Shipment of Export Controlled Materials

The shipments of items, software and technology from the United States to a foreign country, must comply with export control laws and regulations.  These laws and regulations may require UMBC to obtain an export license for shipments of items, software and technology outside of the U.S. All UMBC personnel who engage in international shipping are responsible for ensuring compliance with U.S. export control laws and regulations. Contact the ORPC ( for assistance in evaluating if the export is in compliance with export control laws and regulations.

There are four basic things to know before anything can be exported:

1) What is the item or information and is it export controlled?

The shipment or transmission of items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) out of the United States, or release of technology or software subject to the EAR to a foreign national in the United States. Release of Export-controlled technology and software can also occur through transmission via e-mails, faxes, designs, and verbal correspondence. Under the International  Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) regulations, export means not only sending or taking a defense article out of the U.S. in any manner, but also disclosing (including oral or visual disclosure) or transferring technical data to a foreign person, whether in the U.S. or abroad. An export also means performing a defense service on behalf of, or for the benefit of, a foreign person, whether in the U.S. or abroad.

There are several lists found in the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) (go to Part 774) or the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), U.S. Munitions List to assist you in determining “what” you are shipping. The lists cover not only defense items but also dual use items that may be used in both commercial and potential military use. Examples include:

Chemical, Biotechnology and Biomedical Engineering, Materials Technology, Remote Sensing, Imaging and Reconnaissance, Navigation, Avionics and Flight Control, Robotics, Propulsion System and Unmanned Air Vehicle Subsystems, Telecommunications/Networking Nuclear Technology, Sensors and Sensor Technology, Advanced Computer/Microelectronic Technology, Information Security/Encryption, Laser and Directed Energy Systems, Rocket Systems, Marine Technology

2) Where is it going?

Shipping items outside the U.S. may require a license from OFAC, the Department of State, or the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS).  An OFAC license takes six months to receive, a license from the Department of State takes two months, and a license from the BIS takes approximately two weeks, so allow plenty of time before you need to ship.  Do not ship an item outside the U.S. without the proper license.

Shipping items using a “freight forwarder”, such as Priority Worldwide ServicesFedEx, UPS, DHL, would be an appropriate use of your time and funds. These companies may help or offer advice on how to do this correctly, recording the shipment in the federal government’s Automated Export System and which paperwork (such as a Power of Attorney requiring UMBC General Counsel review) to use.  But if there is a problem, UMBC will have to resolve an issue or concern (we are the shipper of record).  The ORPC recommends shippers review this sample export checklist, then contact the freight forwarder with any questions. The ORPC staff is also available to assist with any questions.

It is important to take time to prepare for the physical foreign shipment of information or items. While some things may be considered export controlled under EAR or ITAR, many things are not controlled. All items to be exported must be reviewed for:

  1. 1) potential export to a sanctioned country
  2. 2) to an end-user of concern
  3. 3) export control classification or category
  4. 4) or for support of a prohibited end-use.

You may be required to obtain a license from the federal government for your export and in some situations, a license may not be granted. Take a look at the Export Control Decision Flow Chart to obtain more information about your shipment.

3) Who will receive it?       AND

4) What will be the end-use?

The Export Control office can assist with the screening of items, data or services against the Consolidated Screening List prior to domestic and foreign shipments of goods, or transmission of export controlled software or technology. In addition to the screening an evaluation of the end-use and end-user should be done to ensure it does not result in an activity prohibited by any U.S. export regulations, or other restriction.

The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) also requires that export controlled items shipped to an entity (company, organization, university, contact, etc.) in the US to be reviewed prior to shipment to ensure they are not being exported to an entity on the Denied Persons Lists.

Please contact the ORPC for additional questions and guidance.

return to Export Control site