Commitment to Export Compliance

A.        Background and Objective

The California State University, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (“Cal Poly”), and its separate auxiliaries (referred to as "Auxiliaries," including Cal Poly Corporation[1]) are required to comply with applicable U.S. export control laws, rules, and regulations ("export laws").  International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) is included within the scope of the export laws.  Cal Poly and its Auxiliaries have implemented processes and resources to aid and assure compliance with the export laws.

The export laws govern international transport of instruments, software, technology, and materials ("materials"), as well as access to and sharing of materials at our facilities within the U.S. (otherwise known as "deemed export").

The export laws also govern what research, academic, and business partners we engage with, to the extent that we must avoid U.S. government-restricted or prohibited entities dictated by the U.S. government to be of concern from a national security or embargoed-country perspective.

The export laws have been in existence for many years, well before recent policy debates on national security and immigration.

Fortunately, the vast majority of research and other academic activities benefit from export law exemptions, such as fundamental research (unrestricted, public domain, non-confidential) and public domain/openly published curricula, but we must be careful and diligent in ascertaining such exemptions.

B.  How are the export laws enforced?

U.S. Government authorities enforce export laws through substantial civil and criminal penalties and sanctions, federal debarment, and revocation of export privileges.  Agencies have audit authority and can mandate costly oversight protocols.  Liability for violations can be enforced not just against the business entity, but also against an individual employee to whom an intentional violation is attributable.

C.  Do I need to inquire of any person's nationality or immigration status to comply with export laws?

No.  Cal Poly and its Auxiliaries have processes which assure the confidential handling of information related to export laws, and only persons within that process are to request or receive such information.  Faculty, staff, and students need not, and should not, inquire about the citizenship or immigration status of others (except for those persons tasked with export law compliance).

D.  How do we address these requirements?

1. Compliance Oversight: As designated by the campus President, the export compliance program is administered through Research, Economic Development and Graduate Education (R-EDGE).  R-EDGE maintains a website with contact information for support related to export compliance, including the Empowered Official who is responsible for implementing investigation of any alleged violations.

2. Core operational/business functions: Key functions of export compliance on campus include, but are not limited to:

  • Research Integrity and Compliance
    • campus-wide support; evaluating non-disclosure agreements and material transfer agreements for export controlled items; post contract/grant export compliance administration, including Technology Control Plans (TCPs) and export licenses; selective screening of research and contract partners against U.S. Government watch-lists; implementing safeguards associated with export controlled invention disclosures.
  • Grants Development, Sponsored Programs, Corporate Engagement and Innovation
    • identification and negotiation of export restricted clauses in sponsored research agreements; evaluating non-disclosure agreements and material transfer agreements for export controlled items.
  • Academic Personnel
    • coordination with faculty visa petitions.
  • International Center
    • coordination with international exchange/visitor visa petitions; identifying export control issues associated with travel authorizations; screening  restricted party watch-lists.
  • Strategic Business Services/Procurement
    • identification of export controlled items being purchased; vendor screening.
  • ITS
    • handling data security protocols as required for export controlled projects.
  • Warehouse
    • export compliance questionnaires for outbound international shipments.

3. Research/Laboratory/Related Activities: Those involved in research, laboratory, or related activities should observe key processes:

  • International Shipments: When shipping internationally, utilize only the State or Corporation warehouse, and complete the International Shipping Request Form, available from either the Cal Poly or the Cal Poly Corporation warehouse.
  • Technology Sharing: Instruments, software, technology, and materials  ("materials") used in research or laboratories may be export controlled.  Non-U.S. nationals may be restricted from accessing such materials or a license may be required, even if such access occurs on campus ("deemed export").  Export controlled items typically involve "state of the art" instrumentation, or technology that arose from or relating to military applications.  If you are not sure about whether such requirements apply, seek guidance from Research Integrity and Compliance.
  • International Visitors: when hosting international visitors, be sure to coordinate with the International Center on the export compliance questionnaire to assure timely support of our visitors and export compliance.
  • International Travel: when international travel involves the temporary or permanent transfer of research tools or samples (either by advance cargo shipment or through hand-carried baggage), be sure to follow the campus international travel approval protocol, which includes an export compliance questionnaire.
  • Engagement with Sanctioned Countries: When planning any engagement (whether research, advisory, or academic) with any person or entity located in one of the embargoed countries listed on the ORED Export Compliance Web Page, be sure to first contact Research Integrity and Compliance to assist you in complying with government requirements.

E.  Where can I get trained on Export Compliance?

There is a free on-line Export Compliance Training Module, accessible through:

F.  Conclusion

Export compliance is an essential obligation for everyone in our campus community.  Always feel free to seek guidance.  If you become aware of a potential export compliance problem, report it promptly.  Timely reporting of a suspected problem or concern is the best way to prevent an inadvertent violation.  R-EDGE's export compliance website, referenced above, includes a complete contact list of knowledgeable persons to support you.



Jeffrey D. Armstrong, President

August 17, 2018

1Auxiliaries are non-profit organizations which are separate legal entities that operate pursuant to written operating agreements with the CSU Board of Trustees, have separate governing boards with close campus linkages, and are subject to legal and policy rules established by the CSU system and the respective campus administration.

August 17, 2018, Statement of Commitment to Export Compliance

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