Export Regulations

The export of commodities, technology, and software are regulated by several U.S. Government agencies. The three main agencies that oversee the most widely applied regulations are the Bureau of Industry and Security (Department of Commerce), the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (Department of State), and the Office of Financial Asset Controls (Department of Treasury). Within the academic environment, most items and activities are considered dual-use and fall under the Department of Commerce jurisdiction. For items and activities created and performed for a primary military purpose, the the Department of State regulations will prevail. When travel or activities involve an embargoed or sanctioned country or other third party, the Department of Treasury regulations typically preside. However, in some cases, there will be overlap between the Treasury regulations and other regulations especially when a tangible export is involved. A summary of these three regulations appears below:





Department of Commerce

Department of State

Department of Treasury

U.S. Federal agency

Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)

Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC)

Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)


Export Administration Regulations (EAR) 
15 CFR Parts 730-774

International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) 
22 CFR Parts 120-130

OFAC regulations

Items/Activities controlled

Commercial and dual-use products, technical data and software

"Inherently" military products, technical data, software, and services

Embargoed and sanctioned countries. 
Restricted Individuals and Entities.

Applied to

All items of U.S. origin or physically located in the U.S.
Foreign manufactured items containing more than the US "de minimus level" set in the regulations



Items listed on the CCL

All "defense articles" (U.S. or Foreign origin) for export, reexport and temporary import
ITAR controlled activity
even when the activity does not involve the export, reexport, retransfer of defense items



Even if the item is not listed on the USML





Regulations and Executive Orders (EO)

Controls List

Commerce Control List (CCL)
15 CFR Part 774

U.S. Munitions List (USML) 
22 CFR Part 121

Embargoed and sanctioned countries.
Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List.


CCL is organized in 10 categories and 5 subcategories.

Export Controls Classification Number (ECCN) - e.g.: ECCN 4A994.


  1. Nuclear materials, facilities and equipment
  2. Materials, Chemicals, Microorganisms and Toxins
  3. Materials Processing
  4. Electronics
  5. Computers
  6. Telecommunications and Information Security
  7. Sensors and Lasers
  8. Navigation and Avionics
  9. Marine
  10. Propulsion systems, space vehicle and related equipment
  1. Systems, Equipment and Components
  2. Test, Inspection and Production equipment
  3. Material
  4. Software
  5. Technology


600 series (nX6nn): military items that were transferred from the ITAR to the EAR for which strict restrictions and controls are in place. If your transaction involves a 600 series item, please contact the OTC..


EAR99: items falling under U.S. Department of Commerce jurisdiction but not listed on the CCL are designated as EAR99. EAR99 items generally consist of low-technology consumer goods and do not require a license in many situations (except for embargoed countries).

USML is divided into 21 specific categories.






  1. Firearms, close assault weapons and combat shotguns
  2. Guns and armament
  3. Ammunitions/Ordnance
  4. Launch vehicles, guided missiles, ballistic missiles, rockets, torpedoes, bombs and mines
  5. Explosives and energetic materials, propellants, incendiary agents and their constituents
  6. Vessel of war and special naval equipment
  7. Ground Vehicles
  8. Aircraft and related articles
  9. Military training equipment and training
  10. Protective personnel equipment
  11. Military electronics
  12. Fire control, range finder, optical and guidance and control equipment
  13. Materials and miscellaneous articles
  14. Toxicological agents, including chemical agents, biological agents and associated equipment
  15. Spacecraft systems and related articles
  16. Nuclear weapons related articles
  17. Classified articles, technical data and defense services not otherwise enumerated
  18. Directed energy weapons
  19. Gas Turbine engines and associated equipment
  20. Submersible vessels and related articles
  21. Articles, technical data and defense services not otherwise enumerated



"Overall" approach:
don't need to know what is inside the item to determine the classification.

"See Through" approach:
if an item contains a USML part, the item is on the USML.


License exceptions

ECCN based license exceptions
Indicated by the ECCN.

Situation based license exceptions
e.g. "TMP" for temporary exports under certain conditions.



A few license exceptions are available.


Licensing Process

Electronic license application via SNAP-R system.


1. Registration with DDTC: required if you manufacture or export or broker defense articles​

2. Electronic license application via D-TRADE.

Mail a letter to the OFAC.

Policy of denial for most embargo license applications.


  • Civil: up to US $250,000 per violation
  • Criminal: up to US $1,000,000 per willful violation
  • Imprisonment up to 20 years
  • Denial of export privileges
  • Civil: up to US $500,000 per violation
  • Criminal: up to US $1,000,000 per willful violation
  • Imprisonment up to 10 years
  • Debarment
  • Civil: up to US $250,000 per violation
  • Criminal: up to US $1,000,000 per willful violation
  • Imprisonment up to 20 years
  • Denial of export privileges

Other regulations:

Department of Energy - Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
Regulations: NRC Regulations / Controls List: Nuclear Equipment and Material List (NEML)
Imports and Exports of Nuclear items.

Homeland Security - Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE)
Regulations: BATFE Regulations / Controls List: US Munitions Import List (27 CFR 447.21)
Imports of items on US Munitions Import List and certain exports of lethal items.
Items controlled by the ITAR, NRC regulations and BATFE regulations require, first, to be secured from access by foreign national and, then, immediate notification to the Office of Trade Compliance (OTC).