Research Policy Handbook



Now in Policy Details

Provides a brief glossary of commonly used export control terms as they apply to Stanford export controls policy.

1. Definitions

A. Export

"Export" means to send or take controlled tangible items, software, or information out of the United States in any manner including handcarries, to transfer ownership or control of controlled tangible items, software or information to a foreign person, or to disclose information about controlled items, software or information to a foreign government or foreign person. The controlled tangible item, software or information being sent or taken out of the United States is also referred to as an "export.


B. Reexport

"Reexport" means an actual shipment or transmission of controlled tangible items, software or information from one foreign country to another foreign country. The export or reexport of controlled tangible items, software or information that will transit through a country or countries, or will be unloaded in a country or countries for reloading and shipment to a new country, or are intended for reexport to the new country, are deemed to be exports to the new country.

C. Deemed Export

"Deemed export" is a term used by the Commerce Department to describe the situation where a foreign national on US soil may be exposed to, or have access in any manner to, an export-controlled item or export-controlled software or information. Although the State Department does not use this term, but rather includes this concept in its definition of export, Stanford University will use the term "deemed export" when discussing access by foreign nationals to controlled information on our soil, without regard to which agency may have cognizance over the transaction.

D. US Person/Foreign Person

A "US person" is a citizen of United States, a lawful permanent resident alien of the US, (a "Green Card" holder), a refugee or someone here as a protected political asylee or under amnesty. US persons also include organizations and entities, such as universities, incorporated in the US. The general rule is that only US persons are eligible to receive controlled items, software or information without first obtaining an export license from the appropriate agency unless a license exception or exclusion is available.

A "foreign person" is anyone who is not a US person. Examples of foreign persons are students, post-doctoral scholars, or research staff in F-1 or J-1 status, and Stanford foreign national employees in H1-B status.  A foreign person also means any foreign corporation, business association, partnership or any other entity or group that is not incorporated to do business in the US.  Foreign persons may include international organizations, foreign governments, and any agency or subdivision of foreign governments such as consulates.

E. Fundamental Research

The concept of "fundamental research" was established by National Security Decision Directive 189 (NSDD 189, found below in "Related Items"), which establishes a national policy with regard to how such research shall be treated for purposes of the various export control regimes. NSDD 189 defines fundamental research as: basic and applied research in science and engineering where the resulting information is to be shared broadly within the scientific community.

NSDD 189 provides that the conduct, products, and results of fundamental research are to proceed largely unfettered by deemed export restrictions. It also states that the government must determine - before releasing a research opportunity - whether the research should be classified or otherwise kept secret. Research that carries access, participation, or dissemination restrictions will not qualify as fundamental research for purposes of the export control regulations. Because export regulations expressly recognize that fundamental research is excluded from deemed export controls, no export license or other authorization is needed to involve foreign nationals in fundamental research activity at Stanford. However, such research may give rise to export issues if the primary research is to be conducted outside of the US or if it requires exposure of foreign nationals to proprietary or confidential export controlled information provided by third parties such as corporations, commercial vendors or government collaborators. Please see RPH: Accepting a Third Party's Export Controlled Items or Information for guidance.