organizations, foreign governments and any agency or subdivision of foreign governments (e.g. diplomatic missions), and anyone who is not a U.S. citizen, a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. (i.e., a green card holder) or who does not have refugee or asylum status in the U.S.

Export Control Classification Number (ECCN)

Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) is an alpha-numeric code used to categorize items that are subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) into one of the ten categories and five product groups within the Commerce Control List (CCL). The Bureau of Industry and Security provides a detailed explanation of ECCNs.

Technology and Technical Data

Broadly speaking, the terms "technology" and "technical data" mean specific information necessary for the development, production, or use of a commodity (22 C.F.R §772.1). This usually takes the form of blueprints, drawings, photographs, plans, diagrams, models, formulae, tables, engineering specifications, and documentation.