International travel and activities are an important part of UNH’s research and educational programs. It is UNH Policy that every traveler going abroad on University business must complete the International Travel Registry. Registering your international trip enrolls you in the International SOS Travel Assistance and Insurance program and facilitates communication and support in the event of an emergency abroad. Additional information on risk management policies, guidelines and procedures is also available online.
International travelers also need to consider that there are important regulations regarding certain proposed destinations, equipment they plan to take along with them, the activities they will undertake while traveling, and the individuals and/or institutions with whom they plan to collaborate. Government licenses may be required for certain exports, collaborations, or exchanges of information; and federal regulations and embargoes/economic sanctions may prohibit collaborations with certain universities, companies, and individuals altogether.
From an export compliance perspective, travelers should consider three principal matters:
- Their destination
- The business purpose for their trip: and
- The equipment and/or information they plan to take with them.
Travel to most countries, other than Cuba, can be accomplished without a license; however, particular activities involving countries under a U.S. sanction or embargo may require specific government approval. Being involved in financial transactions and providing services of value may also be strictly prohibited. Information concerning U.S. Sanctions programs and country specific constraints is available from the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
A few simple steps can help ensure that you do not inadvertently export restricted technology or provide any type of assistance or benefit to a sanctioned or blocked entity. Keep the following guidance in mind as you plan your international travel activities:
When making presentations about research in an international setting, including international conferences in the U.S. where participation could include foreign nationals, you must ensure that you limit your presentation (including visual materials) to information or data that is published, or is publicly available, or that qualifies as Fundamental Research. Do not include any proprietary, unpublished, or export-restricted information or data as that may constitute an unauthorized export.
Published or publicly available information or information generated as the result of Fundamental Research may be discussed openly, as long as the recipient is not a sanctioned or otherwise blocked entity. Contact UNH’s export compliance staff for help in screening international collaborators.
Remember that, although the results of fundamental research are not subject to export controls, and can be shared without a license, physical articles, technology, or software used in the conduct of or generated under fundamental research are subject to export controls and may require an export license.
Research performed outside of the U.S. may not be considered fundamental research and would therefore be subject to export controls until the results are published or otherwise made publicly available. Contact UNH’s export compliance staff prior to disclosing information or data generated during international field work to ensure that the information is not export restricted.
Provision of Financial Assistance
In order to avoid running afoul of OFAC regulations prohibiting the provision of financial assistance to any blocked or sanctioned individual or entity, activities that involve payment to a non-U.S. person, business, or organization should be verified against a sanctioned party and entity list. Contact UNH’s export compliance staff for help in screening international financial transactions. Screening of either individuals or entities can usually be accomplished very quickly.
Traveling with Equipment, Computers, and Research Data
Contact UNH’s export compliance staff prior to traveling with items such as equipment, computers, or data. Most off-the-shelf, mass-market items will not require an export license unless you travel to (or through) a country subject to comprehensive sanctions (i.e., Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, or Syria).
In most instances, a “tool of trade” exception may be used while traveling with controlled items, technology, and software; however, use of the exception must be documented prior to traveling using the Export License Exception (TMP) Certification.
Equipment and data taken abroad using the “tool of trade” exception:
- May accompany the traveler or be shipped up to one month prior to their departure (or any time after departure);
- Must be in the ”effective control” of the traveler for the duration of the trip;
- Must not be out of the U.S. for longer than 12 months unless fully consumed or destroyed in the normal course of use abroad.
Software taken abroad using the “tool of trade” exception must be protected against unauthorized access using measures such as:
- Secure connections when accessing IT networks;
- Use of password systems; and
- Use of personal firewalls.
The “tool of trade” exception may not be used:
- For equipment or data subject to the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR);
- To travel to an E1 country;
- To release technology abroad that isn’t otherwise licensed for release;
- For foreign production or to provide technical assistance;
- For encryption technology
Returning from abroad with equipment can be made easier by working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) prior to your departure. Equipment that has been registered with CBP before you leave is allowed to return to the U.S. duty-free. Contact a local CBP Port (e.g., Logan Airport) for additional information about completing CBP Forms 4455 and/or 4457.
As mentioned above, you are free to take and openly share or discuss published or publicly available information or information generated under Fundamental Research. However, you cannot take or share data or information that is in any way export-restricted (e.g., related to export controlled technologies, proprietary information, or is information resulting from a project aimed at generating proprietary results). All controlled or restricted data or information, including any information provided under an NDA, should be completely removed from laptops, PDAs, or other portable storage devices (e.g., flash drives and smartphones) before you leave the U.S.