Chancellor's Memo on Export Control

UMass Amherst | Office of the Chancellor



December 9, 2020

To the Campus Community:

The Office of Research Compliance (ORC) maintains and implements UMass Amherst's policies and procedures regarding U.S. export controls under the direction of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement, who serves as the campus Empowered Official for purposes of those regulations. This memo reintroduces campus export control policies and procedures and provides basic information about export controls and resources available to help comply with them.

Export controls are U.S. laws and regulations that restrict the release of certain technologies, information, and services to foreign nationals, within and outside of the United States, and foreign countries for reasons of foreign policy and national security. These laws and regulations, which include international sanctions programs, also restrict activities within certain countries and with designated institutions, entities, and individuals, even if no controlled items are involved. Export controls, given their purpose, are subject to frequent additions and amendments responsive to rapidly-changing international affairs.

The term “export” is defined broadly within U.S. export controls and includes, but is not limited to, releasing identified items and information to foreign nationals within the U.S. UMass Amherst’s Export Control Compliance Program Guidelines, training materials, resources, and guidance on the laws and regulations are available on the ORC export controls website.

It is the responsibility of all campus community members to be familiar with and adhere to the requirements of export control regulations. Individuals and institutions that violate federal regulations governing export-controlled activities may be subject to civil and criminal penalties that can include significant fines, jail terms, denial of export or research privileges, and debarment from government contracting.

Because of the broad scope of export-controlled items, which include, but are not limited to, equipment, software code, chemical and biological materials, and technical data, these laws and regulations apply to virtually all fields of science and engineering and restrict both physical shipments and electronic transmission of information. Further, country-specific sanctions programs and party-based restrictions apply regardless of research subject matter. Export control laws apply to all activities – not just sponsored research projects.

University of Massachusetts policy requires compliance with all U.S. export control laws and regulations, which apply to both researchers individually and their institutions. Therefore, all faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduates involved in export-controlled research are required to have training before beginning those projects. Further, it is strongly suggested that all community members involved in sponsored or international research take advantage of two export control training modules available through the CITI program:

  • Export Compliance for Researchers: Part I, and
  • Export Compliance and United States Sanctions Programs

More information is available at Export Control Training Program. Should you have questions, or to schedule training on the application of export controls to your research area, please contact the Office of Research Compliance at 
(413) 545-3468 or via email at