From COO Tim Meyer: Export control and what you should know

Tim Meyer

The U.S. government has established a set of rules about what can be shared with or sent to foreign nationals called export control regulations. These rules are intended to promote U.S. national security and other policy goals. The export control laws and regulations:

  • restrict the ability to freely send or share certain types of goods, technology and information outside of the U.S. or with non-U.S. nationals inside of the U.S (unless licensed or cleared); and
  • prohibit certain transactions due to trade sanctions or other restrictions (unless licensed or cleared).

Why does an open laboratory such as Fermilab need to pay attention to export control? Indeed, fundamental research results that are broadly shared within the scientific community normally are exempt from export control regulation. But, the information or technological inputs into the research may be subject to export control. In addition, export control applies not only to what people traditionally think of as an “export” to a location outside of the United States. Transfers of information or technology that take place within the United States also can be subject to export control regulations. We have developed processes for export control review and clearance in order to navigate these issues.

Fermilab will soon be implementing Export Control Awareness Training for all employees and users. This training will be an introduction to U.S. export control laws and regulations and to Fermilab’s updated Policy on Export Control.

Fermilab culture has traditionally been and remains one of free and open sharing of science. Our goal is not to restrict that concept, but to ensure that we research and share within the established boundaries of the U.S export control laws and regulations. The training will provide you with:

  • a general understanding of the regulations, including the purpose and consequences; and
  • the information and resources to allow you to seek guidance and make decisions before sharing information, technology, or software.

Fermilab is committed to operating an open research environment and engaging in collaborative efforts with our international colleagues. We don’t plan on changing that philosophy.

Thank you for your attention to the training and please do not hesitate to reach out to our export control team ( if you have any questions. The team includes participants from Logistics and Property Control (Brian Niesman), the Office of Partnerships and Technology Transfer (Aaron Sauers), the Global Services Office (Griselda Lopez), the Directorate (Melissa Ormond), and the Office of General Counsel (Beth Fancsali).

Tim Meyer is the chief operating officer for Fermilab.