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Export Control

Published on Aug 01, 2019 · Last Updated 3 years 1 month ago


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Export Control laws are federal laws that govern how certain information, technology, and commodities can be transmitted to anyone overseas (including U.S. citizens overseas) or to foreign nationals here in the U.S. These laws can affect an institution in many different and unexpected ways.

When applicable, these regulations may require Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to receive authorization from the U.S. Government in the form of an export license. An export license permits "controlled" tangible items or software to be sent outside of the U.S., or for controlled information or software code to be shared with foreign persons in the U.S. ("deemed exports") or abroad.

Most of the tangible items, information or software that CHOP ships or shares with colleagues and research partners is not restricted for these purposes. In fact, much of what we do is covered by the fundamental research exclusion. Fundamental research is basic and applied research in science and engineering where the resulting information is ordinarily published and shared broadly within the scientific community. It is distinguished from proprietary research and from industrial development, design, production and product utilizations, the results of which ordinarily are restricted for proprietary and/or specific national security reasons. Typically, the results of fundamental research are published in scientific literature, thus making it publicly available. Research which is intended for publication whether it is accepted by scientific journals or not is considered to be fundamental research.

Nonetheless, CHOP is required to demonstrate export control due diligence and to document its adherence to U.S. export controls laws and regulations.

Export control issues may arise on many fronts, and non-compliance with the statutory and regulatory requirements may carry heavy penalties, both civil and criminal. It is important that everyone at CHOP learn how to recognize export control issues when they arise and to understand the resources available within CHOP to manage them. This is a complex area and the Office of Research Compliance is available to meet with individuals or groups to provide information and guidance at any time.

Contacts for Export Control questions:

Karen Burke at [email protected]

Matthew Hodgson at [email protected]

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) at the Department of the Treasury maintains a list of the U.S. government’s sanctions and embargo programs; this list includes countries where the U.S. restricts travel to and other activities with these countries. Travel to these countries requires a special license (though some travel may be banned entirely). Before considering travel to any of these countries, please consult with the Office of Research Compliance.

What can you take with you when you travel abroad?

Under the license exception for temporary export (TMP) you can take usual and reasonable kinds and quantities of tools of trade (commodities and software). Among other requirements, the tools of trade must remain under your effective control. "Effective control" means that you must retain physical possession of the item, or lock it in a hotel safe, or have it guarded.

CHOP faculty and staff who wish to take their laptops with them out of the country to use in a CHOP project that qualifies as fundamental research may be able to do so under the license exception for TMP if the laptop meets the requirements for "tools of the trade" and is under the control of the CHOP faculty or staff. The laptop cannot have any non-standard/off-the-shelf software installed, any confidential data or information, or any protected health information. A loaner laptop is required for travel to sanctioned countries and is highly recommended for travel to other countries. See the Job Aid for International Travel - Information and Device Security for more information. 

Before traveling to an international destination it is highly recommended that you consult with the Office of Research Compliance.

Contacts for Export Control

Karen Burke at [email protected]

Matthew Hodgson at [email protected]