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Export control regulations and international compliance matter for our campus community, even if you do not conduct research or receive federal funding. The Export Compliance & International Compliance (ECIC) team is here to assist you in navigating the regulations.

Northwestern is a fundamental research university, so it can typically use the fundamental research exclusion (FRE) exempt itself from export control regulations. Most, but not all. Suppose we accept certain contract restrictions (e.g., publication or foreign person restrictions). In that case, we cannot use the FRE and so we are subject to the export control regulations, which may require a license to collaborate with non-U.S. persons.

Many different research-related scenarios may involve export controls or international compliance. Export control regulations impact certain equipment, technical data, substances, and international shipments. The ECIC provides the following services, so please contact us if we can support you or your team’s work:

document iconExport control reviews: Provide guidance when sponsors or collaborators want to share export controlled data or information with you, as there are restrictions. Northwestern does not typically accept export-controlled projects, data, or information to avoid citizenship restrictions.

person iconNon-U.S. person restrictions: Assist in remaining compliant on the rare occasion we
accept personnel restrictions. Sponsored Research tries to negotiate these restrictive
terms out of our agreements.

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International shipping:
Help identify licensing requirements when shipping abroad.
Avoid violations such as the shipping incident at a peer university.

purchasing iconPurchases of export-controlled equipment (drones, cameras, lasers, etc.): Assist with requirements on highly controlled equipment (end-user agreements marked
“export controlled” or “ITAR”).

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Travel and work abroad:
Share export control implications and steps to take
when traveling abroad with university equipment, technical data or substances.

globe iconSanctioned countries: Assist with requesting federal authorization (licenses or exemptions) when you need to work from or with (even virtually) a sanctioned country, such as Cuba, Iran, Syria and certain areas in Ukraine. There are new sanctions on Belarus and Russia, and China is also heavily regulated.

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License Applications:
Apply for export control licenses or exemptions.


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Restricted party screenings:
Screen your potential collaborators to ensure they or their home
institution are not on a denied party list by the federal government.


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Export control violations:
Guidance for avoiding inadvertent violations that can result in individual
penalties (i.e., criminal, civil and fines).

For any questions, please contact Amy Weber,
Export Controls & International Compliance.