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NMT Office of Research

Export Compliance Program


The International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the Export Administration Regulation (EAR) are two important United States export control laws that affect the manufacturing, sales and distribution of technology. 

These regulations seek to control access to specific types of technology and associated data.  The overarching goal of these regulations and associated legislation is to prevent the disclosure or transfer of sensitive information to a foreign national.  ITAR contains a United States Munitions List (USML) of restricted articles and services.  EAR contains a Commerce Control List (CCL) of regulated commercial items, including those items that have both military and commercial applications. 

New Mexico Tech’s efforts to comply with the ITAR and EAR are detailed below.  It is a framework for NMT employees engaged in development, research, testing, evaluation, use and possible export of technology that is beyond Fundamental Research.  This page is intended to provide a basic understanding of export control regulations

The aim of NMT’s Export Compliance Program is to achieve and sustain an exceptional program of compliance with export laws, regulations, codes and statues, by all University’ activities and to implement this program in the most “business friendly” manner possible.

New Mexico Tech has a subscription to Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI). There are various trainings available including export control. Please visit the Responsible & Ethical Conduct of Research site. If you do not have account please register for an account under New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. The Export Compliance courses available have various modules that are applicable depending on your role and what type of research you are doing.

Overview of Export Laws and Regulations 

The United States export laws and regulations operate to restrict the use of and access to controlled information, goods, and technology for reasons of national security or protection of trade. The export control regulations are not new. Federal regulations restricting the export of goods and technology out of the country have been around since the 1940’s. However, in recent years, attention to export control compliance has increased because of heightened concerns about homeland security, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, drug trafficking, and leaks of U.S. technology to foreign competitors. 

Export Control Regulations:

In general, the export control regulations cover four main types of University activities:

  1. Transfers of controlled information, including technical data, to persons and entities outside the United States;
  2. Shipment of controlled physical items, such as scientific equipment, from the United States to a foreign country;
  3. Verbal, written, electronic, or visual disclosures of controlled scientific and technical information related to export-controlled items to foreign nationals in the United States. Such a transfer is termed a "deemed export" and is regulated because the transfer is "deemed" to be to the country where the person is a resident or a citizen;
  4. Travel to certain sanctioned or embargoed countries for purposes of teaching or performing research.

Under the export control regulations, the export of certain goods and technology may be prohibited or a government license may be required to proceed with the export. While most exports do not require government licenses, licenses are required for exports that the U.S. government considers "controlled" under:

Because the New Mexico Tech embraces the concepts of academic freedom and open publication and dissemination of research findings and results, the export control regulations present unique challenges. Fortunately, both the EAR and the ITAR exclude fundamental research from the requirements of the regulations. Fundamental Research is defined as "...basic and applied research in science and engineering, the results of which ordinarily are published and shared broadly within the scientific community, as distinguished from proprietary research and from Industrial development, design, production, and product utilization, the results of which ordinarily are restricted for proprietary or national security reason.” [National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) 189, National Policy on the Transfer of Scientific, Technical, and Engineering Information]

Information which is publicly available also is excluded from the purview of the export control regulations. To guarantee the application of these exclusions, researchers should publish their findings to the fullest extent possible and should not agree to confidentiality clauses or other terms that restrict the dissemination of research materials and results.

The fundamental research and public domain exclusions do not apply to tangible items that are being taken or shipped outside of the U.S. In such cases, those items must be analyzed to determine whether they are subject to export controls.


For assistance with this process and with obtaining an export license if necessary, please contact the New Mexico Tech Office of Research at 575-835-5749 or Val Thomas, Export Control Officer at Valerie.Thomas@nmt.edu. The process of obtaining an export license from the government can be lengthy, so please plan accordingly.