What can I bring on my trip?

Each time you leave the U.S. and bring items with you, even temporarily, you have engaged in an export of those items. In most cases, bringing items with you when you travel does not require any prior authorization. However, especially when traveling on university business, you may need to export an item or technology to a location that would require a license or other authorization (i.e., license exception). The Division of Research Compliance can help you determine whether what you’re taking on your trip is subject to the export control regulations.

Rules of Thumb for Traveling with Equipment or Software

  • Do not take the following items with you on the trip without first consulting the Division of Research Compliance:

– UF-owned equipment or software (other than basic laptops, tablets, and cell phones);

– Equipment, software, or data that you received with restrictions on its export or on access by foreign persons;

– Data or analyses that resulted from research that did not qualify as fundamental research (i.e., research that was subject to publication or foreign person access restrictions);

– Equipment, systems, or software that were specifically designed or modified for military or space applications;

– ITAR-controlled articles or technical data (including software);

             – and Classified information.

  • Plan ahead! Getting an export license from the U.S. government may take several months, so contact the Division of Research Compliance as soon as possible to begin your export review.

Items that Generally Will Not Require a License

  • Laptops, Tablets, Cell Phones – You likely will not need a license to take most low-tech, commercially available items with you during travel to most countries except the comprehensively sanctioned countries (Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, and the Crimea region). For travel to or through the comprehensively sanctioned countries, an export license likely will be required, even for common items like laptops and cell phones. (See more information on Cuba and Iran, below)

– Note that both the laptop itself and all software and data stored on it are subject to export control regulations. In general, laptops cannot contain anything other than standard, off-the-shelf software and basic encryption in order to export them without a license. Additionally, you must remove any export controlled or proprietary data from your laptop before traveling.

  • Specific Lab or Research Project Equipment – For laboratory or research equipment or software that is subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), you may be able to take it with you without first obtaining a license because the export either may not require a license to your destination or you may be able to qualify for the TMP (Temporary Export) license exception. Common equipment examples include GPS units and various cameras (even those that are commercially available). Contact the Division of Research Compliance to determine if your equipment or software will qualify for export under the TMP license exception (or another exception) and to obtain a TMP approval letter that you can carry with you during your trip. Here are the TMP qualification requirements:

– The equipment or software must be a tool of your trade, which means that it must be an item that is of a usual and reasonable kind and quantity of tools of trade for use in your discipline;

– The equipment or software must be returned to the U.S. within one year;

– You must retain effective control of the equipment or software at all times during your trip; and

– Your travel cannot be to or through a comprehensively sanctioned country (Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, and the Crimea region).

  • Personally-Owned Items – In most cases, you may rely on the BAG (Baggage) license exception to bring personally-owned commercially available items on your trip for your personal use.