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The export of certain commodities, information technologies, software and services is regulated for reasons of national security, foreign policy, prevention of the spread of weapons of mass destruction and for competitive trade reasons. As provided in GW’s Export Control Policy, United States export control laws restrict such commodities, information, technologies, software and services that can be transmitted overseas to individuals, including U.S. citizens, or made available by a “deemed export,” which is a release of controlled technology or software source code to foreign nationals on U.S. soil. Prior written authorization (a “license”) from one or more U.S. government agencies may be required to carry out certain sponsored research or other educational activities involving specified technologies or certain countries, if an exemption or exclusion is not available.
As set forth in the Policy, it is important that Principal Investigators (PIs) on research activities, as well as the academic, educational or other university project leader (“Project Leaders” or “PLs”) for non-research activities, assess how export controls may apply to a proposed research or academic, educational or other university project early in the proposal development or planning process to allow time for obtaining an export license if required. Export control laws apply to faculty, staff and students engaging in any university activities including research and educational activities.
Although many of the university’s activities associated with academic research and coursework are exempt from export control laws, some activities may be restricted. These activities are exempt in many cases because they involve either "fundamental research," "public domain" information, or are subject to another exemption from export control laws. Failure to comply with these laws exposes those involved, whether faculty, staff and/or students, as well the university to severe criminal and civil penalties (fines and prison sentences) as well as administrative sanctions (loss of research funding and export privileges). The university and the individual(s) involved also may lose their ability to export in the future.
GW’s Export Control Policy provides detailed explanations of the export controls regulations and their legal limitations, and examples of export triggers and export-controlled activities. The information provided through this web site is intended to further develop understanding of Export Controls regulations and the procedures designed to promote university compliance.