Will your international work require the transport or shipping of equipment, technology, data or specimens? Or possibly on completion of your time overseas you will bring such items back with you? Are you hosting guests or individuals from other countries and granting them access to research, technology or information? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then under the laws of the United States. and many other countries, you are deemed to have been engaged in exporting. But don’t worry if you have no idea about imports or exports; Pitt’s Office of Export Controls Services (OEC) is here to assist.
With the passage of the Patriot Act in 2001 and the current, ever-changing geopolitical climate, the United States government has placed many restrictions on what and how you can transport items and knowledge internationally. The goal is to ensure that the many individuals, and entities—and even certain governments—posing a possible national security threat do not obtain particular knowledge, technology, equipment or biological specimens. United States law holds individuals and universities accountable for their failure to adhere to import and export regulations; not doing so could result in fines and penalties or even imprisonment.
To help you comply with these laws and to ensure you are protecting yourself and the University, the specialists at the OEC are ready to assist you. Located in the heart of campus at Thackeray Hall, OEC provides consultation and resources, as well as training sessions, to individuals and departments about the correct handling and transport of both tangible and intangible items across U.S. borders.
When planning travel to another country or hosting a visitor here on campus, both the department and the person who is traveling or hosting will benefit by knowing what is legal and what is not. Sometimes, just the transport of basic personal technological conveniences to a restricted travel destination could have consequences. Activities that you might think are harmless and are simply intended to foster goodwill and understanding may have country restrictions. Check with Export Control early in your planning process to ensure your actions are in accordance with federal regulation and University policy. Your international experience will be a lot less stressful and more productive..
To find out more, be sure to visit the Office of Export Controls Services.