Export Control: Procurement

Identifying Controlled Items

How do I know whether I am purchasing or receiving a controlled item?

Every product has an export control classification that determines the type of export restrictions. Most products that are purchased at Berkeley, like pens and test tubes, are likely classified as “EAR99,” which is a designation for products subject to the EAR but not on the Commerce Control List (CCL) and would not require a license. However, just because a product can be purchased online or is inexpensive does not mean that it is always “EAR99.”

Many commercially available products we use at the University, including laptops, cell phones, GPS systems, telescopes, and drones, are listed on the CCL. Some of these commercially available products, such as thermal imaging cameras, precision gyroscopes, and focal plane arrays are highly controlled.

Examples of University Items that Could Require Export Control Review (not inclusive)

  • Satellite components or accessories
  • Night vision or infrared cameras
  • Sonobuoys and submersible vessels
  • Navigation, defense navigation or avionics equipment
  • Military communications systems/high frequency radio apparatus
  • Military electronics/ruggedized components
  • Radar equipment
  • Biological agents
  • Gas monitoring/filtration devices
  • Optical lens or photonics instruments or components
  • Sensors, infrared light detectors, thermal imaging cameras, and focal plane arrays
  • Oscilloscopes or Spectrometers
  • Nuclear/radioactive equipment/devices
  • Lasers
  • Semiconductor equipment
  • Fiber optic cables and filaments
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)
  • Gravimeters

Whenever you are purchasing or receiving a product that is on this list, you should ask the vendor to provide you with the product’s export classification.

Questions for Vendors

  • Is the item a defense article? If yes, please provide the ITAR category.
  • Is the item a dual use article controlled under the EAR? If yes, please provide the Export Control Classification Number (ECCN).

Note that, in accordance with 15 CFR 758.3, it is the developer/manufacturer’s obligation to assist in the determination of the export controls classification of its products provided to the University.

Purchasing or Receiving Controlled Items

Once the responsible University department has obtained the export controls classifications from the supplier, they should contact the Export Control Office to determine if the purchase can move forward. Once the determination has been made that it can move forward, the department should submit this information, along with other required supporting documentation, into the BearBuy system so that Supply Chain Management (SCM) can issue the purchase order to the supplier.

Depending on the material or equipment involved, the Export Control Officer may contact the Principal Investigator (PI) to ensure that any controlled items are secured under a technology control plan (TCP) and to determine if there are any deemed export concerns. All controlled items that are purchased should be labeled. This includes computers on which any controlled software is installed. Both technology and information about technology that are controlled, such as operating manuals, technical specifications, etc., should be labeled and stored securely. It can take a few months to obtain an export license from the U.S. Government, so please contact the Export Control Officer with as much advance notice as possible.

Other Potential Export Control Examples

Contact the Export Control Officer for assistance when:

  • The following language is in correspondence with a vendor, in the sales terms and conditions, purchase order, quote, or is on their website: no export, no foreign nationals, ITAR, USML Category, ECCN, export restricted, U.S. Only.
  • You are asked to complete an “end-use” statement or “end-user” certification.
  • Item to be shipped to a destination outside the U.S.

Note that items classified by the supplier as EAR99 can be exported to all countries except embargoed countries (Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Ukraine [Crimea, Donetsk, and Luhansk Regions]), without contacting the Export Control Officer. If the supplier indicates that the item is “publicly available” or in the “public domain,” then the item is not subject to the export regulations. The University department requesting the purchase should keep the Export Controls classifications of the items being purchased, in case of future exports out of the U.S.

Export Control Notices in Packages

Sometimes sales terms and conditions include export control language. Usually there is a reason this language is included; the vendor could be selling export controlled items. When items arrive, check the packaging for any reference to “export controls” or “export control classification numbers.” If you see any references to export controls, you should immediately forward a copy of the notice to both SCM and the Export Control Officer.

If the notice cites 10 C.F.R. § 110 or 810, or includes language indicating that an item is subject to the Arms Export Control Act, ITAR, or Department of Energy export control regulations, you must secure the subject item from access by foreign nationals and notify the Export Control Officer, so that they can provide guidance on further compliance steps.

Purchase of Goods and Services to be Shipped Out of the U.S.

If you are purchasing products that will be shipped to locations outside of the U.S., or are contracting for services to be performed outside of the U.S., please contact SCM, who will coordinate with the Export Control Officer and the University’s customs broker to determine whether the University may ship the goods outside of the U.S. and identify any licenses that may be required.

Foreign Sale, Transfer, or Donation

The UCOP policy on Disposition of Excess Property and Transfer of University-Owned Property states: No sale, transfer or donation of property may be made to a foreign destination (including Canada and Mexico), and no property shipped outside the U.S., until (a) the appropriate export license has been obtained or (b) it has been determined that the property being exported does not require an export license. License determination is made by the Export Control Officer. See Licensing for more information.


University schools/divisions requesting the purchase should keep the Export Controls classification on file along with the invoice, in case of future exports. Export authorizations and export documents must be kept for five years from their date of expiration.