Export Control Quick Reference


  • Export Controls apply to transfers out of, as well as some transfers within, the U.S.
  • Export Controls apply to U.S. citizens, anywhere in the world.
  • Export Controls apply to everyone, regardless of citizenship, in the U.S.
  • The Fundamental Research Exclusion (FRE) is NOT available for physical shipments.
  • To claim the FRE, the research must not have publication, dissemination, or participation restrictions.
  • Transfer of proprietary information to a foreign national in the U.S. may require an export license.
  • Any activity with comprehensively sanctioned countries (currently Iran, Cuba, Syria, North Korea, Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus) must be approved by Cornell’s Export Controls Office (ECO).
  • Penalties for violations include substantial monetary fines (levied against the organization and the individual) and can include jail time in the case of willful violations.


  • “Export Controls do not apply to my shipment because it is non-hazardous.”
  • “Export controls do not apply to my shipment because you can order it on Amazon.”
  • “Everything is research related, so I do not need to be concerned about Export Controls.”
  • “I’m not sending anything out of the U.S., so I do not need to worry about Export Controls.”


  • Cornell has resources to help.
  • You do not need to make a determination on your own!

Cornell Contacts:

Training Resources: