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Export Control Procedures

Implementation Date: 8/11/14

Michigan State University is required to comply with a variety of U.S. Government statutes and regulations dealing with export controls and trade sanctions. ECTS has developed the on-line Export Control and Open Research Review Worksheet (ECORRW) to help identify export controlled technologies or materials found on the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) list, and/or the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) list, and to identify research activities planned with international entities that may be subject to trade sanctions.

All PIs and other project personnel are individually responsible for compliance with export controls and trade sanctions. If you have questions regarding the ECORRW, the short form, or the potential applicability of EAR, ITAR, or trade sanctions to your proposal or project, please contact the Office of Export Control and Trade Sanctions at (517) 432-4499 or email You can also find additional resources on the ECTS website:

Circumstances in Which Review is Required

The need for preparation of an ECORRW for MSU review is governed by three criteria:

For the agencies and projects for which a review is required, whenever

  1. Regardless of funding source, MSU requires that a review be completed if the project:
    • will be performed in whole or part outside of the United States,
    • suggests a military application, defense service or article,
    • requires the delivery of a prototype (including software), or a chemical or biological sample or product, when the provided material or information will not be made freely available to the public.
    • involves encryption or cryptology,
    • entails a restriction on open publication of MSU research results, other than allowing for a brief delay for a funder or other contractor(i) to check for erroneous inclusion of proprietary information it provided to MSU, (ii) to pursue patent protection  and/or (iii) to accumulate reports from multiple subcontractors and coordinate publication of a multi-site clinical trial.
    • involves bacteria or viruses (or their toxins or genetic material) or radiation (or counter measures to it),
    • involves plant or animal pathogens,
    • entails a restriction on the citizenship of permissible project participants,
    • requires prior approval of project participants on an individual basis by the funder, OR
    • involves parties within, collaboration with, or funding from, a country on the Office of Foreign Assets Control country list:
  2. For projects where funding originates with the U.S. government, MSU also requires that a review be completed if such funding comes from any of the following Federal agencies (with or without involvement of non-Federal prime contractors other than MSU):
    • US Department of Defense (DoD), including the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
    • US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
    • US Department of Justice (DOJ)
    • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
    • US Department of Commerce (DOC)
    • US Department of Energy (DOE)
    • US Department of State (DOS)
    • US Agency for International Development (USAID)
    • National Security Agency (NSA), and
    • Any intelligence agency (including DNI and  IARPA)
  3. For projects where funding originates from a non-U.S. Government source, MSU also requires that a review always be completed UNLESS it is the case that BOTH
    1. (a) NO condition set forth in #1 above applies,
    2. AND
    3. (b) the project is one of the following:
      1. Consumer software development in the United States,
      2. A project focused on K-12 or American Higher Education services or testing in the United States,
      3. A clinical trial being conducted in the United States,
      4. Non-military human or animal health research, to be conducted in the United States
      5. A seed testing or seed field trial conducted in the United States
      6. A plant breeding study conducted in the United States
      7. An agreement with a Michigan or United States agricultural commodity group
      8. Survey research or polling being conducted in the United States for a U.S. client.
      9. A project to be conducted in the United States for a U.S.-based food or beverage producer or packager or
      10. Business planning, market assessment, or similar business  services to be performed in the United States OUTSIDE of the defense, aerospace, and cyber-security industries.

If a review is not taking place based upon application of this exception provision [i.e., both Section 3(a) and 3(b) above], the applicable subsection of Section 3(b) - e.g., "3(b)(3)" - must be identified in the request to CGA for account set-up.

Other Details

The ECORRW may be found at Please attach the most current version of the statement of work to the ECORRW where indicated. This may be done at any time from pre-proposal submission to acceptance of the award; earlier form completion will minimize possible delays later. ECTS will review the project against export control and trade sanction lists and work with OSP or Business Connect on contractual issues that may impact MSU's ability to claim the "fundamental research exclusion" (FRE) for the project if related technologies or data are otherwise controlled by ITAR or EAR.

For the agencies and projects for which a review is required, whenever one of the below conditions are met, a new ECORRW may need to be routed.

  • Supplemental funds are added to a project for new work
  • The scope of work is changed
  • There is a change in project PIs or co-PIs
  • Changes to the terms and conditions that result in a publication or participation restriction

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