Trade Regulations

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 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.

Pitt Guidance Doc

Export Administration Regulations EAR

International Traffic in Arms Regulations

Embargoed and Sanctioned Countries


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


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 performed by OTC

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

Export Definitions

The U.S. Governmental agencies define the term "Export" broadly. It is not limited to the shipment of an item to an overseas country. When applying the U.S. Export regulations, the Pitt community should be familiar with the following definitions:


The term "export" includes:

Export (EAR 734.2(b)(1) and ITAR 120.17)

Export is defined as an actual shipment or transmission of items out of the United States. This includes standard physical movement of items across the border by truck, car, plane, rail, or hand-carry. Technology and software may be exported or reexported both physically or electronically, such as through email, telephone discussions, fax, posting on the internet, and a variety of other non-physical means.

Reexport (EAR 734.2(b)(4) and ITAR 120.19)

The U.S. Export regulations impose restrictions on the reexport of U.S. goods, i.e., the shipment or transfer to a third country of goods, technology or software originally exported from the United States.

Deemed Export (EAR 734.2(b)(2)(ii) and ITAR 120.17)

The release of technology to a foreign national in the United States is "deemed" to be an export, even though the release took place within the United States. Deemed exports may occur through such means as foreign national employees involved in certain activities, foreign students or scholars conducting research, visiting scholars, demonstration, trade show, conference, oral briefing, telephone call or message, faxes, as well as the electronic transmission of non-public data or posting non-public data on the Internet. The term "deemed export" appears only in the EAR. The ITAR does not use this term, but rather includes it in its "export" definition. For more information, please read our Deemed-Export-Guidance document.

Deemed Re-export (EAR 734.2(b)(5 to 7) and ITAR 120.19)

"Deemed" re-exports is defined as the release of software and technologies to "third country nationals" outside the United States. For example, ECCN 5E001 technology may be exported to a university in Ireland under the license exception for technology and software, but might require a deemed re-export license authorization before being released to a Russian foreign national student or employee of that university in Ireland. The issue of deemed exports is particularly relevant to university research. While a university may be involved in the shipment of technology abroad, most often faculty and students are engaged in teaching and research in the U.S. Whenever teaching or research occurs in the U.S., but is related to controlled equipment or technology, a foreign students' or researchers' involvement may trigger Export Controls compliance issues as a deemed export. For more information, you can read the Deemed-Export-Guidance document written by the Office of Export Controls Services (OTC) and/or you can consult the "Deemed Export" FAQs of the BIS website.

Foreign Person

The regulations define a foreign person as anyone who is not a U.S. person. Therefore, this includes:

  • any individual who is not a U.S. citizen; or
  • any individual who is not a US permanent resident alien ("green card" holder); or
  • any individual who is not a protected individual (e.g., refugees, or have political asylum);
  • any foreign corporation/business/organization/group not incorporated or organized under U.S. law;
  • foreign government and any agency or subdivision of foreign governments (e.g. diplomatic missions).

If the individual is not a U.S person, when applying the "deemed export" rules the EAR looks at the person's most recent citizenship or permanent residence whereas the ITAR looks at the person's country of origin (i.e., country of birth) and all current citizenships.


Temporary Import (ITAR 120.18)

Temporary import means bringing into the United States from a foreign country any defense article that is to be returned to the country from which it was shipped or taken, or any defense article that is in transit to another foreign destination.

Permanent Import

Permanent imports are regulated by the Attorney General under the direction of the Department of Justice's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (see 27 CFR parts 447, 478, 479, and 555). Under the ITAR, permanent imports of military items into the U.S. require a license.

U.S. Person

Pursuant to the EAR and the ITAR, a U.S. Person (EAR PART 772 AND ITAR 120.15) include: 

  • any individual who is granted U.S. citizenship; or
  • any individual who is granted U.S. permanent residence ("Green Card" holder); or
  • any individual who is granted status as a "protected person" under 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3);
  • any corporation/business/organization/group incorporated in the United States under U.S. law;
  • any part of U.S. government.