Questions to ask before international travel and whether export controls will be triggered:
Where are you going?
For most travel there is no need to obtain an export license or permission, however there are some countries to which travel is restricted due to sanctions and embargoes (such as Cuba).
- What are you bringing with you?
Items- While for most travel it is fine to bring low-tech items and electronics such as laptops, it is still your responsibility to ensure that your destination is not covered by sanctions and thus requires an export license, even for commonplace items. As a rule of thumb, you should assume that the contents of your laptop will be revealed to the government whose airport you land in, which leads to the next point.
Research-For any research covered by the Fundamental Research Exception or for research in the Public Domain, there is no need to obtain an export license. However for any restricted research that may be covered by export controls, the PI should check to determine whether an export license is needed.
- What will you be doing?
Depending on where you are going, there may also be restrictions on what you can do abroad to ensure that you are not exporting controlled information or providing a service to a sanctioned entity.
With whom will you be interacting?
There are certain entities, individuals and institutions, that are barred from receiving exports (any good or service). It is your responsibility to check that any entity you will be interacting with is not on the Denied entity List.