Pile of brown cardboard boxes

Import and export

Customs | Export controls | Shipping | Contacts | Resources

Traveler customs restrictions

Be aware of the customs restrictions for travelers to foreign countries, as well as what is allowed for travelers returning to the United States.

Some international locations are eligible for preferential duty-free entry for products when imported into the United States. Learn more about the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program >>

Export controls

The U.S. regulates "exports" of certain equipment, software, and technology in furtherance of national security interests and some foreign policy objectives. Export controls can apply to a wide range of research activities, regardless of the source of funding.

Research projects involving the transfer of equipment and technology (including technical data and technological assistance) to foreign countries are potentially subject to export controls regulations. 

The transfer or exchange of information about science and technology also can constitute an export that is potentially subject to export controls. In some cases, this transfer of information or technology to a foreign national is regulated even though it occurs inside the United States (i.e., a "deemed" export). View commerce control list >>

The good news about export controls is that much of the research activity conducted at universities in the U.S. falls within the scope of the fundamental research exclusion. In addition, in many of the cases listed above, an exclusion or license exception can be obtained without applying for a license.

Be sure to review the export control forms section of the Office of Compliance website before traveling for international work. With the guidance of the Office of Compliance, these checklists can be used to help determine whether an Emory University-owned or controlled laptop, PDA, digital storage device, or global positioning system ("GPS"), as well as their associated software and technology, will require a license in order to be exported.

Contact Doris Kirby in the Office of Compliance to discuss how to stay compliant with federal export regulations.


If you need to ship infectious agents, biological materials, and/or dry ice packaging for your international program, the Environmental Health and Safety Office offers training to guide you through this process. Training is available in a classroom setting once every other month (course code 240220 in the EHSO course catalogue).  Learn more >>

Contact Robin Ruthenborg for additional information.


Doris Kirby
Office of Compliance

Robin Ruthenborg
Environmental Health & Safety Office